Talent Acquisition Strategies During COVID-19 and Beyond: Part 1 

Following the record-high national unemployment rate of 14.7 percent in April 2020, many organizations continue to face challenges involving business slowdown and significant transition. Of all the strategies businesses can explore to take advantage of the situation, it may seem like investing in talent acquisition practices would not be a priority. However, with COVID-19 and recent events that have fueled economic unrest for the country, there has never been a more important time to take a closer look at your organization’s recruiting efforts.   For more information on other talent acquisition strategies during COVID-19, please read Part 2 and Part 3 of this series.

The organizations that increase their focus on recruiting capabilities during the next several months will have the ability to fill their strategic roles quicker when the market rebounds, giving them a head start when business picks up. We have identified the following strategies to keep your recruiting practices competitive, effective and nimble, so your business can be well-positioned to attract the talent you will need in the future.


Embrace Video Interviewing

As workplaces gradually move toward pre-COVID-19 operating practices, video interviews still serve as effective alternatives to traditional in-person interviews. Some organizations might even consider making video interviews a permanent practice. In addition to keeping employees and candidates safe, video interviews can make the hiring process more efficient. They allow for flexible scheduling for both the hiring team and candidate, and offer considerable travel cost savings to companies. Below are a few tips on how to make the most of your video interviews.


  • Make sure that the hiring team and candidates have the technology necessary to hold a successful video conference. Consider the method that will work best for your organization. Some popular options include Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangout and Microsoft Teams.
  • Anticipate technology challenges and provide alternative methods and/or backup resources, such as a mobile hotspot or phone conference line in case the internet connection is spotty.
  • When setting up video conference calls, include a personalized message instead of simply sending the link to join the conference call.
  • Share the names and details of the individuals with whom the candidate will be interviewing, just as you would for an in-person interview. Including a short paragraph about each person’s role within the company can save time during introductions.
  • Ensure that interviewers review the position description and candidates’ resumes prior to the interview.
  • Assign specific questions to each interviewer to ensure consistency, eliminate repetitiveness with one-to-one interviews and avoid confusion during group interviews.

During the Interview

  • Remain professional by dressing as you would for an in-person interview. Remember to clean up anything that will show up in the background of your screen. Additionally, ensure there is no confidential information within the camera’s view, such as financial figures or client names on a whiteboard or desk behind the interviewer.
  • Designate one person to be the host and moderator of the interview. They can be responsible for allowing time for introductions and leaving time for questions at the end.
  • Ask that interviewers turn their phones on silent and close their email and work documents to ensure that no sound notifications come from their computers. Remind them that their full attention should be on the candidates.

Consider Virtual Career Fairs

Companies are still hiring even during this time of uncertainty. As in-person meetings and events continue to be cancelled due to health guidelines, consider exploring virtual hiring environments. Virtual event programs can offer chat and teleconferencing features that allow job seekers to engage and interact with individuals from your organization. This gives candidates the opportunity to learn more about the company and introduce themselves to the hiring managers. Since furloughs and layoffs have caused the unemployment rate to increase, virtual events are a great way to capture a large group of potential candidates in a safe and efficient way. This practice is especially helpful when organizations are looking to engage in high volume recruiting.

Leverage New Trends

Shifting from a traditional recruitment process to a completely virtual one can be difficult, but it’s crucial to look into adopting digital talent acquisition practices in order to navigate today’s circumstances and remain competitive in the future. The world of work is experiencing a growing remote workforce and increased globalization, so virtual settings and business practices will soon become the norm. To get the most out of new, digital practices and stay current with the volatile market, make sure that your organization is up-to-date on the resources that are out there.

One example of a new tool that both candidates and employers can utilize is the  #readytoworkfeature that Indeed has recently implemented. By the end of April, over one million job seekers had added #readytowork to their Indeed profiles, indicating they are available to work now. Employers have the ability to sort resumes with this designation, which allows them to identify candidates who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and can begin working immediately. This is just one of the several new product features Indeed rolled out in response to the pandemic, and dozens of other platforms have implemented similar features. It is worth considering all the new options and features that your regular vendors and platforms have implemented to assist through this time.

Be sure to check out Part 2 and Part 3 of this article series, in which we discuss how to strengthen your organization’s brand and enhance onboarding and integration during this crisis. As always, please reach out to our dedicated human capital management team for specific questions and additional guidance for your organization. Our COVID-19 Resource Center also provides more in-depth resources to help guide your company successfully through this crisis.


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