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Before COVID-19, there were already significant changes in how recruiters did their jobs. The rise of analytical tools, an increasing focus on diversity, and the shift in skills organisations were looking for meant that the role of the recruiter was fast evolving. Then as Asia-Pacific responded to the crisis, we saw organisations make digital transformations that would have typically taken months, if not years, implemented by talent professionals within days and weeks. Talent professionals have met these challenges, done more with less, and helped recalibrate plans for the future amid the uncertainty.

Now we are all wondering, what comes next? LinkedIn has outlined some predictions of recruiting in Asia-Pacific — based on billions of data points from the LinkedIn platform, and interviews with talent leaders from the region and around the world.

  • Recruiting will hire less, build, and borrow more.

No longer a nice-to-have, internal mobility will be a must-have. Before COVID-19, many Asia-Pacific organisations were already tapping into their existing talent pool, but now internal mobility will become an essential part of any hiring strategy.

The additional benefit of internal mobility programs is that it boosts retention and increases engagement. LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report found employees are likely to stay 41% longer at companies with high internal hiring, map out paths for talent to succeed, and deliver opportunities away from static jobs in siloed departments so that cross-functional teams can flourish.

  • Virtual recruiting is here to stay.

For large countries, like Australia or India, the attraction of virtual recruiting that our COVID-19 era has ushered in is obvious. While it delivers access to new talent, as well as great savings in both time and costs, it also poses a new challenge for HR. How can you demonstrate your company brand, capture your workplace culture, and get that in-person feeling from someone through a computer screen?

There will also need to be decisions about when virtual suits best, and when in-person is more appropriate. Candidates for entry-level positions may experience a completely virtual hiring process, not setting foot in the office until they’re onboarded. Executive candidates, on the other hand, will continue to receive a more bespoke process with numerous onsite visits and face-to-face one-on-ones.

  • Recruiters will lead the transition to remote work.

Globally, the volume of job searches using the “remote” filter has surged 60% since the start of March. In Asia-Pacific, we have seen Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines record strong growth in remote job postings. While remote work means fewer natural worksite social interactions, dedicating time to invest in employee wellbeing will make sure employees stay connected despite being remote.

While the region has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to internal mobility, the depth of your existing talent pool is set to become even more important. Asia-Pacific is also embracing diversity and will be on the frontline of delivering on organisational efforts towards greater inclusion and belonging.

Recruiters have always been in the business of making connections quickly but now will make virtual connections feel as real as an on-site handshake, unlock the potential of a remote workforce while demonstrating the best of their company’s employer brand.