by Stephen Shefsky

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic this past spring, over 40 million Americans were left unemployed. This period of crisis is expediting very necessary technological innovations in the way companies hire.

As of October 2nd, 12.6 million Americans remain unemployed. Human Resource departments remain at the forefront of these seismic workforce shifts, from dealing with the aftermath of massive layoffs to spearheading organizational restructuring followed (hopefully) by managing a recovery process that will see companies rehiring and restructuring.

Many Companies must now consider the transition to a more remote workforce, and how best to onboard new employees at times without ever meeting them in person before they are hired.

As with many things, COVID-19 is speeding up processes that were already underway, but reimagining how talent acquisition and management are conducted is more prescient now than it’s ever been.

Imagine this scenario – You are the CEO of a company with 10 offices across the country. Your D.C. office needs someone with finance skills. You know that none of your current D.C.-based employees possess those particular skills. Before looking for an outside hire, you want to see if anyone at your other offices have the skills required for the position and are willing to relocate.

How long will such a process take? What are the costs – both fiscal and in terms of human capital – associated with such an exercise?

These are the types of scenarios that my company, tilr Corporation, has been paying attention to for years. Tilr ‘skill matching’ technology enables ‘instant hiring’ by pre-matching registered workers’ skills with companies’ requirements. Our ‘skill mapping’ tool is an enterprise-internal workforce management solution that allows companies to understand where their talent currently lies and to optimize how human capital is deployed. Both lead to a decrease in ongoing recruitment costs.

Hiring based on the currency of skills is also paramount today when considering outside hires. We are hopeful that economic recovery continues, but even so, the unfortunate reality is that some positions (the Washington Post cites up to 40% of those lost) will never come back. There are folks with transferable skills presently unemployed or furloughed who will make great candidates for real-time employment elsewhere. But how are they found?

Today, resume databases and key-word search technology dominate the recruitment landscape, but they are costly and inefficient mechanisms that rarely produce the optimal match.

It is now time the HR community focuses on a person’s skill-set and experiences, rather than just their previous job titles or academic degrees. From the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board’s recent push behind skills over job titles to the recently enacted U.S. Upskilling and Retraining Assistance Act, policy-makers ‘get’ the notion that recruiting on skills offers an agnostic measuring stick that gives everyone a fair shake when it comes to the recruitment process. This is why tilr’s technology is dedicated to connecting job seekers to companies through its unbiased ‘skill matching’ technology; because people need an equal opportunity to succeed amidst adversity now more than ever.

Well before any of us knew what 2020 had in store, the process of reimagining talent acquisition and talent management was well underway and technology continually evolves to streamline that process. 

The HR Departments that equip themselves with the resources for constant adaptation, and are early adopters of a new mindset towards the potential and management of talent will be the winners of this brave new world.    

Stephen Shefksy is the Co-Founder and CEO at tilr (, an artificial intelligence-driven, ‘Skill Matching and Skill Mapping’, patent-pending hiring platform that automates the recruitment process by using skills to connect companies with job seekers, enhancing workers’ lives and companies’ bottom lines. The views expressed are his own.