Hiring in lockdown: taking the positives from the pandemic

After a whirlwind year, we all hope that we’re on the home stretch in terms of getting back to ‘normality’ or a new normal, at least. Whilst it’s difficult to focus on the good things whilst we are still stuck in lockdown (unless you’re an ex Love Islander topping up your tan in Dubai), there are some positives to cling on to at the moment – and no, it’s not that you don’t have to bake any banana bread this year!

So what are the positives from a recruitment perspective?

  1. We’re seeing more roles being released now then there were in 2020 – hiring and working in a pandemic is less of an unknown quantity than it was a year ago
  2. Businesses have utilised the last 10 months to put processes in place for longer term flexible / remote working and are able to fully support those working flexibly
  3. Recruitment processes have been streamlined and adapted to take place online
  4. Remote onboarding has been strengthened significantly and is now seen as part of firms’ talent strategies

Firms that have taken a people-focused approach throughout the pandemic have not only continued to perform exceptionally well despite its challenges, but they have successfully recruited, on-boarded and trained new employees for some time now, with resounding positive feedback from new joiners.


But how exactly are they achieving this?


  • Understanding individuals may be more passive than active in their job search: With trying to juggle both home and work life in lockdown, most people aren’t spending their days scrolling job boards at the moment and looking to take the first job that pops up. Instead, it’s likely that people will be more passive to a particularly strong opportunity rather than leaving a job and firm they know for something that may offer the same as what they have. Firms who have successfully recruited understand this; they recognise that interviews are a two-way conversation and are more than happy to have conversations with individuals who may not be desperately looking to move, to explain what they can offer that’s different.


  • Offering interview flexibility: Many people-focused businesses have adapted their recruitment processes to make things as easy as possible to interview during lockdown. Whether it’s having little ones at home currently or an increased scrutiny on your KPIs whilst working from home, it’s not necessarily as easy to pop away for an hour or two for an interview as it may have been 18 months ago. Employers who have attracted new people to join them recognise this; as well as interviewing remotely, they are often offering more flexibility in interview times including before and after work, to minimise any disruption to the interviewee’s working day.


  • Having conversational interviews: With the stresses of lockdown, the last thing anyone wants to go through right now is an Apprentice-esque grilling (which, thankfully seems to be a thing of the past!) Interviewers take friendly, conversational style approaches to interviews. Aside from technical skills, they want to get to know potential employees as individuals and understand where they can offer support both in terms of personal development as well as any further support or flexibility needed during the pandemic.


  • Giving reassurance: Some of the common worries around moving jobs at the moment are understandably around job security; it’s important that firms utilise interviews to give individuals insight into their business’ performance throughout the pandemic, what the future will look like at the firm for the individual and to provide reassurance that those joining them will not be leaving their jobs to be made redundant at a later date.


  • Providing support after acceptance: For individuals to join, they need a clear idea of what their first few months will look like and that support will remain in place after they’ve joined. It’s important that employers give insight into what on-boarding and training will look like for new employees and give them confidence in the knowledge that they will still receive the same quality of training that they would pre-pandemic.


For us as recruiters, we play a part in big part in making things simple for people considering moving jobs too. Whether it’s offering insight into the market, CV writing, providing help with interview preparation, and being available to alleviate any questions or worries throughout the recruitment process, there’s never been a more important time to focus on the help we can offer, to provide more people with positive outcomes.

For any help or advice please feel free to reach out:

amy.fawcett@zatori-consulting.co.uk | 07710 094 367

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