Recruitment is hard enough at the best of times. During these strange times, we need to learn to fully utilise our recruitment database software and COVID-19 to manage recruitment effectively.

Use your software

Your software should have the facility to introduce additional stages into your normal recruitment process, so allowing for telephone interviews and tests to be undertaken – online of course.

The beauty of recruitment software is that everyone can paper-sift remotely (with or without lockdown) and put all their comments into the system. Provided that you decide your ‘no progression’ mark beforehand, the HR/recruitment team can notify candidates who don’t reach this as you go.

Those candidates who qualify for the next stage can then easily be invited for a telephone interview and the software can be set up so that they can choose their time and date from a range of pre-arranged slots. The beauty of this software is that as soon as a candidate enters their choices, an email goes to the interviewer so they can get the date in their diary. Candidates successful at this stage can be given an online test, and only if they pass that do they need to be invited for an online interview.

Virtual tests

If you are used to asking your candidates to take tests, this is perhaps less of an issue, except, of course, that you would probably normally put your candidate in a quiet room using a computer without internet access so they can’t check the answers online. You can’t do that now, so you have to be more inventive. If you don’t normally test, give that serious consideration and build it into your process.

In some cases, checking won’t matter – so what if people check spelling or similar? We all do that anyway (or should) so that’s just being diligent. If it does matter, you need to build an interview into the end of the test process. For a timed test, get them to book a time for the test, and only release it at the time you want it to take place, then arrange an interview afterwards wherein you can probe the candidate about what they’ve done and how they’ve come to the conclusions they’ve come to.

Yes, it’s more work for the hiring managers but it’s never been more important to ensure that you have the right person for the job than now, when you may not get to meet them face-to-face for several months. When you’ve gone through this stage, you can move on to the normal interview stage for all candidates who got through the test stage.

Most of us haven’t used all of the functions of our recruitment software up until now, so now is the time to explore its capabilities and use them to make the recruitment process as efficient and effective as possible.