The Rollercoaster of Recruiting During a Pandemic

ICS team working together

2020 has been well and truly chaotic. To put it nicely. Even companies that have been lucky enough to continue hiring over the past few months have faced new demands. With an increase in the talent pool now available, it may seem like the perfect time to be hiring. However, the pandemic has tested the recruitment process of many organisations, with new procedures brought in overnight to cope with the demand for distancing. We suddenly have a whole new set of factors to consider compared to the start of the year, each presenting their own challenges and benefits.

Larger talent pool

Unfortunately, the pandemic has seen many experienced candidates made redundant. While this is a great opportunity for hiring companies to snap up some talent, the time taken to process and review applications is increasing due to the sheer number of applicants. Even candidates who are really eager to start in their next position will not wait around forever for a reply, so it is crucial that hiring teams are responsive to ensure that candidates continue to feel valued throughout the application process. Moreover, with a high number of CVs to sift through, employers are having to become stricter with shortlisting at an earlier stage, which in turn has a significant effect on the internal structure of the hiring process.

Sourcing candidates

During times of uncertainty, people are less likely to feel comfortable handing in their notice for a new role, so it is essential that recruiters exercise caution when sourcing talent throughout this period. It is always important to be as transparent as possible about the specifics of a role from early on in the application process but at present, this transparency has become vital in making sure candidates feel at ease with a potential transition. Some job boards have been particularly responsive to the current situation and LinkedIn’s new #Opentowork feature for profile photos can be useful for hiring teams. At a glance, you can see everyone who is actively seeking a new role by simply looking for the green hashtag in their profile photo.


Remote interviews

Whether you are team Zoom or team Google, there is no doubt that both platforms have been a lifesaver for recruiters and hiring managers during the past six months. Remote interviews have, for the most part, allowed the application process to run as smoothly as possible. Video calls still allow the hiring team to get to know candidates, allow them to answer the necessary questions, and make their case as to why they are the best person for the job. That said, anything technical can come with its own set of problems. For example, internet connectivity issues, cameras or microphones not working properly, and the untimely issue of delays. The best way to avoid an awkward situation is to let the candidate know which platform you will be using well in advance of the interview, allow the interviewee time to install any necessary software, fix their camera, and get used to the interface ahead of the interview date.

Remote inductions

Gone are the days of ice-breaker games (thankfully) and taking a new employee around the office to introduce them to team members table by table. Now, for many companies that have continued remote working, inductions are all virtual. Due to the nature of working from home, it is more important than ever that a new starter feels welcome and well-integrated into the team. It is imperative that all new employees have a full support structure in place from the outset. Trainees must be aware of who they can turn to with questions and how they will be receiving their training. The question of training may even arise at the interview stage, as an area of concern for the candidate, and so it is something employers must consider well in advance of opening up a role. Remote induction styles will vary between organisations, but the new employee must be made to feel as much a part of the team as they would have done in an office environment.


All in all, it’s been an exciting time to be recruiting. Embracing the challenges of virtual hiring has resulted in a more streamlined process for many companies, allowing hiring teams to redefine possibly outdated practices. As we look ahead to 2021, we’ll be able to take some of these lessons with us, to create an improved candidate experience in the longer term.

Here at ICS-digital, we're currently recruiting for a number of roles. Head over to our careers page, to learn more!