We are living in a completely different world these days. Covid-19 and the global pandemic has altered our entire lives on a daily basis, with many people furloughed, out of work, or habits changed to working from home as we all try to limit contact with people outside of our households and to social distance when we do leave the house to go to shops etc. One area that has not had much press is the area of recruitment and the impact that the pandemic and lockdown has had on this sector. Recruitment is still going on for many industries, even those currently closed, and with more people than ever working from home there is a real chance to change the way that we all work, forever.
The biggest impact on recruitment is that with everything shut down, how do interviews now work? Many of us that are in work have found that we have quickly had to get used to working remotely, using Windows Teams or Google Hangouts to stay in touch with colleagues and management, with weekly video meetings on Zoom, and this is exactly the same for the professional recruitment sector. There are still roles that require filling, but now candidates must be willing to have an interview virtually, which can be even more daunting than meeting face-to-face in some cases.
A virtual interview makes it a little bit more difficult to make a genuine connection, plus there is the worry of unstable internet connections at either end, or people working from home where there isn’t enough space or a quiet area to speak to a potential employer, as their kids are in the background or other family members who are also working from home. If these factors cause problems, it might be better to move the interview to a telephone interview instead of a video interview.
If you are conducting virtual interviews over video think about how to make the process as relaxed and efficient as possible for the candidate, as they are likely to be more nervous than in a usual setting.
Have the following in mind:
- Show empathy to the candidate and make the interview more conversational where you can.
- Be fully prepared in advance, ready to fill the 30-minutes (or whatever time limit you have set) and be fully present from the second the candidate appears on the screen.
- Offer a faster solution than under normal circumstances, discussing potential next steps if you are impressed with the candidate there and then.
A good recruitment agency keeps abreast of all the information from a government level and right through the different sectors and industries that they serve. With this in mind, whether you are a jobseeker or an employer looking to fill vacant roles or readjust due to the pandemic and bring on board a remote team of employees to work from home, you need to look towards these specialist recruitment agencies to help you get to where you want to be. The pandemic and lockdown has made many things uneasy and difficult, and completely unrecognisable from just a few short months ago but it doesn’t have to change a positive and proactive approach to recruitment in every industry.