Date Published: 30th March 2020

Recruitment and hiring during COVID-19; how it is changing the process


Recruitment and hiring during COVID-19; how it is changing the process

Many companies that are still hiring during the pandemic are doing so but differently to normal. From the way, companies are looking for talent, to the interview and onboarding process. Social distancing is impacting recruiting in different ways and will depend on your industry to how much.

“Some sectors have been obliterated, like hospitality and travel,” says Arran Stewart, co-founder and chief visionary officer for the automated job-matching site “Conversely to that, some are absolutely booming. Logistics and healthcare workers are in huge demand as are certain retail workers, like supermarkets.”


Candidate pool

The first thing changing is how companies are looking for talent. Due to social distancing, a lot of companies have opted to look locally or limited geographical search. Atta Tarki, author of Evidence-Based Recruiting and CEO of the specialized executive search firm ECA says; “They look locally first, focusing on their city rather than flying someone in. If they can’t find someone, they’ll slowly widen the search.”

Social distancing can have its positives. Several companies are putting a freeze on external hiring. In turn, more internal promotions and job opportunities should be available.

Also, contractors and temporary employees should see the benefits as many companies are using them to fill the gap. With more permanent roles being put on hold, filling interim roles instead.


Interview process

The second thing to change is interviews, going from face-to-face to video platforms like Zoom. Face-to-face interviews have pretty much disappeared, and everyone is adjusting fine with this. In some cases, companies with colleagues in other cities are being asked to hold an interview with candidates. People, of course, are meeting in a more spacious environment.

How companies are adapting in this pandemic is a clue to its culture. How flexible a company can be and how it treats its employees will should what kind of company they are and what their values are. The biggest question to people switching jobs is how well their new company will reason if something comes up. By accommodating different levels of comfort, companies aren’t just saying they have good culture and values, they are showing it.


Onboarding process

The last change is how companies are changing their onboard process. Once the candidate is hired, the onboard process will need to become virtual too. The biggest change to this is the management style. When dealing with a remote team it can be challenging. Trying to manage emotions and team bonding day-to-day. Onboarding is a personal aspect; how can you make this new person feel included within a remote team?

Some companies are using VR to show a tour of facilities. Some are using platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to introduce them to the rest of the team. It is important to check in with your team regularly.


Will there be long-term changes?

Remote working changed for a lot of people overnight and was a quick process everyone had to adjust to. Pretty much everyone has adjusted making it believable that this might become a permanent style of work. Previously a study found that 44% of companies wouldn’t allow remote working. Now we must, it shows that companies are able to accommodate for this. Making it a large shift with how we work, interview and hire. Remote working requires a high level of trust and management.

Companies will see that employees can be productive at home. Also, it might trigger a lot of places to realise they do not need huge offices or the pressure to create an engaging environment. Especially if they are receiving the same level of productivity.

It is a long journey; some companies will be able to be flexible and flourish in this new way of working. Unfortunately, it will be other companies downfall. In the next 12 months, the recruiting landscape will be very different.


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