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Recruiting during the coronavirus

With the coronavirus impact being felt across multiple industries up and down the country, it may not occur to many of us that recruitment is still necessary, with most companies battening down the hatches.

There appears to be a number of industries that have seen a reverse of the belt tightening strategies, and are in need of a boost in staff numbers. Healthcare, food and pharmacy retail, some manufacturing and transportation industries to name a few.

However, it is a tricky reality for companies to negotiate when hiring new staff, with social distancing measures and lockdown policies forcing candidates to stay at home. So, what are the alternative hiring methods available, and what other considerations should you make during this challenging time?

Digital hiring

Unsurprisingly technology leads at the forefront of remote hiring, with the availability of innovative software able to offer a ‘touch free’ end-to-end recruitment process. Software with features such as:

  • Chatbots
  • Online assessment
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Video interviews.

Whilst this may be an investment for larger companies, smaller companies may wish to take advantage of free solutions such as Zoom, Skype or Google hangouts for video interviewing. The one benefit of having a workforce at home is that availability for interviews has never been higher!


It’s fair to say Linkedin as a business community social platform gets a huge amount of traffic, and during this crisis is no exception. In fact, Linkedin have reported that they have had an upsurge of 55% more applicants on the site. They have also decided to make their job posting tools completely free for essential businesses globally , and this will continue for the next couple of months during the crisis. They are also creating an ‘urgent jobs board’ to help give these jobs more visibility.

Recruiting the newly unemployed

With a recent article citing that UK unemployment could rapidly rise to more than 6 million, the numbers of out of work UK residents may well reach levels worse that the great depression. Any companies looking for additional staff at this time provide a welcome boost to those seeking opportunities, perhaps in alternative sectors to their original employment. There are a number of sectors that share transferable skills, commonalities and work ethics, which could provide a suitable talent pool. For example, the badly hit restaurant and hospitality sector could provide a suitable workforce alternative for the food retail industry.

Ensuring safety

If safety of your existing workforce isn’t already top of your list, then it should be. Hiring new recruits to help meet your new business demands may be important, but keeping your workforce from exposure to the virus is paramount.

By screening potential new employees by phone, checking that they have been observing social distancing and lockdown restrictions for the duration, you can help minimise exposure for your existing staff. If it turns out they have had potential exposure, ensure the minimum 2 week quarantine time frame is met.


Depending on your budget and the length of time you need additional employees for, it may be wise to utilise a temporary recruitment agency. Whilst this may cost some additional fees, they will have a bank of candidates on their books they can pre check for you, saving you valuable time. Again, there might be the possibility of alternative sectors to choose from that are currently looking for work. A temporary workforce can prove useful, should normality return post Covid-19 and your staff requirements return to pre pandemic levels.

However you decide to recruit during this time, keep safety for you and your workforce at the top of your agenda.


1. https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/01/linkedins-making-its-job-listing-tools-free-to-those-recruiting-to-fight-the-coronavirus-pandemic/?_guc_consent_skip=1588674144
2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/03/coronavirus-uk-business-activity-plunges-to-lowest-ebb-since-records-began
3. https://www.brinknews.com/how-companies-can-approach-recruiting-during-coronavirus