How to Adjust Your Hiring Strategy to the Coronavirus Crisis

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Planning to hire new people for your business? Be sure to do it right. The coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected recruitments even as the nature of work itself is changing. Remote hiring, remote onboarding, and work-from-home are the norm today compared to being the exception even six months ago. It requires companies to make adjustments to their hiring strategy to continue attracting the best talent in a COVID-afflicted world.

Shift Towards Remote Hiring

Lockdowns in various parts of the world have pushed businesses towards remote hiring including investing in online recruitment tools. In the absence of face-to-face interviews, managers are faced with the challenge of selecting the best candidate from inputs on the screen replacing direct, in-person interactions. The integration of new employees into the company through an effective onboarding programme is another crucial challenge for HR teams trying to ensure the seamless recruitment of employees in a strictly online scenario.

Hiring Tips for The Current Times

From putting out the job ad right up to onboarding of employees, the present times call for important modifications to your hiring strategy to help you maintain (and improve) the quality of your hires against the background of the pandemic. Here is a step-by-step guide:

1. Assessing the requirement

At the outset, it is essential to identify what kind of employee you require. Consider which arrangement will work best for you—full-time, part-time, or freelance? Do you need a temporary employee or a permanent employee? Proper clarity on your needs and requirements will allow you to optimise the hiring campaign to derive the best ROI from the new employee.

2. Publicising the vacancy

This is particularly important in the present situation given that the perception among job seekers is that businesses are not hiring at this time. It is the job of the HR team to ensure that news about the hiring is widely publicised including on the company website, social media handles, and job boards if necessary. They could also sound out recruitment firms which can connect them with suitable candidates on their rolls.

To ensure maximum applications, HR teams may encourage employee referrals as an effective way of reaching out to quality candidates. They may also lookup past applications to reach out to candidates that have applied previously.

3. Interviews

In the absence of a direct interview, it makes sense to prolong the process slightly so that you can be certain about the quality of the hire. For example, the interview could be split up into three parts—an HR interaction, a technical interview, and a cultural fitment interview to thoroughly assess the suitability of the candidate.

Online interviewing has grown to become an important skill and the HR team should ensure both they themselves as well as the hiring manager are well-versed with its nuances. All relevant details such as the link to the online meeting, time etc. should be supplied to the candidate well in advance to ensure a seamless interview experience.

4. Focusing on remote working skills

Thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic confining us largely to our homes, new hires may be asked to work remotely for the time being. Hence, candidates who possess effective remote working skills will be able to start generating ROI earlier, to the advantage of the employer. That’s why it is a good idea to focus on remote work skills during the selection process. Time management, communication, proactiveness, familiarity with online conference tools such as Zoom, Google Meet etc. are some of the attributes that are required to be an effective remote employee.

5. Background verification

Remote hiring needs to be paired with robust background verification procedures to ensure quality employee intake. Remote hiring requires the candidate to submit soft copies of important documents and not the originals, leading to a risk of manipulation by the candidate to show them in a favourable light. Under the circumstances, it makes sense for businesses to work with a reputable background verification agency to ensure the authenticity of documents and investigate candidates’ previous employment records if necessary.

6. Remote onboarding

An effective onboarding process helps employees integrate quickly with the new organisation. Some of the important functions of onboarding include:

  • Introducing the new employee to the organisation’s values and culture
  • Clarifying their role in the company
  • Helping them become productive quickly
  • Ensuring workforce compliance

With respect to the post-selection phase, HR teams must devise an effective onboarding strategy that fulfils the above requirements in a remote online setting. This is especially important in the current scenario where physical distance could act as an impediment to employee engagement and hinder the productivity of the worker.

A successful onboarding programme must retain a special focus on company culture, professional growth and development, collaborative learning, and create a sense of belonging.

Should You Hire Candidates That Have Been Laid Off?

Among the fallouts of the ‘Great Lockdown’ has been the retrenchment of millions of employees worldwide as businesses are forced to take drastic steps to ensure their survival. These out-of-work candidates now find themselves without a job for no particular fault of theirs. Their availability expands the labour market, swelling the talent pool for recruitment.

Hiring these employees is a morally correct decision which could improve your brand image in the eyes of stakeholders and have a positive effect on employer branding. But it is the duty of the company satisfy to itself about the capability of the candidate as well as the authenticity of the application irrespective of who they hire.

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