In a time when employees are being given a clear message – stay at home – the impact on businesses in various different sectors has been dramatic. Many have to shut, downsize or attempt to run on limited resources. And those that are still open have to seriously re-think their working practices in line with government guidance surrounding social distancing rules.

Even for recruiters using the best recruitment CRM system in the UK, there are many challenges as they adapt to these unprecedented times.

Although some employers are making the choice to halt the hiring process altogether until the path forward becomes clearer, there is also a sense of the need to ‘press on’ and keep working and recruiting where possible. Employment rates are down, the economy is in turmoil and freezing new hires now will only create a backlog further down the line. So what are the main ways in which Covid-19 has affected recruitment and how can employers and recruiters seek to overcome the challenges it poses?

Lack of recruitment

Recruitment agencies are one of the most affected industries during this period of lockdown. There are simply fewer candidates and fewer positions being advertised right now. One report suggests that there was a 70% reduction from the beginning to the end of March for full time, permanent posts. Many roles that are being recruited aren’t yet starting due to the issues with social distancing.

Significant numbers of candidates are holding off on applying too, either because they’ve been sick or are worried about starting a new job with potential exposures at this time.

Digital intervention

Technology and recruitment have gone hand in hand for many years now. Recruitment software, whether the best recruitment CRM system in the UK or a basic ATS, together with social media interaction and job portals are all commonplace in everyday recruitment. But now more than ever, the power of technology is really helping to keep the industry moving.

Recruiters can liaise with candidates or clients via video calls and use applicant tracking software to keep detailed logs of any Covid-19 related issues that could apply to their candidates. This increased reliance on digital practices is something that may bring new working methods to the fore in the future.

Remote working

For many workers, remote working started as a necessity but has evolved into a new, flexible working model that could be taken forward once lockdown is lifted. For recruiters, it could become a way to access a wider talent pool. Without the need to physically place workers in offices or workplaces, recruiters can cast their net far and wide, globally even, to try and find the best, most suitable candidates for the role.

With the remote working model currently working well in many industries, this long-distance recruitment trend could be something that continues far beyond lockdown.