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Is now the best or the worst time to recruit? – Five tips for recruiters

09 Apr 2020 by Tommi Talja

We live in a time that no one could predict. That’s why this text and all the advice given here should be taken with a grain of salt. Hopefully, this text will still give a fresh perspective on recruitment in general.

Don’t be aggressive – be humane.

Communication has always been the key, but now it is more important than ever. Everyone is feeling at least a little anxious because nothing feels certain anymore. This is why an aggressive approach to recruitment is something that should be avoided at all cost. Especially tech recruitments have been a competitive place where pushing the envelope has given results, but now this is not the right way to go. By understanding, listening and being humane you can achieve results. Now is the time to make an impact and be the one who listens, because when the time comes, you and your company will be the ones that come to candidates’ minds. 

Give space and time.

Even though recruitments are slowing down and everybody is thinking about the effects the Covid-19 crisis will have, recruitments are going to continue at some point. If you think about the recruitment process and its phases, the signing of the contract is the only phase that is really different now. Of course, you cannot invite people to your office and “feel the vibes” of your “so very special company culture”, but you can now pump up the volume of remote interviews and casual water-cooler discussions. Just talk and meet new people. Let candidates get to know you and the potential future colleagues and put the recruitment function in the back burner. Do good stuff, be easily approachable and let the recruitment happen when the time is right.

Don’t underline the current situation. Everybody knows.

Information overload is a real thing and people are or will get bored with all the Covid-19 related discussions. It is brought up all the time and everywhere. Maybe the recruitment related discussions could be a safe haven from all that?

Face the facts, communicate the current situation but then move on to other stuff. Focus on things that are relevant in the long run and the dreams, aspirations and skills of the candidate. Covid-19 pandemic will pass. Making everybody happier at their work is not gonna go away – quite the opposite.

Focus on the timeline and adapt to change.

All the good recruiters have always made it very clear how the recruitment process will go down and what happens in every phase. Now, this becomes even more important because you want to be able to adapt to the changes as things can change rather quickly. A year ago no one could see that in a month the whole country could be closed and for example, bringing candidates from other countries is simply forbidden. Make sure every candidate knows how to get in touch with you and vice versa. Emphasize that everything you are doing is based on the best possible knowledge and still things can change. Don’t make promises you can’t keep (ever, not just in strange times like this). These kinds of let-downs hit harder now than in a normal situation.

Everybody is different and you can’t know everything.

Try to avoid assumptions and play safe. You just cannot know everything the candidate is going through and everybody reacts differently to stressful situations. For someone, this might be a cool chance to do something new and take more time to oneself. For someone else, this can be really trying times and changing jobs is just a thing that adds more layers to an already existing anxiety. Do not assume that everyone is handling the situation the same way. This is why putting emphasis on the things your company can provide and offer is the right way to go. Then ask what the candidate would like to talk about and does he or she have any particular problems, challenges or ideas he or she would like to talk about.

To sum up and answer the question in the headline; now is a good time to recruit, but there are some things that need more attention. Now is not the time to make any hasty decisions. Be humane, talk openly and remember that things will get better.

Want to talk about tech recruiting?
Tommi Talja
tommi@talented.fi
+358407467385


Talented is a community for experienced developers and designers that strives to shake up the general way of recruiting software professionals in Finland and worldwide. The community includes over 2000 techies and 150 partner companies. Talented helps techies to find new jobs and projects, and companies to find Talents for both recruitment and subcontracting needs.

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