Covid-19 and Recuitment challenges for 2020

2019 has already shown that digital transformation is bringing about many changes  and innovations in HR

It should come as no surprise that the sudden onset of COVID-19 has transformed the recruitment process overnight. While talent acquisition professionals and people teams are still adjusting to the new normal, a few salient trends have emerged. 

Talent acquisition is moving away from paper resumes and phone screenings towards an emphasis on skills assessments and video interviews. From reactive hiring to proactive recruitment and from making random choices to focused selection.

Today, recruitment is almost entirely digital due to social distancing ordinances. As a result, careful communication with candidates is key, especially during a hiring lull. Nurturing prospects and keeping your talent pipeline engaged with thoughtful employer branding content is crucial to maintaining a presence among job seekers.


How will recruitment change in 2020?

Despite the fear and uncertainty surrounding humanity’s latest global challenge, economies around the world are still holding, our societies are functioning almost normally, and for your typical ‘nine-to-five’ employee, daily life at the office is more or less the same.

However, The Covid-19 coronavirus went from an outbreak to a full-on global pandemic.

 The general public is slowly edging towards confining themselves to their homes and this spells trouble for businesses and institutions across all sectors. 

Employment rates, (which hit historic highs at the end of 2019), are expected to dip in the coming months. Some companies are considering halting their hiring process until the situation improves.

Rather than panic or chalk recruitment and employment up as failed ventures, employers should be considering ways to ensure that their offices and prospective employees are safe from the Covid-19 threat


2020 will be the start of a new decade which will present us with a new set of recruiting challenges.

With so many exciting changes happening at such speed, what can we expect from recruitment this year?

Let’s explore the newest recruiting trends that we expect to see more and you should Implement in 2020 :


Attracting talent will be a prominent risk for companies in 2020, inciting new strategies for talent acquisition.

Company culture is not a new concept in the business world. However, about a decade ago, companies started to realize its true importance and stopped overlooking it. Many recent studies have shown that a strong company culture often results in more satisfied customers and employees, better financial performance, and more efficient talent attraction.


Perhaps the biggest shift to recruitment is the fact that many companies have paused or at least reduced their hiring efforts. The result is less competition for those actively hiring, and an urgent need for those facing a hiring lull to get creative. When you can’t extend an offer to candidates, how do you keep them interested and encourage them to remain available despite the delay? The answer lies in your employer branding strategy. 

Never has the practice been so vital to recruitment marketing. 

Typically, three-quarters of job seekers consider a company’s employer brand before choosing to apply to a job. 

However, with the majority of the world stuck at home and online traffic on the upswing since the start of COVID-19, you can confidently assume that even more candidates are thoroughly researching your online presence and reputation. 

Not only does effective employer branding entice potential candidates, it also helps keep your talent pipeline warm while your team adapts to the situation at hand. 

Seamlessly integrate compelling employer branding content into your candidate nurture campaigns to ensure your top prospects stay engaged. 

At the very least, focusing on employer branding during this uncertain time will better position organizations for when the job market returns to normal. As more employers ramp up their efforts and individuals restart their job search, your employer branding efforts will have preemptively put your company on the map. 

Candidates will know who you are and be more open to your opportunities; they’re 40 percent more likely to apply for a job if they recognize a company’s brand.


Yes, a worldwide outbreak is a good enough reason to hesitate. But understanding how the threat spreads and how people contract the virus can help you better prepare your recruitment process. 

Chances are that you’re sourcing candidates online. Whether you’re using social media, online job portals, advanced ATS or recruitment software, this phase of the process does not need to change. There’s very little contact with the candidate beyond phone calls and emails.


Recruitment events are a great way to expedite the recruitment process and connect with candidates face-to-face. However, with social distancing at play, recruiters have been forced to adapt and webinars have become a central fixture in recruitment strategies.

In March alone, the number of digital events hosted on the popular ON24 Platform increased 330 percent year-over year. 

Webinars have become commonplace for multiple reasons. For starters, they’re the most fitting substitute for in-person recruitment events. Second, with many businesses struggling to keep up with the rapidly changing economy, webinars offer an excellent opportunity to share your knowledge with those who need it.



Once you know where and how you will attract candidates, you’ll want to start focusing on your recruitment marketing strategy. 

Why? Marketers have this concept called The Rule of Seven, which basically states that a prospect  in this case a prospective candidate ⁠needs to come into contact with a brand ⁠ or employer ⁠brand seven times before they recognize the brand and take action. 

As candidates and companies are easing back into the new year after holiday breaks, it is a great time to create that stellar recruitment marketing and employer branding content you’ve been brainstorming about but haven’t had the time to do.

By working on your recruitment marketing efforts now, prospective candidates will be much more familiar with your company as a future employer when as the year gets busier, whereas your competition will be several weeks, if not months, behind. 


Looking at the trends, businesses will be actively hiring for soft skills. An employer will be in search of all-rounder talents who can work across sundry domains, be solution-oriented and action-oriented, be tech-conversant to interact with peers virtually, be able to get along with others and invite cooperation when needed, be able to understand the importance of human relationships beyond cultures to attain professional goals, and possess organised thinking, etc. 

So, overall, the new job market would be based on transdiscipline, design mindset, virtual collaboration, social intelligence, cross-cultural competency, computational thinking, among others.


Does your company put a lot of time and effort into the customer or user experience but treat the candidate experience as an afterthought?

 If so, this is one key area to improve on.

Not sure where to begin? Cristina Boehmer, marketing manager at career platform The Muse, recommends looking beyond your careers page. Nowadays, job candidates are just as likely to learn about  and judge your company based on what they see on social media and on hiring platforms such as Glassdoor, so it makes sense to invest in recruitment marketing in these platforms.

Cristina also suggests designing a transparent recruitment process that keeps candidates consistently informed.


Speaking of managing remote teams and their work progress, there’s also a shift from traditional emails for work related communication. Apart from having PPTs and video recordings, we see a growing importance of collaboration channels and tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc.

Talview is an example of an organization where its teams are spread across various time zones. These tools are a blessing that enable working together seamlessly in spite of the time difference, across devices. 

Apart from using collaboration tools, how Talview makes it work is by setting clear expectations, monitoring regular progress on projects, leaving space for clear communication as much as possible, and lastly, trusting the employee to get the work done.

In 2020, you might have to start looking for tools that work best for you.

    What is the Future of Recruitment?

The future of recruitment in tech industries and others relies heavily on emerging technology, and hiring trends show that individuals with the ability to adapt to the tech will be preferred to fill any vacancies.

However, no matter the recruitment tactics or technology, the primary purpose is the same. Organizations want a hiring strategy that promotes positive candidate experience and attracts the best fit talents.

I hope the article helped in understanding some of the top recruitment trends for 2020. 

Optimize your hiring strategy following them and gain the best new hires for your company !


Covid-19 and Recuitment challenges for 2020
Maria Essaouari 1 juin, 2020
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