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Recruitment marches on: Overcoming hiring challenges during the Coronavirus crisis

  • Publish Date: Posted about 4 years ago
  • Author:by MERJE

Government guidance on furloughs, working from home, social distancing and self-isolation are all reasons why many organisations are contemplating freezing their recruitment strategies during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Face-to-face meetings and entering a new workplace are now impossible following the recent lockdown announcement but this does not mean that hiring decisions should be put on hold.

Instead, new strategies need to be devised to navigate around the currently redundant interview and onboarding processes which were once the norm.

The good news is that, with some thought and planning, these changes are straightforward to implement. Here, we provide several ways to overcome your current challenges, while ensuring a seamless process of identifying, interviewing and onboarding talented professionals to your team. This will enable you to weather the storm and operate a business as usual policy during these testing times.

Video interviews

A quick and easy way to replicate face-to-face interviews is by taking advantage of the many video platforms available, such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype and Odro. It may feel slightly unusual at first as both the interviewer and candidate become accustomed to looking at a screen instead of a real person. However, video calls provide an excellent alternative to face-to-face job interviews and they can easily be arranged and implemented, all without it causing a delay to recruitment plans.

Virtual onboarding

Bringing a new member of staff into a company can involve several onboarding exercises; from HR administration to software training, as well as the social aspects of integrating a person into a team and introducing them to the workplace ethos and culture.

Now that people are starting new roles remotely instead of in the office, there are a number of alternatives as to how onboarding can still take place. Many of the initial meetings and training sessions can be undertaken digitally, using video calls and screen-sharing functions.

Many firms already operate remote onboarding like this due to HR being in different offices or outsourced, so it would not result in too drastic a change in process.

Social and cultural integration can be carried out digitally too, using less formal platforms such as WhatsApp and other instant chat software. In addition, employees can hang out together on apps like House Party, giving them the chance to ‘socialise’ in an entirely new way.

Taking steps to ensure regular structured contact with management staff and team leaders is of the utmost importance, as it will ensure that new staff members feel supported, which is vital when it comes to sustaining productivity and maintaining motivation. 

Flexible start dates

If a talented professional has been identified, but the current situation means that it would not be possible for them to start their role according to typical employment timelines, there are still options to secure them without losing them to another opportunity.

Delaying their start date so they have an extended notice period for their current role is one possibility. Some firms are also choosing to start paying their new staff, but to put them on paid leave for the time being. There is designated Government funding which could assist with this during the health crisis.

Work with a flexible trusted recruitment partner

We currently live in uncertain times and this has undoubtedly led to sudden and unprecedented changes in the talent market, as well as substantial alterations to recruitment processes. Partnering with an expert provider of recruitment solutions like MERJE will make sure that you have access to support and advice on best practices, meaning that you will be best placed to bring in the top professionals, all while adhering to the ever-changing restrictions and regulations.