Stay the Course: Don’t Let Coronavirus Halt Hiring

Woman on phone and laptop

We all know the coronavirus, at least temporarily, upended life as we know it. As the pandemic evolves, many American employers are mandating employees work from home. This new dynamic means changes for every aspect of business from meetings to the hiring process.  

At Talentfoot, many of our clients continue to pursue new talent without pause. In fact, our publicly traded clients plan to increase hiring once we pass the worst of the outbreak. We are inspired by our colleagues that continue to strive for their 2020 growth plans. Because this too shall pass.  

However, in this climate, interviews must be done differently. Enter virtual hiring.  

Despite the unprecedented challenges facing businesses, we see opportunities to attract top talent. In even the gloomiest scenarios, we like to focus on the positive.  

Benefits of Virtual Interviewing During Coronavirus 

Speed  

The hiring process for director-level and above is not quick. An average position takes six to eight weeks to fill. Often an entire week is lost to scheduling travel accommodations for face-to-face meetings. In the telecommuting environment, candidates can get in front of hiring mangers much faster. Companies use Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout and other video platforms to assess candidates.  

After you conduct the first few rounds virtually, schedule an in-person meeting six to eight weeks in the future. Fill your pipeline with warm, qualified leads and hire one when the crisis fades.  

Best Practices 

  • Video collaboration tools work best when you are completely engaged with your candidate.  
  • Turn off computer and mobile phone notifications during meetings.  
  • Not all candidates will be familiar with your conference tool, so send directions along with meeting requests.  
  • Be prepared for some technical difficulties.  

Accessibility 

Our clients are taking advantage of these alternative working conditions. We have better access to employed candidates because they can accept phone calls without fear of colleagues listening in or being pulled into a last-minute meeting. Remote work provides more flexibility in scheduling and less distractions around the office. Candidates that are not typically available now have more time to talk about new job opportunities. In fact, headhunters have greater access to individuals who are not currently looking for a new role. 

Best Practices 

  • Empathy is critical during these difficult times. Many candidates face the challenge of providing care for their children while working. Be understanding if a child appears during the middle of an interview asking for a glass a milk.  
  • Accommodate meetings outside traditional business hours and remember that your candidate may not wear a full business suit for a virtual meeting. 

Time 

Employers have time to give candidates. They are anticipating new hire start dates in late April and early May. Once a candidate accepts a position, they have free time before beginning their new role. Many executives we work with prefer to take a built-in pause between jobs. Hire now. Then, your candidate will have time to recharge between now and their start date.  

Another perk of additional time is the ability to fill your candidate pipeline with top talent. Start conducting virtual interviews. You will quickly eliminate or reaffirm a candidates’ compatibility with your organization. When you are ready to take the next step, bring these qualified candidates into your office.  

Best Practices  

  • Be transparent about the hiring timeline. Give candidates all the information that you are able about the requirements for start date.  
  • Remember your candidates also has anxiety about the coronavirus and its impact on the job. Be as forthcoming as you can.  

The Bottom Line 

Don’t stop interviewing. Take advantage of the opportunity to build relationships with candidates that might not normally consider a new role or be available. Get comfortable using this technology. Conduct virtual interviews to acquaint yourself with high caliber talent. Your competition wants these A-players, too. If you freeze all hiring activity due to the coronavirus, you will lose the opportunity to court these potential employees.  

How has virtual interviewing benefited your organization?