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, who certainly felt helpless in the face of this extraordinary situation. On a more positive note, it has also taught companies new working and recruitment methods. It has desacralized telecommuting, short-time work and the digitalization of work. Recruiting in times of crisis: discover the right reflexes and meet the challenge head on! 

Why continue to recruit in times of crisis?

First and foremost, it is important to ask why a company might recruit during a crisis. Although the current health crisis is subsiding, it is not impossible that there will be a new one in the next few years. The job market has been greatly weakened. It is therefore important to be prepared for the post-crisis period and to take the lead against 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 time 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 telecommuting, they don’t have to travel anymore. This gives them considerable time to do other things… like look for a new job and be more responsive.

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

1 – Control your recruitment budget

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

  • Organize your own recruitments instead of going through a recruitment agency;
  • Reduce the budget allocated to the recruitment firm you work with to select only the relevant and essential services; 
  • Cancel your subscriptions to recruitment websites and keep only the free formula;
  • Or opt for a recruitment software such as our Jobaffinity tool.

💡 Also check out our tips for attracting talent on a small budget.

2 – Recontact former candidates

In the past, you have certainly made many recruitments and kept the CVs of some candidates for later. Why not contact them again now? Maybe they are on the lookout for a job opening? Perhaps they are still interested in joining your company? By reactivating your pool of candidates, you could find the rare pearl. 

💡 Don’t hesitate to ask your employees to become your company’s spokespersons, 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 industry. 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 surely 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 optimize your recruitment process. To gain efficiency, it is first necessary to define precisely the type of profile you are looking for. HR and managers should then work together to establish the list of skills required 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 must be transparent about their recruitment and employment conditions. Therefore, in your job offer, you can perfectly detail your hiring process:

  • Recruitment steps; 
  • Working conditions (number of days of telecommuting, fixed position…)
  • The number of telephone (or video) and in-person 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 videoconference interviews 

Gone are the days of multiple interviews where the candidate travels to the office each time. With the democratization of telecommuting, teams are not always present in the office. Opting for videoconference interviews is an excellent solution to save everyone time. Many software are available today: Skype, Zoom, Google Meet to name a few. 

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

👉 Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be able to conduct an in-person job interview, which is a must for recruiting. 

7 – Highlight your employer brand and welcome new talent

The pandemic has brought to the forefront a strong point that employees hold dear today: quality of life at work. 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 and ask themselves what they can bring to their new recruits. For example, you can organize recruitment events (physical or online) or even offer activities that allow candidates to feel immersed in your company’s culture. 

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

You will have understood, to recruit in times of crisis, it is better to invest your time and your budget on the human and human resources.

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