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The Post-COVID War for Talent and International Hires

May 19, 2021 | Business, Remote Work

Immediately before the pandemic began, the business world was acutely focused on the War for Talent. Over the last ten years, industry has grown beyond the workforce itself, changing the balance of supply and demand. There just aren’t enough working adults to fill all the roles being created or vacated in the current business market. The massive population of professional Boomers is retiring, thus, leaving more jobs than can be filled.

The war conducted in alluring employee perks, company cultures, and more personalized employment models ensued. As winning great employees became the focus, the competition was steep between businesses for the best talent to fill each empty role. During this time, international hiring also expanded so that each individual business could reach a greater talent pool.

But then the pandemic hit. Millions were laid off as teams shrunk and unprepared businesses closed. Millions more were sent to work from home with varying levels of success and satisfaction. More than 100,000 businesses went out of business while new brands popped up to fill new pandemic-demand niches.

So, what has the pandemic workforce impact done to the War for Talent?

The Big Scramble – COVID Changes the Landscape in the War for Talent

What the pandemic did was displace millions of professionals from their previous roles. Some were laid off, some worked for companies that went under. Many professionals are simply dissatisfied with how their employer has handled the new-normal in staff management. This has completely scrambled the workforce landscape in terms of those who are currently locked into a good job and those who are job-hunting and available.

The number of people currently looking for a new role that suits their needs has skyrocketed. Those who lost jobs or remain furloughed still seek new paying roles. Those currently employed may still be on the job-hunt for a role that better suits their Post-COVID needs and preferences. Right now is an ideal time for businesses 

The Math Still Spells “Talent War”

Of course, this sudden flood of available professionals on the job market has not actually changed the equation. When all the hiring shakes out among companies adapted to the new-normal, we will still find that there are not enough skilled professionals to fill the roles. Industries during the pandemic have not shrunk so far that this equation has changed and in some industries, demand has lept upward again to exceed the number of professionals available to fill each skilled role.

In other words, the war for talent is still on. Especially when you consider that many top professionals are less likely to have been jostled by the workforce scramble. People in management and leadership positions were more likely to make a smooth transition to working from home and have the funds to build a satisfactory home office. Right now, competition for ‘top’ talent still exists even with much of the workforce scrambled and job-hunting.

Expect a Post-COVID Hiring Frenzy

As companies recover from the pandemic and adapt to ‘new normal’ policies, hiring is picking up speed. The more companies recover, the more they will increase hiring to fill new roles. This unexpected temporary glut of available professionals in the workforce to last in the face of the Post-COVID hiring frenzy. 

As the market shakes out, we will see a similar ratio with not enough skilled people. So expect an intense wave of hiring that will immediately resume the ‘warlike’ competition for the best talent and, in some cases, any talent that can fill specific roles.

International Hires Broaden the Horizon

As the competition for professional hires increases, so too will interest in international hires. Expanding across nearby borders and across the globe will broaden your hiring horizons. You will gain access to professionals with the skills you need in distant and separate job markets. Because each nation has its own internal balance of workforce and hiring demand, you may even tap into a hidden well of great hires that your domestic-only competition doesn’t have access to.

Remote Work Simplifies International Hiring

The one major pandemic-era change in business practices has been remote work. With millions sent to work from home for their own safety, remote work has become a permanent part of the “new normal”. The good news for companies in competition for talent is that international hiring just got a lot easier. Businesses and industries that once insisted upon on-site work now have remote work infrastructure in place. This allows you to recruit and hire international talent without necessarily setting up a foreign office location or relocating hires to your country.

In the post-COVID war for talent, this means that international hires are a better idea than ever before. Your business gains the ability to tap into foreign talent pools but without a necessary obligation to relocate your international hires or open international locations.


The war for talent is hardly over, but we are in an unusual lull between the scramble and the end of the hiring frenzy. Now is the ideal time to scoop up the best talent set adrift by the pandemic, both domestic and international, before the competition beats you to the punch. Contact us today to learn how to incorporate international talent into your post-COVID hiring strategies.

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