Change: It’s been the one constant throughout the business world’s response to COVID-19. As talent acquisition emerges from the world’s most severe period of pandemic-related workplace upheaval to date, job seekers and employers are facing changes big and small, requested and required. As a result, leadership has hiring challenges to solve and talent acquisition strategies to build.

So how do TA and recruiting successfully position themselves to meet the next normal? When facing changes ahead, leadership must continue to embrace innovative thinking and solutions to build a better world of hiring. But how do we take this concept into reality? 

Here, we take a close look at how two companies crafted an elegant solution to solve a pandemic-driven hiring challenge. 

Defining elegant solutions for the next normal

Carmen Bryant, U.S. Director of Marketing at Indeed, first thought of “elegant solutions” in a general sense.

“The ‘elegant solution’ concept has its origins in science, engineering and math and generally refers to those rare moments when innovation, art and science come together to create something simple and unique,” Bryant explains. “In mathematics and physics, the term indicates an answer to a problem that is correct and efficient but also pleasing to contemplate.” 

But the changes and challenges of the past months pushed Bryant to consider how these intersections — art and science, creativity and math, magic and metrics — play out in the sphere of talent acquisition:

Solving a classic pandemic hiring challenge

Practically speaking, how do we apply this concept of an elegant solution to today’s talent acquisition needs? To provide a real-world example, Bryant takes us back to the pandemic’s height to parse a hiring challenge involving one of America’s largest grocery store chains:

How many people do you need to hire?

During those early pandemic months, grocery stores and supermarkets across the U.S. were experiencing upheavals. In only one month, Bryant says, consumer demand for Albertsons Companies’ services increased dramatically, and as a result, they needed immediate help: keeping pace with stocking required two times the staff in distribution centers; implementing new sanitization protocols meant upgrading cleaning; and expanding stocking, curbside and delivery frontline teams was crucial. To calculate their hiring needs, Albertsons Companies’ talent acquisition team used internal data to estimate in-house time involved and came to a conclusion that revealed just how much work there was to do:

Leveraging trusted partnerships to build solutions

At this time, Indeed was also initiating its own response to the pandemic. Some 10,000 global employees were moved overnight from their communal offices to work from home. And like so many other companies rethinking work at this time, Indeed had instigated a hiring pause. Albertsons Companies decided to investigate whether expanding their existing Indeed services could assist with their burgeoning workforce needs.

The timing provided a perfect intersection of leveraging partnerships, utilizing data and analytics and harnessing automation, and both businesses were perfectly poised to explore an elegant solution — one involving Indeed’s available TA workforce and resolving Albertsons Companies’ unprecedented hiring challenges. Indeed’s internal talent acquisition team took over hiring for Albertsons Companies corporate roles and assisted in processing all new hires and onboarding them into their system. Bryant explains this unique solution and reveals the end results that exceeded expectations:

How will you build your own elegant solutions?

In a business environment where 41% of global employers believe that the way we work will be forever changed by the pandemic, talent acquisition will need new solutions that address resulting hiring challenges. Drawing from Albertsons Companies’ and Indeed’s experience, Bryant has three closing questions for today’s talent acquisition:

Whatever your industry, pandemic-driven change has certainly touched your business. As you strategize for tomorrow, rethinking work and your company’s hiring processes and procedures in the next normal, make sure to include room for innovative thinking and your own elegant solutions for the future of talent acquisition.