On 14 December 2020, the EM Normandie Business School Skills, Employability and HR Decision-Making Chair, directed by Jean Pralong, Professor of digital HR and career management, published a study on recruitment since the health crisis, entitled “Employer branding: game over? The impact of the Covid crisis on the content of job advertisements and sourcing strategies.”
The study compares the semantic content of job advertisements prior to and since the pandemic in relation to three kinds of job roles (IT developers, accountants and sales staff in shops). 446,552 advertisements were collected and analysed for the study, using Big Data and artificial intelligence tools. This is the first time an HR study has taken advantage of the opportunity afforded by this type of new tool.
Each advertisement was given a score based on attractiveness (emphasis on presenting the company) and a score based on selectivity (emphasis on selection criteria).
Before the crisis, finding candidates was a challenge faced by all recruiters for all roles. Highlighting the strengths of the company and keeping the job requirements in moderation were amongst the strategies used to write convincing advertisements.
Segmentation of the job market?
The crisis seems to have brought about a change in procedure. Since Covid-19, the anticipated number of candidates to process has resulted in providing different content in job advertisements and, subsequently, segmentation amongst candidates. When candidates sought are considered rare (IT developers), recruiters balance attractiveness and selection criteria. However, when there is a large number of applications (accountants and sales staff), companies focus less on the attraction factor and more on selection strategy. Efforts to attract and highlight employer branding are reduced, for they no longer seem as necessary.
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