What Should Be Top Priority in Hiring? Vaccine Passport, Travel Insurance or Automation of Recruitment Processes

How is HR tapping technology to recruit the right talent for the job? Is a more advanced system even needed beyond the usual automated processing of applicants? 

The pandemic has certainly made companies find new ways of hiring online; some are doing away with any printed paperwork — paperless, so to speak. Others are planning way ahead with augmented reality. How they’re going to use it is still up in the air. Still some see a middleground and the most urgent one right now — a digitized documentation of your current health status — a vaccine passport.

Gearing up for future of recruitment

HR is gearing up for a more technological future in recruitment. Screening of applicants will be more automated. For example, employers can choose to have quizzes for job applicants to answer on the Indeed job board. 

Even employers who have HR and global mobility professionals taking care of their employees may resort to sending out the same set of questions to applicants and from there, determine the talents to hire based on their responses or answers.

But for all the technological adjustments and Zoom bashing of employees, the more sensitive topic these past few days have been the talk of a vaccine passport. It is foreseen to sow more political divisiveness because it deals with privacy issues and fear of possible health data exposure. 

What is a vaccine passport? A vaccine passport, whether it comes in printed or digital form, is a documentation proving that one has been vaccinated against Covid-19. In the 1930s up to the 1950s, and even much later in certain countries, it was common to carry documentation against various diseases prevalent at the time, such as smallpox and polio. To think that this was so commonplace in the past and yet people are resentful of it speaks to the climate of the times.

But for those who are open to it and they have tested negative for the virus, having a vaccine passport would mean they would be able to travel more, with fewer restrictions than those who don’t have one unless everyone is required to have it. If imposed on everybody, though, this would certainly become a hotly contested issue like the wearing of masks. 

Naturally, various sectors affected the most by the virus are pushing for its development, whether it comes in the form of an app or part of your digital wallet, in order to save their flagging business such as the airline and hospitality industries. 

In fact, Emirates is set to start using a digital travel pass developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as reported by the New York Times. It has been reported that IATA has been developing digital solutions to make travel credentialing more streamlined.

Digital vaccine passport

For those who oppose such digital vaccine credentialing, they may not have a choice if the country they are going to requires it. Some countries are exploring it seriously while it may take some time for it to be implemented in the United States. 

Foreign assignees and expats would do well to prepare for such an eventuality. If they oppose this requirement, not only will they have no choice but to stay put where they are for job placement but they may not be able to travel even for vacations. 

So far, though the White House has ruled out requiring a federal vaccine passport. But it remains to be seen if other countries or airlines like Emirates will eventually require it.

While this issue rages on every day, global mobility professionals are looking to revise work policies, with HR looking to tap automation processes even more in hiring. Technology helps employers keep up with employee and candidate expectations, and Covid-19 has accelerated the creation and adoption of recruiting automating tools.

Cameras on phones and computers have also made it easy for HR professionals to conduct live tours of their office. They also make use of interactive podcasts, if not using virtual conference software, for employee training and onboarding.

Basics first before augmented reality

Similar to how cameras work but more advanced, some are hoping to see augmented reality, virtual reality and holographic technologies part of their work life in the future. It’s a stretch for now, but the pandemic may speed up innovation in these types of interactions.

Before all these new initiatives come into play, the most important thing HR and global mobility professionals should reevaluate is travel insurance. (Dennis Clemente)