How COVID-19 permanently changed the geography of recruiting

How COVID-19 permanently changed the geography of recruiting was originally published on College Recruiter.

Over one year later after the world truly started feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the world continues to face uncertainty in all industries, and recruiting is no different. Has this global health crisis changed recruiting and hiring? The answer is yes, and it has happened overnight. The pandemic has further accelerated the digital transformation that has been happening over the past few decades leading to a sharp increase in demand for developer talent. 

While some industries are being crippled by the pandemic, like brick-and-mortar retailers, others are ramping up hiring to meet demand and they are bridging the geography gap. Gone are the days where top technology companies are sourcing local candidates from a defined location, as today, every company has become a software company, increasing the demand for technical talent that is perceived to be in short supply. For organizations looking to hire, reliable technology is already available to help. Virtual recruitment is a go-to method to keep hiring processes moving while protecting recruiters and candidates. 

Based on trends we saw in the market; we selected a group of 200 customers of CodeSignal to see how their technical hiring patterns have changed by looking at locations from which technical assessments are being completed by their candidates. The goal was to analyze and see exactly how the pandemic has impacted recruiting and hiring starting pre-pandemic (April 2019) with a look at the evolution through March 2021. The data shows a clear pattern of companies expanding their geographic reach in the recruiting process expanding across the entire country, in places talent was never considered before. The clusters are clearly defined pre-pandemic (April 2019 – March 2020) with heavy recruitment along the west and east coasts as well as most major cities, home to some of the largest and most innovative tech companies in the country. Specifically, the number of cities from which assessments have been completed during the same period pre-pandemic is 1196, whereas post pandemic it’s 2456, a 105% increase.

As the time-lapse moves forward, the blue dots indicate new clusters of recruitment overlapping the previous year’s clusters. With the continuation of the time-lapse over the course of the next 12 months, recruitment is clearly taking place in locations that companies never previously explored such as Alaska, Arizona, Canada, the Dakota’s, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming and many more locations where talent was previously undiscovered. The silver lining of the pandemic is that companies have opened the aperture and are now willing to expand their reach to find the best people in the nation to fill these roles, enabling a global applicant pool.

Recruiting experts caught on sooner than most that remote work is here to stay. What this means for sourcers and recruiters hiring for remote positions is that they can now expand their search to a much bigger pool of qualified talent. When they were limited by geography, technical recruiters were often confined to engaging prospects who had the right skills —but who may not be qualified for the role in other ways. Recruiters couldn’t hone in on prospects with additional desired soft skills like communications skills, personality or people skills, for example; there just might not be enough (or any!) great fits in their location.

As college graduates begin entering the workforce, no longer will they be confined to their current city or town. Without the limitation of geography, recruiters can identify prospects who are not just a good fit for the role—but a great fit and candidates should also take this opportunity to apply to their dream job at their dream company. Location is no longer a barrier holding qualified candidates back. 

— Article by Eduard Piliposyan, the Director of Engineering at Codesignal, the most comprehensive technical assessment platform designed to help companies #GoBeyondResumes in tech recruiting.

By College Recruiter
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