Recruiting Enablement Blog



Adapting Recruitment Practices in the Face of a Global Pandemic

Charles Hipps March 31, 2020

In a matter of weeks, if not days, the Coronavirus has dramatically changed how businesses operate. 

With virtual meetings and working from home the new normal for millions of people,  every business function is being asked to adapt how it operates, in an environment of significant uncertainty. 

In a recent informal poll of 70 enterprise Talent Acquisition leaders:

  • 25% said Covid-19 had not impacted recruiting plans
  • 61% said it had slowed their pace of recruiting
  • 14% said they had paused recruiting 

And then there are the organisations who are experiencing a surge in business as a result of the current situation. For instance, Amazon and Walmart each announced a raise in their minimum wage and plans to hire over 100,000 more workers each. British supermarkets have also gone on a hiring spree as demand surges as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Albert Einstein famously said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” In today’s highly changeable economic environment, it’s time to rethink or even forget traditional recruiting tactics, and to adapt new techniques to turn difficulty into opportunity. 

Virtual Interviews

Google Trends shows a hockey stick curve starting in early March on the search term “virtual meeting.” Similarly, the term “virtual interview” began spiking in the second week of March. It may be as simple as replacing your in person interview with a virtual meeting link from Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout, Zoom Meeting, or another of the myriad of virtual meeting software. Or, it may be creating pre-recorded video interview questions, and asking candidates to respond to them, such as with tools like HireVue, LaunchPad, or Cammio. Either way, you are engaging with candidates in a new way. It’s the new norm, and you need to adapt your recruiting practices. If you have been doing this piecemeal, now it’s the full meal.   

Candidate Engagement

This raises the second challenge -- and opportunity. When hiring candidates through a completely virtual process, it’s even more critical to find ways to engage them and maintain -- and even increase -- their interest:

  • Feature your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) prominently, including examples of how your organisation is demonstrating its commitment to its employees welfare and wellbeing in the face of uncertainty. 
  • Create content that is tailored to candidates based on their role, gender, location, stage in the recruiting process, or other attributes. Highly relevant and fine-tuned content will achieve more engaged candidates.
  • Replace onsite recruiting or career events with live and recorded webinars -- and make those recordings available to candidates at key points in their recruiting journey. 
  • Allow recruiters to get creative with their own content pages, embedding “shaky cam” videos that develop rapport with candidates at scale.

Overall, don’t attempt to broadcast everything that needs to be said in one go. Instead, create a campaign around it. Deliver step-by-step content and trust the audience to absorb and process it in their own time. Keep people engaged by issuing the relevant content in segments, with a variety of bitesize formats, emotive storytelling and videos, and laser-focused content.

Critical Hires and Redeployment

Leadership teams around the world are actively focused on redefining their business strategies, go-to-market plans, and how they operate in today’s suddenly new environment. Recruiting needs to be prepared to change up it’s processes and react with speed. Possibly never before has it been worse (and more costly) to have an inflexible, one-size-fits all recruiting process or to operate in spreadsheets. Instead, look for Recruiting Enablement technology that will let you:

  • Create and automate recruiting processes that are specific to the role, candidate-type, or location, to name a few examples. For example, for positions that are business critical, leverage analytics-based technology to score and fast-track key candidates. Even in an economic slowdown, competition for top candidates will be tough.  
  • When redeploying or internally hiring for roles, create processes that fast track candidates and remove admin overhead for recruiters. For instance, when seasonal hiring, Marks & Spencer automates the processing of return workers: workers who are returning get automatically moved from application to job offer in 15 minutes. 
  • Keep nurturing your candidates, even during hiring freezes. For instance, use bulk processes to move candidates to workflows that keep nurture them, protecting the original employer brand-candidate relationship.

It is fair to say that Covid-19 will change how many companies operate -- not only in the coming weeks, but forever. Now is your opportunity to make this unique and difficult time your defining moment: connect with and engage candidates in new ways, empower your recruiting teams to experiment and try something new, and find the silver lining.

how to make talent acquisition more powerful whitepaper