Should you continue to recruit during the coronavirus outbreak?

British Airways recently announced that staff should expect job
losses as the company prepares to ground hundreds of more flights amid the
Covid-19 coronavirus crisis. In a message entitled The Survival of British Airways, chief executive Alex Cruz said, “We can no longer sustain our current level of employment and jobs would be lost – perhaps for a short term, perhaps longer term.”

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout Europe and other continents, it leaves us questioning whether employers should halt their hiring
plans until the virus has run its course.

Although face-to-face interviews may be off the table, there are other ways to recruit. One example is Google, who is recruiting people virtually to fulfil their hiring needs.

At a time when online recruiting is being so heavily adopted, this seems to be the most logical choice, as most of the recruiting process is done via LinkedIn, instant messaging, email and the good old telephone.

If you’re looking to avoid human contact in the wake of the coronavirus, we’ve got a few tips for taking your recruiting process solely online.

Candidate outreach

When it comes to candidate outreach, things can mostly stay the
same. We still have the same online resources we can utilise, and if many
people are currently working from home, chances are it’ll be easier to schedule phone calls with candidates.

Rather than looking at the negative impact the coronavirus outbreak may have on your recruitment efforts, in-house recruiting teams should see this as an opportunity to review their resourcing processes. If the majority of your recruitment journey is offline, it may be worthwhile partnering with a recruiter who can propel your strategy into the 21st century.

Conducting interviews

Once you’ve shortlisted candidates for a position and qualified over the phone, the next traditional step is to invite them to an on-site meeting. However, there is another option. The likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon are turning to online video interviews to meet prospective employees virtually.

While arguably nothing beats a face-to-face meeting to really getting to know a person, video interviews still enable hiring managers to assess facial expressions and levels of engagement when speaking virtually to candidates.

As well as video interviewing being a convenient and affordable option during the coronavirus pandemic, candidates are in favour of video too. Amy Warner, Director of talent acquisition at iCIMS states, “Candidates really appreciate the opportunity to interview from a place that is convenient for them. There’s a strong sense of candidate appreciation when you show concern for their schedule, health, or family situation. It doesn’t have to be a major disruption to implement virtual screening—they are always useful as an employer and for the candidate.”

Beat the competition

While your competitors are dithering on their hiring decisions, you can gain the upper hand as taking your recruitment processes online will not only keep your hiring managers safe, but it will likely improve efficiency. For instance, if you assess your candidates through skills-based tests, logic tests, or personality tests, these can all be easily completed online. The potential benefits of this include being able to assess more candidates in less time, and a higher number of better-performing candidates as candidates who have the opportunity to complete the assessment at their leisure are more likely to perform well.

While coronavirus fears continue to disrupt the UK, it’s time to start adopting technology which will enable you to take your recruitment online. Who knows, the sheer efficiency of meeting candidates virtually might influence your hiring processes long term.

Keep calm & Carry on!

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