POSTED: July 15 2020
Hiring during a pandemic: Changing recruitment trends

Hiring during a pandemic: Changing recruitment trends

The world of work is changing as we know it. As COVID-19 swept our nations, many businesses made the switch to remote-working; while recruitment professionals figured out how they could go about hiring during a pandemic.

The CV Library has surveyed their clients, including in-house and agency recruiters, which has given insights on how companies have adapted their hiring efforts over the past few months.

Are companies still hiring? 

The research reveals that 71.1% of organisations are actually hiring less people at the moment; 14.5% are hiring more and a further 14.5% are hiring the same amount as they were before the pandemic hit.

Looking at the quality of applications, one in three (32.9%), say the quality of applications they’re receiving has got better. One in five (22%) say it’s got worse; while 28% say they’ve stayed the same.

Adapting the hiring process 

As part of the CV Library study, they asked  whether they had made changes to their recruitment process in recent months. 83.1% said that they have, with a further 83.8% stating that these are here to stay. So, what’s changed?

Video interviews 

It is no surprise to find that 87% of hiring professionals have introduced video interviews where face-to-face meetings haven’t been an option. Interestingly alongside this, 15.9% say they’ve introduced more rounds of interviews to help build rapport with candidates.

Treating these types of interviews as you would a normal one is crucial. That means preparing in advance, avoiding distractions and showing that you’re interested in what the candidate has to say.

Improved communication 

In addition, 55.1% of respondents say they’re improving their communication with candidates. This includes informing them of delays to the hiring process during the pandemic.

The job market has been candidate-led for many years. However, there’s been a massive shift in power. In many cases, hiring professionals now have the upper hand as demand for jobs is outstripping supply.

This doesn’t mean recruiters should abandon all the hard work they’ve put into their candidate engagement effort in recent years. After all, how you interact with candidates during this time will be remembered.

Amending job adverts 

The survey found that 49.3% of hiring professionals have amended their job adverts to acknowledge the current situation. This is important as people will want to know whether you’re still hiring and how the company is adapting.

For example, you may include a short section in your job adverts which lets people know that the hiring process will be virtual; that you’re taking extra precautions to protect the safety of your employees; or that your teams are working remotely for the time being.

It’s better to mention it than ignore the situation altogether. Plus, candidates will appreciate your honesty and guidance during this challenging time.

Investing in new technologies 

One in four (26.1%) respondents say they’re investing in new technologies to help manager the process effectively. This might be video interviewing tools, technology to help you screen applicants faster, or even virtual onboarding tools.

Introducing virtual onboarding 

Finally, one in five (20.3%) organisations are investing in virtual onboarding to bring in new hires quickly and successfully. It’s not an easy time to start a new role; especially when you’re working from home and you’ve never met your colleagues face-to-face.

But, armed with the right tools, you can set your employees up for success. Make sure you set out a clear training plan for new starters, including video meetings with people they’ll be working with.

There are a number of tools that can help with virtual onboarding; so it’s important to understand what’s going to work for your business.

Hiring during a pandemic 

Naturally, the recruitment process was never going to be plain sailing during this time. If it’s taking you longer than usual to hire, then this isn’t a major problem; as long as you’re making the right decisions and not compromising your level of service.

There appears to be a general consensus to ‘keep calm and carry on’.

The advo group has continued to recruit during lockdown and has adjusted processes accordingly. This has included radically changing onboarding and our induction process. Time and care taken now will pay dividends later with new staff integrating better and being productive sooner.


The CV Library has written a whitepaper ‘Hiring during a pandemic: How to futureproof your recruitment efforts’. You can download it here.


If you need help with your recruitment or any other support looking after your people then advo can help. In the first instance drop us an email on




You can read the CV Library’s Press release in full here.