Post-Lockdown Hiring: Practical Tips For Business Owners

Description: The global pandemic has certainly made an impact on companies hiring processes. This article looks at practical tips for business owners who are looking to hire during these troubled times.

The world of business has changed over the past year or so, with more questions focusing on topics such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Times have been tough – many businesses are considering who they can afford to keep on through the scheme, who they need to bring back and who gets the boot.

For companies who are looking to fill up new roles, this is a crucial time to hire as the global market has in fact created a lot of job opportunities. However, can prospective employees deal with the issues that coronavirus has created? Will they be able to interact remotely with their colleagues for instance, and how will people’s mental health cope?

Here in this article, we look at the biggest questions facing hiring managers and business owners today, providing some practical tips. So without further adieu, let’s get stuck into it.

Hiring rates now

Global business has generally slowed down during the pandemic, leaving companies trying to save every penny on outgoing costs. Furloughing staff and pausing recruitment has meant that many companies have needed to protect their revenue streams and minimise risk. If you look at any of the major hiring websites, you’ll find that they have certainly been less active than usual. Figures show that in May this year, there were two thirds fewer jobs than were advertised in the same month last year. The pandemic has certainly decreased the number of job vacancies.

While the vast majority of businesses have been decreasing their wages and hiring fewer people, some industries have been on the up and up. The most prominent have been the civil, healthcare, and social service sectors, which have dominated the advertisements on recruitment websites. Recent data from established recruiters ManpowerGroup found that in the third quarter of the current year, companies have been hiring 12% less than usual, and this is the lowest rate it’s been in almost 30 years. However, in June some reports from ONS suggested that hiring rates have started to increase, and LinkedIn recently reported an increase in paid job advertisements.

Find the best talent to hire

Because certain industries have been hiring through and through, an argument can be made that this is an exceptional time to look for new talent. At this moment in time, research, healthcare, digital marketing, and telecommunication industries have been hiring the most, but there are good reasons to think that many many more sectors could benefit from hiring now. There are fewer pressures imposed on people that would otherwise be present in the office environment, and candidates are more flexible to attend interviews given the usual remote nature. The overall decline in work over the course and pandemic also means that candidates will be more willing to move to a different job.

Many people have enjoyed several aspects of remote work: added work-life balance, a better sense of freedom, no commutes, but human connection has definitely been distorted throughout the pandemic. Online socials aren’t really don’t cut it, especially if a company has had to furlough its staff. Many people are now not willing to make a trip to the office for social events,  yet this would have been commonplace before the pandemic. In general, many candidates are beginning to feel much less connected or loyal to their employers. This will have an impact and could outweigh any risks of job switching when working remotely. It’s something that you as a business owner need to take into consideration.

Reassuring clients

For a successful and smooth recruitment process, your client’s needs and wants have never been more important than today.  Many prospective interviewees will likely have grappled with many months of redundancy, furloughing, and nerves around returning back to work unless public health improves.

Any successful recruitment processes today will need to be about reassuring a candidate that their role will be 100% compliant with all of the current guidelines. No one should feel unsafe or unsure at any time in the recruitment process. As a business owner, you may need to focus on reducing your number of shifts, providing PPE, staggering lunch break times, and adjusting the working day – these should all be explained to prospective candidates to help them feel at ease.

The interview itself

As a business owner or hiring manager, how can you approach interviews in this current climate? One of the most important points is that everything will need to be done remotely. Interviews need to adapt, and should now take place primarily over the phone or on video chat. Thanks to today’s technology, it’s fairly simple to send tests, samples or anything else that you need to assess online. Remotely, it can all be done!

There is something to be said about face-to-face interviews – many businesses value meeting someone in the flesh. If you have a close-knit team that relies on certain ideologies or personalities, it may feel daunting to hire someone without having physically met them. While this is certainly an obstacle for some, it is something that businesses need to adapt to.

Companies have had time to change the way they work, holding socials and meetings over videoconferencing. Even networking has been carried out completely remotely. You should get used to remotely holding your interviews, conducting them online, thinking about the right questions to ask related to remote working, and generally embracing the screen in front of you.

Now will be a time to assess people’s interaction and body language differently than before. How do you feel about someone’s eyes drifting towards the floor during a video call? And what impression will you make if it appears that you are staring off into the distance? You won’t want to make your interviewee uncomfortable either!

Hiring process considerations – ask the right questions

Over the pandemic, diversity has been a more prominent consideration in the hiring process of most businesses. Numerous companies and brands are looking to review their own internal structures, particularly in the wake of movements such as Black Lives Matter. Organizations do not want to be held accountable for systemic racism. Recent studies coming from Canada, UK, and France have all shown that companies have been more likely to interview white male candidates over their non-white counterparts, even if their CVs are identical. Over the past month alone, Google searches for systemic racism have been the highest ever since 2004. As a business owner, you will need to reflect exactly on who you usually hire and be mindful of any unconscious biases that you may have.


Recent times have certainly been hard for both business owners and the unemployed. Job searching will become ever more significant, especially as the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has come to a close. It is time for your business to make the hiring process as easy and streamlined as possible and to get acquainted with how times have changed. If you really want to snap up exceptional talent, you needn’t shy away from hiring –  now is the time to get things moving.

If you know who you are looking for and how you can manage your hiring process remotely, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t be able to hire people right now. Get to know your candidates, become familiar with remote practices, streamline, organize your recruitment funnel and find the best talent today. Good luck!

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