It hasn’t always been easy to find the silver lining lately but if there is one it’s that the market for exceptional employees is better than it’s ever been.

Many highly skilled and motivated individuals have been furloughed, face redundancy or were already looking for their next role.  If you were advertising, or were about to advertise, a vacancy before COVID-19 caused such massive changes, now might be a good time to revisit that job description.

If you start now, you will also have time to adapt to new recruiting methods, in line with the new definition of what we consider normal.

So, what does hiring look like right now?

Once you have identified the skills required and are ready with the interview and testing procedures to select the candidates with the most potential, it’s time to organise interviews.  Throughout the past few months, many companies have successfully interviewed prospective employees by telephone or video – and some global firms have been doing this for years.  It´s easy to organise an interview using Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp and you can even record it if you like, as long as the interviewee agrees.

If you use tests as part of your selection process, this can also be done online.  A range of effective tests are available, or you can design some for your company´s specific requirements.  The whole virtual interviewing process is easily altered to suit; you can do an initial interview by phone, give tests, then interview the best candidates on video.  It might seem strange at first, but you don´t always have to meet the candidates personally to find the perfect cultural fit for the post.

Virtual inductions

Once you have hired, you need to have a good virtual induction for your new hire, and this can seem like a real challenge.  Communication is the key to success; it pays to use a range of channels, as we all have preferences.  As well as any equipment needed for their role, many companies send a welcome pack and hold a briefing meeting to introduce the new employee to the team. One-to-one calls with key stakeholders and a short catch up with their line manager every few days will also help your new team member to adjust and settle in.

After that, the most important thing is regular internal communications, however you deliver them. Focus on the future and emphasise successes, share the business news, give recognition for achievements.  There are also plenty of online activities that can be fun outside of working hours, so it´s worth having a brainstorming session to see what is popular and help set it up.

Some of the long-term effects of all these changes are still uncertain, but we can be sure that getting ahead now will make it easier to deal with further developments.   Companies which are used to online recruiting and remote working wherever these are possible will have all the advantages, whatever the economic future holds.

If you need any advice on hiring in these strange times – or you want to talk about how our candidates could fit your business – please drop us a line.