Recruiting in a COVID world makes this key business process more challenging than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the operations of businesses across the world. FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) brands have had to increase their staff to cater to the growing demand while the sale of luxury products has gone down.

The pandemic has also changed how companies manage their talent and hire new individuals. Remote work and flexible work arrangements have become the norm. This flexibility has also been extended into how companies are now recruiting. Unemployment is high while attracting needed talent for available jobs remains difficult.  For most, there are significant limitations for interviewing in person.  As a result, hiring managers have drastically changed their approach.

Use of virtual (video) interviewing

With a COVID world characterized by social distancing and home isolation, hiring managers have turned towards conducting the entire recruiting process online. This is where virtual or video interviews come into play. Conduct preliminary shortlisting, perhaps using phone screening or tools available with Job Boards, and any applicable online assessment tests. Then, interview final candidates using one of a variety of video platforms that are available. Review various options and choose one that works well for both you and the candidate.  While this seems simple, hiring managers must be aware of certain considerations to make a successful hire.

One crucial thing that you should look out for is red flags in the candidate. This is something hiring managers are used to doing during an in-person interview but requires a bit more skill during virtual interviewing.

  • Are they constantly avoiding a question or going about it in circles?
  • Have they mentioned something on their resume which they aren’t able to explain?
  • Do they seem dismissive of a question?
  • How well are they dressed for the job interview?
  • Do they present themselves well?

Addressing crucial job concerns

Here are the most important concerns you need to address when interviewing a job candidate given the current environment.

  • Would I need to come to the office daily?
  • What are the safety precautions being undertaken in the office?
  • Does the company offer flexible work arrangements?
  • Will my joining date be postponed in case I contract the virus?
  • Can I choose to work mostly from home?
  • Will my salary be affected if I wish to do remote work?

Best practices for successful hiring

The one thing that hiring managers need to do is be very transparent and honest about the hiring process as well as the job role. Job search during a pandemic has been extremely stressful for candidates. As a result, it is good practice to address their uncertainties honestly. Let them know how their day would look like if working from home or periodically from the office, and clearly explain all flexible work arrangements.

When it comes to conducting the interview, ensure that your Internet connection is strong. If the candidate’s connection isn’t good, be prepared for this and use an alternate method to conduct the interview. Not everyone has high-speed connectivity at their homes, and they shouldn’t be penalized for that. Make the candidate feel comfortable and look into the camera when speaking to them.

Other resources for hiring

We recommend two important resources to use when recruiting. First, use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to manage candidates and applications for available jobs.  This helps you save time and boost productivity. Second, consider outsourcing the hiring work to a staffing company like The Resource Connection (TRC) which serves  the greater Boston area. They match help you find quality talent and the best candidate to the job.

You might also find this post helpful as well: How to Choose the Best Candidate for Your Job