Recruiting in a global pandemic

It's likely you and your business have faced colossal challenges since the start of 2020. We hope you've found a way to recover, maybe thanks to a clever business reshape and now, it's time to recruit again.

ARU Temps have put together some helpful hints and tips for anyone feeling anxious about recruiting in the ‘new world’.  We hope this helps you to see recruitment from both sides of the coin – what your 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 you can think outside the box with regards to your ideal candidate.  Consider applications from a wider geographical area and increase your talent pool.


The Advert
A well-presented job advert can make the difference between no/unsuitable applications and finding the candidate of your dreams.  Take the time to get this right and it will pay dividends.  
Along with the role specific knowledge and experience you require, ensure you’re clear about the soft skills your business needs for the ‘new normal’.  Here are some suggestions to consider including in your job specs:

Remote Working 
All businesses need to endure they’re prepared for the worst, this includes anticipating further lockdowns, restricted travel, staff absences, anything that requires working from home. We may all take this for granted but for some people working outside of a traditional office setting is a challenge, Make sure that your newly recruited staff are up to it. 

For example, you could add to the 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

 

Communication 
Now more than ever, you need to recruit eloquent and effective communicators. Of course, the specific role will determine how high up on your candidate wish list this is BUT with virtual meetings and emails replacing most other forms of interaction, you need someone who can get involved in a group situation and makes themselves heard.

For example, you could add to the person spec:


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 we can do is manage their expectations whilst making our lives a little easier by ensuring we don’t have to respond to all applications: 

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

Providing clear timeframes will also be gratefully received.  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.  So, if you can, be explicit about your recruitment process and include details such as:

 

Be prepared, you’re about to receive A LOT of applications…
Get in touch with candidates you like the look of immediately, applicants are most responsive within 3 days of making applications.
If you can’t review applications ad-hoc then plan time in your diary to do this directly after the application deadline.
Be clear in your own mind about what you’re looking for and during your first CV sift, find reasons NOT to shortlist candidates – this may sound harsh but when you have a lot, you need to thin them out fast.
Once you’ve selected CVs with potential, make a call to each and assess their telephone manner – this can often tell you a lot about a person.  You could do this informally to speed up the process or you could arrange these officially with individuals.  If it’s an informal call don’t expect too much, you’re really just calling to check they’re clear communicators.
If you’re still interested after the telephone call, arrange a formal interview via a virtual meeting platform.
If you don’t wish to pursue a candidate (or are unsure) whilst on the call explain you’ll be making a final decision by [insert date here] and will be in touch if they’re chosen to progress.
Anticipate disappointment – most candidates are making multiple applications meaning the possibility of them securing alternative work whilst you recruit is significant.

That’s all our pearls of wisdom for now.  Good luck recruiting and if you want more help and advice, contact ARU Temps:
E: temps@aru.ac.uk | W: temps.aru.ac.uk


RECOVER. RESHAPE. RECRUIT