Talent Acquisition’s Digital Transformation Moment

By: Drew Austin

Apr 14, 2020

These are unprecedented times in the world of recruiting, even for the most seasoned professionals in this industry. Every week we are seeing all-time record unemployment claims, daily news updates of layoffs, and a level of uncertainty in the market that is completely unrivaled in history. 

That being said, many of us that remain thankfully employed, from software vendors to recruiting practitioners, are being tasked to carry on and push forward in spite of conditions we are facing. What does carry-on and push forward mean in turbulent times like the ones we face right now. 

At Wade & Wendy, an AI recruitment process automation software company, we are digging in and working closely with both existing customers and prospects, to align on strategies to be pro-active as a talent acquisition organization at this time. 


There are three types of talent orgs we are seeing right now:



1.  Hiring is frozen, business uncertainty is too high and the organization is playing a wait and see game on all fronts of talent acquisition.

2.  Hiring is frozen, yet the talent org is actively preparing for a rebound, and using this opportunity to re-tool and build infrastructure for the rapidly evolving talent acquisition landscape they will find themselves in when the economy rebounds.

3.  Hiring is urgently accelerating, infrastructure demands are unprecedented and the ability to recruit talent, as a remote talent org, is a daunting task that needs proper support and technology.

In this post, I will focus on the latter two types of companies we are interacting with: those with frozen hiring and those where hiring is urgently accelerating.


Evolution of talent acquisition amidst Covid



Many talent orgs are either being forced to lay off workers (and in some cases even rescinding outstanding offers), as is represented by the 17 million record unemployment claims in the US over the last 3 weeks. And many of those who haven’t been impacted by layoffs have frozen new hires until further clarity is available on the state of the economy. The organizations we are speaking with have been asking the right questions, how do we evolve, prepare and stay ahead of the shifting requirements to recruit in this new world. With hiring requirements down, this is an opportune time from a bandwidth perspective to make the appropriate tooling decisions and change management decisions. 

And opposite to most of the narrative around recruiting these days, some companies are hiring more than ever before. Businesses with dependencies on technology infrastructure, supply chain operations, healthcare, logistics, e-commerce are seeing substantial increases in hiring needs to support the customer demand. In addition, customer support has been under siege almost everywhere and also in high demand. To be able to handle this immediate and high volume recruiting need, in a rapidly evolving environment and while transitioning to a remote workforce, has been no small feat. 

A few ways we are working with these teams to support these pro-active transformation opportunities and fluctuating hiring demands:

Proper solution design:
Take a revised look at your recruiting plans, what is remaining active, what is on hold, and what layoffs were made, and what roles will need to be filled in priority and urgency order when the business tides begin to shift in a positive direction.

Identify and understand industry shifts:

In a market that has completely flipped from low unemployment and high job supply, to low job supply and high unemployment, expect corresponding effects on the way we recruit. Inbound activity will increase which means you can expect more noise to reach your ATS, programmatic advertising prices will fluctuate, pro-active sourcing will be essential especially with targeting of companies with layoff news. 

Technology to support remote recruiting teams:

With in-person offices closed globally, technology to support talent acquisition teams is needed for a smooth transition. Capabilities such as task automation, frictionless or automated scheduling to video interview and data aggregation to enable informed decision making despite less in-person interactions are important components of the remote recruiting tech stack. 

Recruiting for work-from-home remote positions:

Recruiting for people to fill work from home positions is a different animal than traditional geography driven recruitment efforts. Work from home was a movement that was growing, now it will be an essential part of the workforce regardless of the outcomes of the Coronavirus. The ability for automation technology like an AI recruiter to optimize matching and search criteria amongst a larger talent pool, ability to scale engagement beyond local recruiting efforts, and to distribute jobs to niche boards that prioritize remote job seekers, will be mainstays in recruiting from here on out. 

Scale hiring needs up/down:

Recruiters were already underwater and overtasked with responsibilities before Covid hit. And now we are seeing recruiting teams especially hard hit by the layoffs. As companies reduce their recruiting headcount, the need to scale back up your organizational hiring will come swiftly. The ability to protect your talent team or scale up with a constrained or smaller recruiting team will be immensely valuable as we navigate the recruiting landscape. AI recruiters allow for that ability to increase job coverage per recruiter due to the ability to offload tasks. 

Candidate satisfaction is as important as ever:

While this transition may seem daunting for companies, it’s even more stressful for candidates. We must ensure that candidate experience is considered in our recruitment re-tooling and evolution for the future. Candidates need to be communicated with and heard. With more job seekers in the pool than ever before, automation can enable teams to scale their engagement to interact with more talent and provide them consistent updates throughout the process.

If your organization falls into one of these two categories listed above, pro-actively using this opportunity to transform the talent org, or is under heavy demand to recruit now, schedule a demo to learn about Wendy, our AI recruiter and how she can complement your recruiting teams efforts and prepare you for the world of recruiting we are facing today and in the future. 

Schedule a Demo with Wendy
-Drew Austin, Wade & Wendy CEO

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