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Recruiting in times of crisis: what are the reflexes to adopt?

Recruter en temps de crise


The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed companies to rethink their recruitment process. This health and economic crisis has had a major impact on the daily life of HR staff, who have certainly felt helpless in the face of this extraordinary situation. On a more positive note, it also taught companies new working and recruitment methods. It has desacralized teleworking, short-time working and the digitalization of work. Discover the right reflexes to recruit in times of crisis and take up the challenge with flying colours!

Why continue to recruit in times of crisis?

First of all, it is worth asking why a company might recruit in times of crisis. Although the current health crisis is subsiding, it cannot be ruled out that there will be a new one in the next few years. The labour market has been greatly weakened. You must therefore be prepared for the post-crisis period and be ahead of your competitors!

In times of crisis, everything slows down. It is therefore a good time to recruit new talent at your own pace. You could even take advantage of this to expand your current network with a view to future recruitment. Especially since the competition is less intense and candidates are more available. Indeed, thanks to teleworking, they no longer have to travel. This gives them a lot of time to do other things… like looking for a new job and being more reactive.

Recruiting in times of crisis: yes, but with the right methodology!

1 – Recruiting in times of crisis : Control your recruitment budget

This delicate period is forcing companies to review their budget and control every expense. And this obviously includes recruitment. So, to reduce your budget in this department, you could simply :

Organise your own recruitment rather than going through a recruitment agency;
Reduce the budget allocated to the recruitment agency you work with to select only the relevant and essential services;
Cancel your subscriptions to recruitment websites and only use the free service;
Or opt for recruitment software such as Jobaffinity.
💡 Also check out our tips for attracting talent on a budget.

2 – Recontact former candidates

You’ve certainly, in the past, made many recruitments and kept some candidates’ CVs for later. Why not contact them again now? Perhaps they are on the lookout for a job opening? Perhaps they are still interested in joining your company? By reactivating your candidate pool, you could find that special someone.

💡 Don’t hesitate to ask your employees to become your company’s spokespeople, on social networks, for example. They are often the best “advertisements” for your company!

3 – Boost the skills of your teams

Talent is sometimes scarce and it can be difficult to recruit in times of crisis. And it can be even more difficult if you are in an already sensitive sector of activity. Our advice: take a look at your current employees! Your best employees have incredible potential that deserves to be developed. To do this, you can simply encourage internal mobility by offering training. Some of your team members have probably expressed their wish to be promoted during annual interviews. Finally, you could develop co-optation. Your employees certainly have talented contacts who are looking for new challenges.

4 – Identify the right profiles

In times of crisis, it is important to optimise your recruitment process. In order to be more efficient, you should first define precisely the type of profile you are looking for. HR and managers should then work together to establish the list of skills needed for the position, whether they are hard skills or soft skills. The latter are the most important. Indeed, since the pandemic, skills such as excellent adaptability have become essential.

5 – Focus on transparency

To attract candidates, companies need to be transparent about their recruitment and employment conditions. Therefore, in your job advertisement, you can perfectly detail your hiring process:

The stages of the recruitment process;
Also working conditions (number of days of teleworking, permanent position…)
The number of telephone (or video) and face-to-face interviews;
And the people with whom the candidates will be in contact.
👉 This way, candidates will have all the information they need to apply.

6 – Opt for video-conference interviews

The days of multiple interviews where the candidate travels to the office each time are over. With the democratisation of teleworking, teams are not always present in the office. Opting for videoconference interviews is an excellent solution to save everyone time. There are many software programs available today: Skype, Zoom, Google Meet to name a few.

💡 For an efficient video interview, we advise you to define the objective of the meeting.

👉 Once this step is completed, you can proceed to a face-to-face job interview, which is a must when recruiting.

7 – Highlight your employer brand and welcome new talent

The pandemic has brought to the forefront a key issue that employees care about today: quality of work life. Candidates want to give meaning to their job, work in a serene environment and share their values with those of the company they work for. The human dimension takes on its full meaning.

Recruiters need to improve their brand image and ask themselves what they can bring to their new recruits. For example, you can organise recruitment events (physical or online) or even offer activities that allow candidates to feel immersed in your company’s culture.

Finally, you should welcome the new employee as humanely as possible. This can be done through a meeting with your teams or through coaching during the first few days. In the case of teleworking, you could even organise a video meeting. Integration is the final point in the hiring process. It should not be neglected so that your employees feel invested and find their place quickly.

As you will have understood, to recruit in times of crisis, it is better to invest your time and budget in people and human resources.


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