The Talent Scout Episode 6: Recruiting during a crisis
3 minutes | Posted 18 March, 2020

During our lifetimes, we’ll experience a number of catastrophes. What matters is how we respond to them.

Business, capitalism, the world we live in – it’s all pretty fragile. It doesn’t take much to throw things off balance and then everything gets tested.

In the business world, any process with single points of failure, choke points, or a whole host of other vulnerabilities we can’t even imagine, get challenged and sometimes broken.

Right now the coronavirus is testing us in so many different and unexpected ways. From a purely business perspective the rapid spread of the virus has caused economic uncertainty and the looming shadow of a global recession. At a more granular level some of us are struggling to even get to work in the first place.

If people can’t even make it to work, then what does this mean for recruitment?

In the world of recruitment, there are a couple of different lessons we can learn from this current crisis. Depending on where you live you may even still have time to put in place some solutions before it gets worse. Or before whatever the next global crisis arrives:

1. Embed all the work that you do into processes

This is important for most aspects of business but in particular recruitment. If there are parts of your recruitment cycle that are ad hoc or that you do when you remember then, you need to move past that. Take the time to process map the flow of recruitment within your organization and establish where your risks are. Work to mitigate them. Be prepared. It’s a project of work and it’s time consuming but when crisis strikes you’ll be prepared.

2. Invest in remote working

The option to work remotely is a significant benefit in the eyes of many candidates. If your organisation primarily has office based staff, which I’m aware a lot of roles aren’t, you should be looking into remote working options. Not only does it make your organization more accessible to a greater cross section of candidates, if you’d figured out how to get it to work for your organization before now you’d have a lot less to worry about during this current coronavirus pandemic. Check out this article for more information on remote work during this crisis.

3. Make video interviews a part of your recruitment process

We’ve talked about this before but video interviews are hugely appealing to candidates and can be carried out by Skype. In our current climate, with more and more people self isolating, this could be the one thing you do today to keep your recruitment processes moving along. And if any of you need assistance, reach out, we have specialists here at Scout Talent who would be happy to talk you through how video interviews work as part of an overall recruitment process. And they’ll happily do it over the phone or via a video call. We are dedicated to making sure that all of our clients can still find and hire the staff that they need to during this time and we will do our utmost to do that within your budget.

Whether you believe that video interviews work as part of a recruitment process or not, is a little irrelevant at this point. The facts are that video and phone screening are now one of the only ways to be a recruiter during this pandemic. And this outbreak could last many months yet.

You might be saying to yourself, the market is collapsing around us, who is recruiting now? Well, a lot of people actually and in a world of self isolation candidates actually have a lot more time for a video interview.

Even in the height of the 2008 recession recruitment still occurred, people still needed to be interviewed to see if they fit a job. Because until the world ends, we all tend to carry on as if it hasn’t. If you want to be a success you’ll adapt to the changing environment around you and keep moving forward. That means recruitment, and under the current pandemic, recruitment means video interviews.

Final thoughts

Things seem a little dire right now. But things have felt dire before and they probably will again at some point once we’ve all forgotten about coronavirus. It’s at time’s like this that I’m reminded of a story “Laurie Ruettiman” told in the 74th episode of her podcast ‘Let’s fix work’ which I think might now be known as ‘Punk Rock HR’. In it she talked about her experiences of 9/11 and how on that harrowing day, she still went to work in New York as a HR professional and did her best for the people in her care.

I don’t say that lightly, I know that the fear of a global pandemic may make many of us question why we do the work that we do. But when things get tough, that’s when we need to support each other most and strive forward.

This pandemic will come to pass.

If you would like more information about how Scout Talent can help you and your team to navigate your recruitment efforts through this crisis, reach out to us here or call us on 07 3330 2595.