Recruiting in a Global Pandemic

Business owners the world over have faced colossal challenges since the start of 2020. We hope they’ve found a way to recover, maybe thanks to a clever business reshape and possibly, now it’s time to recruit again.

We’ve put together some helpful hints and tips for anyone feeling anxious about recruitment in the ‘new world’. We hope this helps you to see it from both sides of the coin – the business’ needs and the candidate’s precarious position.

Most of all, we hope you learn that recruitment isn’t that scary after all…

The Vacancy

Covid hasn’t given us many positives but one of the few is learning to facilitate efficient and effective remote working. This is the gift that keeps on giving because now we can think outside the box with regards to ideal candidates. Considering applications from a wider geographical area will increase our talent pool.

The Advert

A well-presented job advert can make the difference between no/unsuitable applications and finding the candidate dreams are made of. Taking the time to get this right will pay dividends. Along with the role specific knowledge and experience required, adverts should also be clear about the soft skills needed for the ‘new normal’ for example:

PERSON SPEC

- Proficient computer user with experience of virtual meeting tools e.g. MS Teams

- Self-starter and self-motivated

- Able to work autonomously with initiative

- Organised and efficient at prioritising own workload

- Sufficient space to work effectively

Remote working

We must all prepare for the worst including anticipating extended/further lockdowns, restricted travel, staff absences - anything that requires working from home. We may take it for granted but for some people, working outside of a traditional office setting is a challenge. Therefore, it’s important to check staff are able and willing to make it a success.

Communication

Now more than ever we need eloquent and effective communicators. The specific role will determine how high up on a candidate wish list this is. But with virtual meetings and emails replacing most other forms of interaction, someone who can get involved in sometimes daunting group situations and make themselves heard is a desirable commodity.

PERSON SPEC

- Confident communicator able to converse with all levels of a business and its stakeholders

- Comfortable with presenting ideas and opinions in a persuasive manner across various mediums, e.g. virtual meetings, emails, phone calls

Manage Expectations

Make no mistake, it’s tough out there for job seekers. Recruiters are reporting record numbers of applications for individual vacancies meaning candidates are receiving countless rejections as a result. Some of these people are brand new to the job market and some are seasoned pros. Either way, they’re feeling dejected and hopeless. The least recruiters can do is make everyone’s life a little easier by managing candidate expectations:

"Thank you for your application. Please note, that due to the volume of applications received, we will only respond to the successful candidates."

Providing clear timeframes is also a considerate touch. There are many more contract and short-term opportunities available because of the flexibility they afford employers during such an uncertain time. Lots of candidates are also choosing to undertake further study to occupy them during a work slump. Because of this, job seekers need to organise their time effectively and coordinate the completion of one project with the start of another. As such, the best job adverts are explicit about the recruitment process and include details such as:

  • Whether the work is remote (100% or partially) or onsite
  • Application deadline date
  • If there will an informal call prior to interview invite
  • Proposed interview dates/times
  • Ideal start date

Be prepared, you're about to receive A LOT of applications

  • Recruiters should get in touch with candidates within 3 days of submitting an application – this is when they’re most responsive.
  • The first CV sift is brutal and designed to ‘thin out’ applications – recruiters will discard anyone who doesn’t fit the bill on first glance (which often lasts less than 30 seconds!).
  • Good recruiters will call candidates on the phone to assess their telephone manner – this can often tell you a lot about a person. It might be an informal and impromptu call or arranged officially. If it’s an informal call, they shouldn’t expect too much, the aim is simply to check candidates are clear communicators.
  • If initial telephone calls go well, a formal interview will be arranged via a virtual meeting platform e.g. MS Teams or Zoom.
  • Anticipate disappointment on both sides – most candidates are making multiple applications meaning the possibility of them securing work with one employer whilst another tries to onboard the same individual is significant. The flip side is, the current job market is flooded with candidates making it harder than ever to secure work.

That’s all our pearls of wisdom for now. Good luck on your recruitment journey and if you’re an employer wanting more help and advice, contact ARU Temps:

E: temps@aru.ac.uk W: temps.aru.ac.uk

RECOVER. RESHAPE. RECRUIT

Laura Kendrick