The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way businesses function, and the hiring process is no exception. 

Whether your company is creating new positions or filling existing slots, recruitment and hiring are going to look a lot different than they have in the past. For starters, the mindset of both recruiters and potential candidates has shifted tremendously over the course of 2020. 

It’s important to note that with past mass layoffs and so much general uncertainty in the world, any change in a candidate’s employment—even if they are currently unemployed or will improve their circumstances with a new position—is a big change. 

And hiring managers recruiting during the public health crisis should be prepared to answer some difficult questions about why a potential candidate should come to work for you. What’s your company’s unique selling proposition? How has business shifted during the pandemic? How do you expect things to change and stay the same once things start to normalize? 

Planning the entire course of hiring at the onset—promoting the position via job networks and internal and external channels, communicating with stakeholders and the candidate pool in a timely way and onboarding employees—will help to quell anxieties. 

Companies also should be thoughtful about the interview process during this time. Consider how to limit or eliminate any in-person components. Clearly communicate to the candidates the interview details: interview time, correct phone number for the interviewer or link to the online video interview platform and the names/roles of those who will be part of the video panel.

Hiring Trends from  HR Dive Brief -  Author Aman Kidwai
  • Comparing data from October 2020 to October 2019, HR generalist jobs dropped 37%, while sales managers, executive assistants, accounts payable specialists, event coordinators and educational instructors fell significantly as well, according to Nov. 19 research from Glassdoor
  • Some jobs, however, saw a lift in 2020: Glassdoor found that warehouse worker jobs were up 174% year over year while registered nurse jobs were up 51%, adding that "employers in e-commerce, health care and other front-line industries will likely continue to ramp up hiring in 2021."


And avoid these hiring mistakes: 

Hiding details or being vague. Candidates who apply or interview for a position are doing so in good faith, fully expecting the position to be stable, permanent (unless clearly stated otherwise) and portrayed honestly. If the position is currently remote but could switch back to in-person or a hybrid role, it’s important to state that in advance. 

Underestimating the importance of a candidate’s mindset and workstyle. Resilient, self-sufficient candidates who can work just as effectively remotely as they can work in an office will be an asset to your business. If a candidate has been working for another organization over the last several months, ask how they’ve adapted and what lessons they’ve learned along the way. While change is inevitable, it’s important to recruit employees with the ability to adapt. 

Panicking or dragging your feet. Hiring managers shouldn’t fill a position with the first warm body that comes along. They should also avoid drawing out the hiring process. Limit initial interviews to the best candidates and offer follow-up interviews to an even smaller pool. 

Now more than ever, hiring right will be best for your employees and your organization.

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