As part of our look ahead to 2021 challenges, Modern Hire’s Karin Borchert considers virtual recruiting, hiring and onboarding for next year and beyond.

This year has brought HR a host of unprecedented issues to navigate: employee safety concerns, engagement in a newly remote world, legal considerations and even the reshaping of the HR role itself. With all of that change just in the last few months, many HR leaders are looking to 2021 with a bit of trepidation: What’s next?

Karin Borchert, CEO of Modern Hire, predicts that the shift to remote hiring that started this year will become a permanent fixture at many organizations. As such, HR leaders need to be exploring and adapting to new technologies to support virtual recruiting, onboarding and hiring, while also ensuring a seamless candidate experience. Borchert recently shared her outlook for the future of hiring with HRE:

HRE: What should be HR leaders’ first priority for 2021?

Borchert: The top priority for HR leaders in 2021 should be focusing on helping their organizations adjust to the unexpected change of remote work and remote hiring—a trend that began this year due to the pandemic. This year ushered in many changes that required employees and their employers to act quickly and transition to remote work, which was a new concept for many and posed unique challenges. HR leaders should prioritize making the work-from-home situation as positive of an experience as it can be, as we’ve learned that it will likely stick around long after the pandemic is over. HR leaders must nail down the logistics of how their organization works, their policies, how they manage, how they engage, evaluate and promote their workforce and, of course, how they hire—all remotely. This will require organizations to adopt new technologies and methodologies in 2021.

HRE: In what ways has the pandemic impacted how HR will hire in the long run, when it comes to the technologies and strategies used?

Borchert: The pandemic has accelerated the use of technology in hiring and, moving forward, companies will continue to use hiring technology. For companies like Walmart and Amazon, business boomed amid COVID-19, and thousands of positions opened up to keep up with supplies that were flying off the shelves. Large retailers turned to technology to keep up with the unprecedented amount of applications they were receiving. By adopting technology like pre-hire assessments and virtual interviewing technology, which support fast and objective hiring decisions, companies were able to drastically reduce logistical constraints, shorten the time-to-hire cycle and keep both employees and candidates safe amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

Because of the success these large enterprises saw with recruiting, hiring and onboarding new employees, they will likely keep their hiring processes 100% virtual post-pandemic, as technology allowed them to make smarter hiring decisions in a way that in-person interviews could not compete with. In 2021 and beyond, most organizations will do the same and continue completely virtual hiring processes due to the efficiency, effectiveness and fairness of the technology. And while some fear that they won’t receive a personalized interview experience with virtual hiring, an engaging, branded experience is still possible with remote hiring with interview features like virtual job tryouts, phone and video interviews, and automated chatbots to help candidates work through any issues they may be having during the process.

HRE: What does the world of work look like in 2021, particularly when it comes to remote work?

Borchert: Remote work will continue to be part of the job in the future, as most companies have learned their workforce can be just as productive at home as they are in the office. This means remote hiring will continue in tandem, as it has proven to be advantageous throughout the pandemic, for a number of reasons.

One of the biggest perks of remote recruiting is it allows not only a more diverse workforce but enables employers to bring in domain expertise without regard for geography. Aside from expanding the candidate pool, there are several other benefits of remote hiring:

This year has brought HR a host of unprecedented issues to navigate: employee safety concerns, engagement in a newly remote world, legal considerations and even the reshaping of the HR role itself. With all of that change just in the last few months, many HR leaders are looking to 2021 with a bit of trepidation: What’s next?

Borchert: The top priority for HR leaders in 2021 should be focusing on helping their organizations adjust to the unexpected change of remote work and remote hiring—a trend that began this year due to the pandemic. This year ushered in many changes that required employees and their employers to act quickly and transition to remote work, which was a new concept for many and posed unique challenges. HR leaders should prioritize making the work-from-home situation as positive of an experience as it can be, as we’ve learned that it will likely stick around long after the pandemic is over. HR leaders must nail down the logistics of how their organization works, their policies, how they manage, how they engage, evaluate and promote their workforce and, of course, how they hire—all remotely. This will require organizations to adopt new technologies and methodologies in 2021.

HRE: In what ways has the pandemic impacted how HR will hire in the long run, when it comes to the technologies and strategies used?

Borchert: The pandemic has accelerated the use of technology in hiring and, moving forward, companies will continue to use hiring technology. For companies like Walmart and Amazon, business boomed amid COVID-19, and thousands of positions opened up to keep up with supplies that were flying off the shelves. Large retailers turned to technology to keep up with the unprecedented amount of applications they were receiving. By adopting technology like pre-hire assessments and virtual interviewing technology, which support fast and objective hiring decisions, companies were able to drastically reduce logistical constraints, shorten the time-to-hire cycle and keep both employees and candidates safe amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns.