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Do you have a plan B in terms of recruitment when you still have vacancies that need filling but you know that you may not be able to meet any of your candidates face to face? We share our top 3 tips to enable you to continue to recruit at the current time. 
This picture depicts my plan A. 
 
This is where I expected to be today. A celebration week away with the family in the Big Apple. However, like most of the rest of the world I am working instead on plan B. 
 
So, what happens when you are in the middle of a recruitment drive and plan B is initiated. It may be the COVID crisis this time, but next time it could be a manager taken sick or a vacancy that you want to fill quickly so the new person can join the pre-planned training course.  
 
Can you still recruit and successfully fill your team whilst operating plan B? 
 
In a way, it’s a great time to recruit at the moment. Candidates have more spare time available to complete applications and attend interviews. They are feeling less engaged with the current employers’ (Show the love BLOG) and the future of their current position may seem less certain long term so they may be more open to new opportunities too. 
 
Several clients have been in touch wanting to look at what to do with their recruitment at this current time – and some, even though they acknowledge that this recruitment is critical have halted the process.  
 
So how can you be successful in filling your vacancies during a crisis? 
 
1. Look at the technology can you utilise to make the process seamless 
At Emerald Starfish we have always interviewed remotely, but we understand that this can be quite a step change for some recruiting managers. To be able to move your recruitment online, have a look at tools that work for you. Explain to candidates that you are wanting to assess them and not the technology – if the line dips in and out you can call them back, but it won’t mean that they can’t do the job! It’s worth looking at calls such as Zoom and Skype rather than bespoke interviewing software which will offer much the same but with limitations unless you pay for it. Take time to build that rapport and speak face to face even if remotely. 
 
2. If you start to recruit during lockdown make sure that you can finish your recruitment during lockdown. 
Don’t think that the final parts of the recruitment process can take place once you are back up and running and you can do your final stage in person. Plan to do all stages remotely – let “in person” be your plan B. You may need to look at the technology that you use, or whether you need to assess candidates slightly differently. One of our clients likes to have a large final stage presentation to the UK board, this is easy enough to put on line – however, we decided that it was more appropriate for the candidates to present the same presentation twice to two different groups of people. This meant that the questions were more manageable and it wasn’t quite so overwhelming too. 
 
3. Have a plan to onboard candidates remotely too. 
Plan B recruitment and talent acquisition should also include onboarding candidates remotely. How can you integrate new starters within the company quickly without meeting them and introducing them to people, processes and the necessary training in person? The brave new world isn’t going to look like the old one going forward and therefore this will also become more of the norm for candidates and companies. What can you do to engage with new starters as effectively as if you were meeting them at 9.00 on day 1? 
 
No one knows when we will return to “normal” and if plan A will resume and therefore to sit and do nothing when you have vacancies that need filling will put you behind companies that adapt to this challenge and recruit throughout. You can ensure that your processes are as robust as before whilst also utilising this opportunity to look at the current candidate base who may just be thinking about their next move ahead of the curve. 
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