Changes in Recruiting Employees

By September 21, 2020 COVID-19

There is one far-reaching change that COVID-19

will cause that has not been discussed very much.


And that is the change in the qualifications of applicants who apply for our future job openings. There are a lot of people whose industries have been much more severely affected than others because of this pandemic. For example, the restaurant industry, which employs more people in the US than any other industry, has many qualified, hard-working employees who may not be asked to return to work at the same rate as your industry.


You most certainly will receive resumes and online applications who may not have the ideal qualifications for your positions compared to pre-COVID-19. If an applicant is not available with the ideal qualifications for your opening, you must keep an open mind to considering those applicants who have not worked in your industry. Here are two situations: an IT person in the restaurant industry may have the exact technical experience that is needed for your opening but does not have your industry experience. Another even better example is a restaurant server who may not have the customer service experience that your company requires but is excellent at customer service and interacting with people. In both cases, these two applicants could be very effective in performing the work you have if provided the required training and given the opportunity to learn the job.


Another complication of hiring applicants from different industries is the potential difference in pay scales that may exist. Be careful not to try to hire a person for a lot less money coming from an industry that pays far less than your current salary structure. That applicant may have conducted compensation research on your industry. Also, when the person begins working, they may realize that they are making far less money than their counterparts. This can create resentment and unhappiness in the new hire. Also, once that employee becomes proficient in your industry, they can leave to work for another company that is willing to pay the going rate.

These same scenarios can apply to an INTERNAL applicant who may no longer be needed in their original position but has the seniority to assume a different responsibility. They may not be ideally qualified for the new opening and there may also be a compensation discrepancy because the employee was making more or less than the pay for the new position. The same recommendations apply for internal as well as external candidates.


If your company hires recent college graduates, please keep in mind that rising college seniors most likely were not able to be hired as an Intern in your industry because no internships were available. This means some of these individuals may not be coming to you with quite as much experience as prior year’s graduates. Allowances need to be made in these and other related scenarios. And this same situation will be around in next year’s hiring cycle for college graduates. The rising sophomores a year ago most likely were not able to be hired as Interns as well.

In many cases more training is going to be required for new hires, which may affect your company’s training budget. Top management needs to be made aware of this necessity and budget accordingly.


COVID-19 will create another real challenge for INTERNAL recruiters in your company. The hiring authorities must be educated on the type of available talent they will be interviewing. These managers must be educated that they may not be able to require the same level of experience and qualifications compared to pre-COVID-19. You also must explain to them how individuals coming from other industries can make excellent employees even though they may not have the exact skill sets they required in the past.

We’ve all read how many changes COVID-19 will create in our work environment. The recruiting process is only one – but a huge one to understand. If your Hiring Managers are not receptive to hiring individuals from other industries, your competition may very well realize it. In that case, you will be out-recruited and lose some of the best talent in the labor market. That will result in your competition beating you in your industry because they were better at accepting change – like hiring employees from different industries. Sadly, some employers and managers just don’t change quickly enough with the times.


At Mulling HR, we advise clients that COVID-19 has changed the tables. Not everything is as it was and it will not be easy to navigate restarting. While money may be tight, spending a little to get the expertise that helps you navigate more efficiently can provide you huge efficiencies in time and money later. Seek help, whether it be from Mulling HR or others to think through what you need to do to thrive and survive. People with disaster experience like Mulling HR has can pay dividends in many ways like finding the right people to staff your company going forward. You will find obtaining the right help will be less costly in the end than the costs you may incur for using that right help.

Author: Emory Mulling

Emory Mulling is a nationally recognized HR Consultant and Executive Coaching expert. As Founder and Chairman for the Mulling Corporation, the Mulling family of businesses is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The firm was founded in 1986 and is a leader in HR consulting for small, medium and large companies.

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