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3 Recruiting Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Kate Russell

July 20 2020 - The novel coronavirus halted the longest economic expansion in US history. The global pandemic suspended the long-standing candidate-driven market and instituted recruitment freezes.

US employers eliminated more than 700,000 jobs in March 2020, which raised the unemployment rate to more than 4% (4.4%) according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Companies have changed their operating practices given the economic downturn. In fact, only 13% of companies havenít changed their recruitment processes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Businesses can leverage remote recruitment trends to better navigate this period of uncertainty and prepare for a new normal.

1. Search Narrowly for New Talent

Businesses are likely to face restricted talent pools as fears of infection and financial restraints encourage local and internal candidate searches.

Public health guidelines compel companies to limit their searches for talent. Many businesses may need to cut advertisements for roles outside their local geographic regions as travel poses significant risk to public health.

Candidate pools may likely narrow to mitigate the costs and risks associated with flying a candidate on location. Businesses can prioritize local talent for their proximity. If an adequate candidate cannot be found locally, searches may then start to expand.

This method is a significant transition. Before the global pandemic, companies focused on filling their recruiting funnel with as many external candidates as possible. More than a quarter (28%) of talent professionals state internal candidates are an important source for filling vacancies.

This focus on outside candidates may shift long-term. To be socially and fiscally responsible, more than one-third (37%) of businesses implemented hiring freezes.

Instead, companies can focus on repurposing employees and hiring internally to fill talent gaps. This has an overall positive impact on businesses. A study cited by Harvard Business Review found that outside hires take three years to perform as well as internal hires in the same role.

The limitations on movement instituted by the coronavirus restructured candidate pools. This encourages businesses to shift their talent searches to local sources.

2. Use Video Conferencing for Job Interviews

Businesses should consider shifting the interview process online to pursue candidates during the global pandemic.

The majority of Americans (65%) remain under government regulations that restrict their movement. While 19 states reopened parts of their economies, many businesses may maintain remote operations to prioritize the health and safety of employees and candidates.

For the foreseeable future, recruiters should try to familiarize themselves with candidates through video conferences. The interview process can take to platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype, and BlueJeans.

Office scene


Software such as BlueJeans helps businesses conduct interviews safely and professionally during the pandemic. The transition to video interviews is unlikely to disappear as business travel becomes more obsolete as travel restrictions persist and more companies adopt conferencing software.

This new method may require recruiters to update their strategies to optimize these virtual engagements. As itís harder to build trust online, you may have to be more intentional in your process.

Video interviews may require a greater amount of preparedness in different areas. Itís important to establish procedures for interviews and share this information with candidates to streamline the experience.

You can reduce the chances of technical mishaps by testing the technologies before an interview. Inform candidates about your preferred platform to ensure theyíre prepared. This can promote the candidateís experience.

There are also additional considerations with virtual interviews. Video accompanies legal considerations that arenít associated with in-person interviews.

For example, you may want to record an interview in order to review the candidate later. However, you may need to obtain consent before you can record in many states.

Businesses should integrate virtual interviews into their recruitment practices to support talent acquisition in the long-term.

3. Move Onboarding Online

Businesses should develop remote onboarding strategies to fill vacancies for the foreseeable future.

After virtual interviews, an offer letter may lead a successful candidate to virtual onboarding. A virtual environment may require a change in management style.

You should adapt your management style to implement a successful onboarding process.

The onboarding process involves the development of relationships and personalization. In a remote environment, these tasks present particular challenges. Itís difficult to immerse a new candidate in the companyís culture if that culture dispersed across locations.

To help them feel a part of the team, youíll need to provide clear information and directives. Daily video conferences establish a point of connection to a companyís routine and a routine for new employees.

In lieu of in office bonding events, you can create online opportunities for new hires to bond with tenured colleagues. This can build culture into your onboarding process. The greater the number of opportunities a new employee has to engage with their teammates, the quicker they integrate into the team.

Businesses should adapt onboarding to fit the requirements and to satisfy the considerations of a remote environment.

Embrace Digital Recruitment Methods

Businesses can expect virtual alternatives to in person engagements to persist beyond a successful flattening of the curve.

Searches for talent narrow in response to public health measures. Businesses can highlight local and internal candidates to prioritize safety and fill roles.

Video interviews will remain popular post-pandemic. The software enables businesses to pursue talented candidates safely and reduce costs associated with travel.

Businesses can also leverage video conferencing software to develop effective onboarding procedures that integrate new employees into your companyís culture in a remote setting.

About the Author

Kate Russell is an Editorial Associate for Clutch - an Inc. 1000 private company that helps decision-makers determine the best B2B service providers to solve business challenges. She is also an HR research and content lead.

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