Interviewing potential new hires during the pandemic

Hiring in the time of a global pandemic can be challenging. Here at Walter James, we have continued to partner with our clients throughout this turbulent time by adapting to the social and logistical challenges that have been created. Significant travel disruption and global restrictions regarding social interaction has forced to companies to rethink the way that they operate their recruitment process.  From our experience completing recent search mandates across the globe, we have highlighted four key elements for clients to review and consider for their next hiring process: 

  1. Whilst embracing new technology platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom to conduct video interviews is easily achievable, the shift in mindset towards hiring candidates with no in-person meetings or conversations is often unfeasible however, even prior to the pandemic, hires were made possible in this manner due to the detailed assessment of the candidate and the trust built up by all parties involved.

  2. An extension of the previous point, conducting on-site interviews especially within the manufacturing sector is paramount for a candidate to be able to picture themselves as a future employee with our clients. Adapting to the current climate by utilising virtual factory tours or carefully coordinating a socially distanced visit where possible, perhaps on a non-production day, are suitable alternatives.

  3. As the office environment for most individuals transitions into their homes, the availability of flexibility and remote working options should be reviewed. By doing so, companies can broaden their search radius either regionally or internationally to include talent that would not previously have been considered, in addition to improving their employer brand at a time when it is critical in shaping candidate perceptions.

  4. Upon the successful completion of a hiring process, the onboarding process should be revised and reviewed to ensure engagement and loyalty from the new employee in what is an already challenging environment. Welcome packages of company products and equipment, organised group video meetings and regular check ins should be utilized to overcome the lack of regular social interaction.

It is a challenging time globally for organisations and individuals as we navigate the ‘new normal’ that Covid-19 has brought upon us. Continuing to focus on candidate engagement and innovative partnering with talent acquisition partners throughout recruitment processes is vital for companies to attract the best talent to join them and maintain candidate satisfaction.

By Daniel Bull

Head of Research

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