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University of Silesia in Katowice

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“Recruitment and selection of employees in the era of pandemic” | Report of UŚ scientists

21.12.2021 - 10:08 update 22.12.2021 - 09:48
Editors: wcyg
Tags: business, business, cyfryzacja, digitisation, pandemia, pandemic

| Angelika M. Pabian, PhD |

Digitisation is a progressive process that is gradually becoming a determinant of the direction of economic development in Poland. Digital transformation generates many opportunities, but also shows a lot of threats resulting from both the complexity of the process of implementing new solutions, and the effects of automation in various areas of human activity.

The challenge of combining real-world and virtual reality processes is an important prerequisite for implementing innovative operational solutions. Above all, it shows the need to change business models that will correspond to the challenges of business entities operating on the principles of real and virtual market convergence.

The digital transformation allows for the implementation of organisational changes in many areas of the functioning of business entities, including relationship with clients (including the introduction of various innovative communication channels), operational processes (including recruitment and selection), and company functioning models. In addition, the increasingly important concept of industry 4.0 forces economic entities that want to be competitive, to a constant readiness to develop, understood as permanent openness to innovation and continuously motivated creativity.

The research that became the subject of the report entitled “Recruitment and selection of employees in the era of pandemic” prepared by scientists from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Silesia, was undertaken due to the nature of the market environment of business entities and the restrictions related to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Due to the pandemic, the implementation of certain solutions turned out to be the only chance of survival.

The aim of the survey conducted among employers from the Silesian Voivodeship was to obtain information on changes taking place on the labour market during the pandemic. It was especially important to collect a set of data on the demand for solutions such as: game-based testing, automatised interviews or the use of robo-recruiters, as well as data on the possibilities and limitations resulting from the implementation of relatively innovative solutions in Polish conditions.

Among the surveyed employers, every fifth representative of micro-organisations changed the requirements for candidates during the pandemic, putting more emphasis on digital competences. In turn, medium and large units declared a reduction in requirements in the recruitment process – 7.3% and 18.5% of respondents, respectively. On average, 50% of the employers stated that they use both contact and remote forms of recruitment and selection, arguing this with the possibility of full verification of the knowledge, skills and competences of the future employee. The most common methods were telephone calls (81.9%) and direct contact (66.3%).

In turn, modern communication channels, i.e. Meet, Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams, were appreciated by 55.4% of all respondents. Candidates were most often selected on the basis of CV analysis (94%), during an interview (90.4%), on the basis of the results of competency tests (37.5%) or work samples (27.9%). The least frequently used were game-based testing (2.9%) and gamification (1.9%). These two methods with the lowest level of respondents’ indications are most often declared by large organisations and those with foreign capital.

Employers confirmed that the changes that have taken place on the labour market since March 2020 are mainly the result of restrictions related to preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus. 47.2% of the respondents believed that these transformations were determined by the activities of bringing the organisation closer to the idea of industry 4.0. 21.2% of respondents took steps to modernise the organisation on their own initiative, and 26% admitted that it was a necessity. The least frequent changes in this area were declared by the smallest organisations – 3.7% in the analysed group of micro-entities.

The sensitivity of the surveyed organisations to innovations in the recruitment and selection of candidates is a factor that in the future may determine the implementation of modern solutions in the human resource management process, especially that financial barriers were not indicated by the respondents as the main reason for abandoning innovative activities. The latter were among the top three obstacles, obtaining 22.1% of respondents’ responses, however, they were replaced by concerns about the inability to verify the social predispositions of candidates (73.1%) or limiting the segment of potential employees to the representatives of the Y generation (38.5%). The period of the pandemic has shown that only economic entities that are able to adapt to functioning in the conditions of virtual reality can maintain the continuity of functioning.

The conducted research was to provide premises for the redefinition of business strategies. The collected data allowed for the formulation of recommendations for business entities – employers on the Silesian labour market – taking into account:

  • the most effective ways of searching and recruiting talents that determine the competitive strength of an individual,
  • adjusting automatised systems supporting recruitment processes,
  • employers’ online activity,
  • barriers of implementing e-recruitment tools,
  • sensitivity to innovative solutions corresponding to the idea of digitisation of the economy.

The report “Recruitment and selection of employees in the era of pandemic” comissioned by the Association Biznes – Nauka – Samorząd “Pro Silesia” and EUROPE DIRECT Silesia, was prepared by Angelika M. Pabian, PhD; Michał Ochwat, PhD, and Cyntia Kwiatkowska, BA from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Silesia. 

You can download the PDF document HERE.

Dziewczyna siedzi przed laptopem, na którym wyświetla się widok z kamer trzech osób, z którymi prowadzi konwersację

fot. Anna Shvets | Pexels

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