Article: Tackling offer declines in the landscape of virtual hiring

A Brand Reachout InitiativeTalent Acquisition

Tackling offer declines in the landscape of virtual hiring

With a jump in demand for hot talent in the IT sector, offer declines have spiked to 55% as against an average of 12% seen before the pandemic. As the IT sector witnesses the brunt of Covid-19 in the talent acquisition space, senior HR leaders discuss ways to curb the consequences and move forward with more preparedness.
Tackling offer declines in the landscape of virtual hiring

In an exclusive webcast facilitated by People Matters and Hyreo, eminent leaders from the HR industry discussed their views and experiences on reasons for the post-pandemic increase in offer declines in the IT sector, and the role of technology and automation in tackling the same.


Moderated by Prasanna Nayar, Chief Evangelist at Hyreo, the session was attended by Savita Hortikar, Head of Talent Acquisition at Thoughtworks, Satish Rajarathnam, Senior VP & HR at Mphasis and Arun Satyan, Founder of Hyreo, Candidate experience platform. 

Attributing ‘misaligned demand vs supply’ to be one of the major reasons behind the offer declines, Hortikar believes that the market today is being driven by the buyers (the hirees), given the sharp increase in hiring over the last few months. She indicated how the COVID-19 outbreak led to a pause on hiring and as the situation got better in the IT space, jobs in the sector shot up, with people having more opportunities to choose from.

Stressing on the gravity of the situation, she added, “even if people do not want to look for alternatives or have multiple job offers, there is a lot of peer pressure and pressure from family to go and look for more and better jobs or to somebody who pays you more. So people, in general, have become very panicky.” She also opined that people today are not concerned with ‘long term benefits’ and there is a lot of ‘shortsightedness’ when it comes to career aspirations, ultimately contributing to declining in offers. 

Rajarathnam concurred with the perspective that demand for talent in the IT industry has shifted dramatically and so has the drop-out rate during the hiring process?  He expressed his concern over the interview to offer a join ratio, which has been impacted significantly in the post-pandemic era. He also pointed out that while the pipeline utilisation has become much easier, the candidates have become much more vocal about their demands of working from home, not willing to move to a different city for work, salary and pay hike expectations. Not only that, candidates are also actively curious about the prospect of career progression in their jobs and how their competencies would be put to use by the companies. 

Speaking of the mindset of job seekers, he said, “It’s about convenience. It’s about am I getting paid for what I am going to do, from where I am going to work and to the aspiration I want to pursue? So it’s all the four linked together that drives the acceptability of a candidate into an offer.”

According to Rajarathnam, the effort of the recruiters has increased as compared to pre-covid times, and amongst many other skills, expertise in digital technology is a hot skill that recruiters are looking forward to these days, as we are moving towards digital transformation.

While bringing up the readiness of recruiters to cope up with the evolved virtual hiring ecosystem, Satyan said, “there is demand and it has been on a virtual mode. So, we are facing two problems at the same time. So, the question is how many organizations are prepared for this onslaught in a newly changed format.”

He also added that based on a survey conducted among mid to large customer companies, it was found that only 15% of them had increased recruiter count. Only 15% of the companies had invested to expand their recruiting teams. The remaining 85% said they were not well equipped yet and were taking more effort to hire talent. More time taken to find talent meant they did not have enough upskilling to adapt to new models. According to Mr. Satyan, the state of unpreparedness, unpredictability and continuation of same legacy tools cost the companies when it comes to hiring talent. 

It was also pointed out in the session that companies did not get enough time to tweak old processes to function in the post pandemic era, which is concerning and needs attention.

Role of technology in curbing offer declines

Rajarathnam believes that technology must be leveraged to get a pulse of how well we are able to engage potential candidates throughout the talent acquisition process. From a hi-tech perspective, tools must be used qualitatively throughout the interview process from multiple relevant standpoints.

Hortikar views technology as an ‘enabler’ in the hiring process and proposed that the ‘candidate experience’ should be the centerpiece of the recruitment process in companies. She suggested that we must use technology at every stage of the hiring process - from sourcing to pre-screening to interviewing to collecting feedback, and automate all the low-end tasks allowing recruiters with enough time to engage with candidates, which would lead to reduction in offer declines.

Satyan also remarked that demand has made candidates the decision maker. He suggested that we must invest in enhancing candidate relationships, as we do for our customers and that we must use technology to increase the team’s bandwidth so that they can focus on engaging with the cadidiate throughout the hiring process.  

Hyreo aims at providing ‘customer-like’ candidate experiences. Designed for modern millennial and Gen-Z candidates, Hyreo’s solution helps you provide 24X7 candidate support, automate candidate engagement, understand candidate pulse and predict their propensity to join. Some of the biggest names in IT saw 10% reduction in offer decline rate after using Hyreo. Get a demo.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition

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