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Reflections on 2020: How Hardships Led to HR and Hiring Innovations

It’s safe to say 2020 was unprecedented for all industries, and HR professionals are no exception. In modern history, only the 2008 financial crisis compares in terms of businesses being thrown into uncharted territory almost overnight.

Similar to the events of last year, the financial crisis created widespread uncertainty in the economy and caused an economic collapse. It forced us to be creative, hone our skills, and figure out how to be better once the storm had passed.

There are many similarities between these two cataclysmic events, but there are also important differences. The shock to the global economy due to the pandemic has been significantly more severe and come much faster; in 2008, the effects took years to play out. But the most significant difference relates to how and where we work.

When everyone but essential workers could no longer go into physical offices to work, companies had to shift suddenly from on-site to off-site working arrangements. This overnight change resulted in major HR challenges, but the outcomes have been incredibly positive. 

Leaders have continued learning from these challenges and putting those lessons to good use. The pandemic forced businesses to look outside the box and sometimes take drastic steps to keep things afloat amid unanticipated conditions and uncharted territory. As a result of these challenges, these same companies are uniquely positioned to build on these experiences in the months and years ahead.

Positioned for the Years Ahead

These changes are already playing out in several sectors. In the banking industry, for example, risk management teams have had to work to keep up with credit risk and payment management. Some companies have taken notes from big finance and are developing automated underwriting services to help retailers and small business customers reduce their losses.

Similarly, the healthcare industry has seen some potential long-term benefits of being forced to innovate so quickly. Telehealth (i.e., connecting with a physician by audio and video) is on the rise due to COVID-19. The success and potential cost savings of this form of meeting with medical professionals have caused a reimagining of how healthcare will be offered in the future.

For HR professionals, the pandemic has created an undeniable need to invest in nontraditional HR tech tools and infrastructure that enable employees to work remotely. This necessary innovation and transformation have provided a catalyst for HR leaders to reevaluate how other HR services are administered. Ultimately, some of these incredible changes might not have happened for decades had it not been for the pandemic.

Innovations in Pre-Employment Testing in 2020

One of the biggest shifts and HR challenges of 2020 came in determining how to leverage technology in the hiring process. For instance, one of the key elements of the hiring process for many companies involves pre-employment testing. When the pandemic restricted in-person interactions, the HR world had to adjust how it approached testing.

The solution for many companies and HR professionals? Cloud-based pre-employment testing.

As an example, one of our clients had to transition to an online testing model to accommodate the increasing demand for office and clerical staff. This client needed remote pre-employment testing capabilities, and it’s now able to test remotely using our online platform. Because the company was agile and implemented this new way of doing things, it has been able to navigate the pandemic quite well — and set itself up to approach hiring differently in the future. 

COVID-19 forced countless companies to reevaluate the way they conducted pre-employment testing in the blink of an eye. As 2021 sees ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic, there has never been more of a need for online testing tools in the hiring process.

Our platform, TestGenius Online, enables companies to conduct their pre-employment tests remotely in a way that is both safe and seamless. To learn more, reach out today.