Changes In the Hiring Process Due To COVID: Are They Here To Stay?

Will the changes in the hiring process due to COVID stay? Or will everything go back to "pre-pandemic" life soon?

As we head into year three of the “pandemic” (a word I hate saying almost as much as “unprecedented” as it relates to COVID), we have learned many things about the hiring process.  This blog will attempt to identify what I consider to be the major changes in the hiring process. If anything, good came out of COVID it is the flexibility we have all learned that we can deal with. Before we were extremely staunch in the hiring process. There was no gray area, it was all black and white. With COVID, it’s the opposite. It’s what works while each firm has decided how they were going to handle hiring during the last two years.

The Benefits Of Video Interviews

With the advent of Zoom calls, firms/banks realized they did not have to bring people in at a great expense to continue the hiring process after the first initial interview. Zoom calls truly transformed the changes in the hiring process. Firms as well as banks realized they can get all the information they need from a candidate over a video conference. They also realized that they could have individuals at various locations join in on the call.  This allowed the ability for more people to weigh in on the hiring of a particular candidate. Before most decisions were made by one or two individuals. During COVID, hiring decisions were made more by ad-hoc committees, which could be created at a moment’s notice. In addition, Zoom calls allow the candidate to meet more people, so that he/she could get a better feel for the type of employee that works at the firm as well as the firm’s culture.

The Most Important Factor To Bring To A New Situation

Another area that has expanded is the notion that you do not necessarily have to be located at the firm’s corporate headquarters (or any of their branches) to bring in business and potentially get hired. Utilizing Zoom calls, firms realized that their employees and future employees could conduct business without face-to-face meetings as we were so used to. The candidate’s database became the most important thing they had to bring to a new situation. This is another one of the major changes in the hiring process. If they could demonstrate they could get anybody on the phone to take their call and do business with them, then they became a wanted commodity during the past two years. Continuing in this vein, we have seen that many employees want to retain the ability to do remote business. This is shown in the conversations that I continually have with seasoned public finance bankers and bond counsels, who are requesting not to have to go into the office on a regular basis and be able to work remotely. It’s even gotten as bad as this is the number one criterion for (a) leaving a job and (b) taking a new job.

Timeline Of The Hiring Process

Another interesting fact that has occurred is that the timeline to hire people has been significantly reduced. You would have thought the opposite because of firms being concerned about doing business in a COVID environment. Some thought that one of the changes in the hiring process would have been to extend the process to ensure that the candidates they see can really perform in this pandemic environment. Because the firms are doing Zoom calls for initial and follow-up meetings, they can make hiring decisions much quicker. This is due to logistics being somewhat simplified and not having to wait weeks before somebody can show up for an in-person meeting or waiting for results of the meeting because people are traveling, and they are harder to get a hold of.

The Future: Will The Changes In The Hiring Process Stay Or Go?

I personally believe that as we come out of the peak pandemic environment, we are not going to see a retraction of any of the above changes in the hiring process that I have outlined. The hiring process will be faster, will be done on Zoom, remote positions will be more available, firms will reduce their physical footprints, expand their territories where they will hire people, and all the above are very good for both the candidate and the clients going into the second quarter of 2022.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.