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6 Months In: The Silver Linings of a Global Pandemic

Throughout this pandemic, and during a time of international slowdown, the recruiting field has seen an acceleration and expansion. Before March, the industry had been crawling towards incorporating more virtual solutions for some time, but COVID-19 sent everything into warp-speed. In weeks flat we found ourselves in a completely online landscape. In order to adjust to indefinite remote work, the need for virtual solutions has increased, and hiring teams find themselves looking for new ways to engage talent in an authentic way. Beyond the tools, the opportunity landscape itself as expanded to include candidates, and companies, that may have been out of view in 2019. 

It turns out that this abrupt shift has been a good thing. Though technical difficulties, endless webinars, awkward frozen poses, cheesy virtual backgrounds, and other growing pains didn’t make for the smoothest transition, this change has helped the industry make progress towards leveling the playing field. Being forced out of school-based, location-based, and referral-based hiring techniques has created the opportunity to build a more just system overall, and on the double. That’s not to say that the pandemic alone has made this more inclusive future a reality, but the opportunity is there for the taking. In fact, this developing landscape isn’t only a possible boon for previously overlooked candidates: employers that may have been previously overlooked have a greater opportunity to compete with bigger brands. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion roles have increased by 71% over the past 5 years, and through this increased demand for diverse workforces, the power dynamics between candidates and hiring teams have shifted. Unfortunately, hiring practices have been slow to catch up for one primary reason: inclusion has historically been about spaces. Black spaces vs. white spaces; poor spaces vs. affluent spaces; Ivies vs. community colleges; degrees vs. self-taught journeys.

Jumpstart’s mission has always been to make recruiting fair for all by leveling the playing field, and democratizing access to opportunities. Well, this is what we were talking about: with one extensive and inclusive profile, now any candidate can be equally considered by the most innovative companies for the most competitive roles. And with all companies recruiting virtually now and into the future, there's a greater chance of discovering a candidate on platform than of flying to their school or city and picking up a resume in person. Our Diversity Trend Report 2020 showed that Jumpstart is effective in facilitating more inclusive and diverse talent pools; it also showed that hiring practices are still biased, and that we have a long way to go. 

With the 6 month milestone of American Shelter in Place approaching, we invite you to consider the positives that have come out of this global shifting of gears: when everyone gets their chance to shine, every candidate can find their path; with diverse perspectives come stronger teams; in uplifting all voices, we create stronger countries. For recruiting teams, now is your chance to show off your unique value and compete against the household names. The right fit is out there for you, too, and it’s easier than ever to find them. We have all known for decades that the internet can be a great equalizer if we let it; COVID-19 may have forced our hand, but this new, and more equitable virtual world is our silver lining. 

If you’re interested in learning more about what Jumpstart can do to help you evolve your virtual recruiting practices and diversify your pipeline, get in touch with us.

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