How to adjust your hiring process for COVID-19 and beyond
For many businesses, hiring has decreased dramatically or stopped completely in the wake of COVID-19. But some industries, such as healthcare, information technology, mining and community services, have seen a strong demand for candidates. 

For those businesses actively recruiting, the hiring process looks much different to before. From screening and interviewing to onboarding, often remotely, organisations are finding they need to adjust their hiring processes in order to find candidates quickly and hire confidently.

And with many employers experiencing changed working conditions themselves, there’s little doubt that it’s a challenge to maintain an efficient and successful hiring process right now.

So, how can you effectively source talent in this new environment?

Adjust your job ad

A great job ad remains key to attracting great talent, but there are simple tweaks you may need to make because of COVID-19. More than ever, candidates need to know about working arrangements. It’s worth making a brief reference to how health and safety is being managed during COVID-19 in the description of your job ad.

If your business asks employees to work from home, you’ll need to include this in your job ad. In the description, mention any home set-up requirements and how the business will support these. You should also use the words “work from home” or “wfh” to your job ad summary so candidates who are searching for these terms will be able find your ad.

Role requirement questions

If you’re getting an influx of applications, SEEK’s free, cloud-based candidate management platform helps you make speedy and accurate decisions about applicants.

Using role requirement questions allows you to screen candidates faster. For select questions, SEEK also offers the use of Certsy which asks candidates to pre-verify their credentials (such as their right to work or their Australian driver’s licence) which can be a handy timesaver. More than 80% of hirers say having pre-verified credentials helps them to shortlist.

Screening and processing candidates

Including role requirements questions (from a list of questions available on the platform) helps you sort and rank candidates easily. Once you’ve received your applications, the platform lets you preview resumes and cover letters without downloading them. This is really useful if you want to search quickly for specific skills.

It’s more important than ever to be upfront with candidates. The platform’s bulk email option means you can quickly and efficiently contact suitable candidates with next steps, or close the loop with candidates who aren’t suitable.

Interviewing remotely

Across the country now, huge numbers of candidates are being interviewed remotely. For a successful remote interview, you’ll need to:

  • Let the candidate know the details for the interview (who will call, what platform you’ll use, the log-on details if needed, and all the people attending)
  • Do a test run with your technology
  • Let the candidate know what the back-up plan is in case the technology fails.

The interview questions to ask

As well as ensuring you ask behavioural, motivation-based, skills-based and situational questions, you’ll also need to ask questions if the role involves working from home.

Questions worth asking here include:

  • What remote-working tools, apps and software are you familiar with or have you used previously?
  • How do you think you would address problems or conflicts while working remotely?
  • What experiences or skills do you have that will help you to stay motivated and meet deadlines while working remotely?
  • How do you imagine you’ll get to know members of the team if you’re working remotely?

Onboarding differently

Getting your new employee off to a great start helps set them up for ongoing success. If you need to onboard your new hire virtually, there are things you can do to make them feel welcomed and confident.

  • Make sure they have the hardware, software and manuals they need (if you have IT personnel, you may need to ask for their help with setup)
  • Make sure any training or handbooks are available digitally
  • Set up one-on-one or group meetings to meet other staff
  • If your new hire will eventually be working from your office, shoot a short video (on your phone is fine) giving them a tour of the workspace
  • Schedule regular calls to see how they’re settling in.

Ultimately, the way you go about finding, interviewing and onboarding new employees now might look a lot different to how it did just a few months ago. But making these small adjustments to your hiring process can go a long way to helping you find the right candidate more easily – even in this changed environment.

If you need a hand trying to navigate your new normal, SEEK’s Customer Service team is available to help you via phone, live chat or email 7am–7pm Monday to Friday.