Change is the New Normal

As we head into fall, I think we can all agree that it looks very different from what we’re used to. For many of us, our work lives look vastly different than they did at the start of the year. Our routines and lifestyles have changed, as have many of our priorities. 

For Talent Acquisition professionals, we are typically in the middle of a bustling and exciting season of conferences, traveling to new cities, and connecting with old friends and new. But we’ve shifted. Everything that hasn’t been postponed has been made virtual, and we are learning to adjust to a new normal. 

For many who are feeling the sting of this, let’s remember something. Change is not a new thing. It’s not an unusual thing either. Each aspect of the world we live in is constantly in flux and the recruiting industry is no different. Many of the conferences we attend, in fact, are centered around discussing just that – the ways in which our industry is evolving. Though it might feel like we are drinking change out of a firehose, change itself is not new. 

Where are we now?

Just look at the way we do recruiting. It looks significantly different than it did a decade ago. Huge advancements have occurred in HR technology, and as a whole, recruiters have more resources at their disposal than ever before. At the same time, the speed and scale with which our “normal” changed during this pandemic created the necessity for recruiters to adopt virtual hiring strategies and solutions. 

Looking back, “companies that have staying power and continue to plan for the future can attribute their growth during the pandemic to advancements in technology, like feature-rich recruiting software or video conferencing tools (People Fluent 2020).” Recruiting tools and software are no longer just nice to have but crucial to a company’s ability to remain competitive and agile in an increasingly digital world.

The ease and flexibility with which companies have been able to shift their workforces remote has also been a determinant of success. This includes the ability for employees to work from home as well as recruiters’ capacity to employ remote recruiting and onboarding solutions. This has been important in the short-term by giving employers the ability to continue functioning safely and efficiently. Still, the demand for competitive and enduring remote solutions across the recruitment and employee lifecycle will only rise.

Where are we headed?

Let’s face it. The pandemic has changed the landscape of the way we do business. We’ve seen a shift in the job market, where remote work has opened the door to a truly globalized market. This means recruiters have at their fingertips and unlimited talent pool with an added layer of global competition (TalentLyft 2020). The need for remote and digital solutions to key functions such as recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and internal mobility is becoming increasingly valuable. 

So how do we keep up with our ever-changing landscape and prioritize the right tools? By maintaining a focus on the long-term. Reacting to the immediate needs can be easy to do – we have seen this in the form of mass job cuts and widespread unemployment. People Matters posits the need to recruit for resilience by considering both current and future talent needs. Take a step back from the requisition and think more broadly about how it connects and integrates with what’s happening in the organization. How do the requisitions being opened and the work being delivered tie into specific workforce or talent plans? Understanding this will allow organizations to look past immediate crisis management towards shifting the conversation and focusing on offering a positive experience to candidates, as well as considering how to manage and recruit all types of talent, regardless of badge type. 

It is time to think critically about our talent strategies. To thrive as a business and remain competitive, we need to take a look inward. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you! This is what we do. Book a consultation with us to begin building talent strategies for future success. 

The “New Normal” – A Candidate’s Perspective 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on everyone, and we are all forced to cope with the challenges that we now face as we attempt to define and live in accordance with the “new normal.” It has changed everything around candidates’ search for work, including having to be much less picky about accepting offers, demonstrating a willingness to accept work outside one’s field of expertise, and even a willingness to work for significantly lower pay than accustomed. There has been an enormous impact on career and job security, personal finances, living conditions, and goals that seemed attainable pre-pandemic. The fact that this has not been a fun time for job seekers is an understatement.

Candidates are facing impacts that directly relate to their personal, physical, and lifestyle needs. An immediate impact for many was a loss of income due to the lack of opportunities resulting from employers either cutting back on their existing workforce or simply not in a hiring mode. We have seen many organizations moving toward a cost-containment strategy – how do we salvage, bridge, hold onto what we have? This clearly makes it much harder for a job seeker to find work of any kind, be it full-time, part-time, or contract work. The freedom that many individuals had to seek part-time or contractual work before the pandemic has become more difficult, creating a need to adjust.

Same Problems, Different Context

One of our individual contributors commented on a particular challenge that presents itself to job seekers – age discrimination. 

In addition to the obvious challenge of not finding work due to the sheer scarcity of opportunities, I have also encountered what I believe to be even more evidence of age discrimination. I might apply for opportunities in which I know that I have the necessary qualifications that the employer is looking for, as well as a greater level of experience than most or all of the other candidates. I am certain that my qualifications meet or exceed those of other applicants, especially due to all the years of experience I have. Unfortunately, my long-term experience has actually worked against me, especially if I apply for a full-time position. Employers prefer younger candidates even though they have fewer qualifications, much less experience, and lack any professional certifications. Employers will see my lengthy work history on a resume and determine that I am an older candidate, hence less desirable.

In the face of mass layoffs and furloughs where opportunities are fewer, candidates are feeling the destructive impacts of ongoing issues such as discrimination based on age, gender, race, or background. These problems are hard to ignore as a job seeker in an environment of crisis management. As organizations are already adapting and changing to the world around them, they have an opportunity to address these problems and a responsibility to ensure equitable hiring practices, fair compensation, and a positive experience.

Learning to Adapt 

We have learned that things will never be the way they once were. Whether we are individuals seeking work or organizations attempting to stay in business, we must all adjust and demonstrate a willingness to change the way we work. One of the best examples is working remotely: remote meetings generally were conducted in conference rooms in the past. Now, however, much of the workforce has had to adapt to working from home. 

Though the pandemic has brought about new circumstances and hurdles that candidates are forced to cope with, it presents the opportunity to grow individually in personal or career-related skills. Many have made constructive use of their non-working time to enhance their skill sets by earning certifications and learning new skills. Job seekers have done so in the hope that this will eventually lead to the right opportunities.

Whether you are a job seeker, employee, individual contributor, or Talent Acquisition department, we must all adapt to this new landscape. This means learning to be more productive with fewer resources and far more flexible concerning the types of work we may be asked to perform.

Tribe Member Spotlight

We want to celebrate the hard work and contributions of our own, Cindy McGregor! Cindy is a Senior Consultant here at Talent Function, and she is dedicated to helping her team grow, and her clients succeed. She is energetic and makes herself available, ensuring everyone around her feels supported and appreciated. She knows how to keep her clients on track and drives work to positive completion. 

Cindy loves talent acquisition technology and makes a brilliant consultant because she has a deep understanding of the talent industry, steers communication, and ultimately delivers results. She makes sure that work gets done, volunteering to take on any extra, and never complaining. She is always learning and believes that there is always more to know, ever-improving her craft. Cindy is a core part of our team and helps us all succeed.

Partnership Spotlight

BROOKFIELD, WI – October 5, 2020 – Cielo, the world’s leading Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider, has partnered with Talent Function to enhance its technology consulting expertise and capabilities.

As the RPO industry’s technology leader, Cielo seeks opportunities to equip its teams and clients with the latest insights, trends and tools to drive optimum results. Technology and automation were already accelerating in talent acquisition and human resources, but COVID-19 has supercharged organizations’ digitization efforts. From virtual interviewing to orientation and onboarding, years of change have been compressed into months, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Talent Function is a consulting company helping organizations around the world with comprehensive and forward-looking talent strategies, business processes, technology solutions and deployments. Elaine Orler, CEO and founder of Talent Function, has helped global companies transform their recruiting organizations with actionable strategies and technology implementations since 1993.

Click here to read more.


We are so proud of our tribe and the ways that we have been able to grow and stretch ourselves during this unprecedented year. As a result of all the hard work, Talent Function has been awarded the 2020 Milestone of the Year | Professional Services, Gold Winner for the Customer Sales & Service World Awards!

Schedule a Consultation With Us

In order to thrive as a business and remain competitive, we need to take a look inward. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you! We offer free, 60 minute consultations to discuss your Talent Acquisition needs. Click here to schedule your free consultation now!