At this point, we are all used to a “new normal.” Social distancing has changed the way that we work, the way that we spend time with friends, and even the way that we apply and interview for jobs. 

While many industries (particularly hospitality, travel, and entertainment) have had to cut back on their workforces dramatically, either reducing hours or enacting furloughs or layoffs, others are still looking to hire.  

Here is what you can expect at each stage of the hiring, interviewing, and onboarding process. 

The candidate pool is changing 

In the age of COVID-19, it seems like many companies are starting their hiring search from within their own talent pool. Due to the financial strain that many are feeling during this time, this makes sense from a resource standpoint. There are also obvious hurdles that come with social distancing – it is extremely unlikely that Human Resources will want to fly in a potential candidate, for example. For these reasons, internal candidates may have an advantage. 

With financial futures uncertain, there may continue to be a pause on filling permanent positions for a while. Many companies are, instead, looking to hire interim workers. If you are currently looking for a job, consider opening up your search to include short-term work. Not only will this help keep money coming in and reduce any gaps in your work history, but it could also turn into a longer-term position after the economy begins to recover. 

Expect a totally remote interview process

Does anyone even remember the world before Zoom? Me neither. If you are currently searching for a job, anticipate that the interview process will be completely different than what you have experienced before. It will likely be handled entirely through video chat, which means that there are different things that you will have to prepare to ensure that the interview goes as smoothly as possible. 

For example, you need to make sure that you have a good internet connection, that you can share your resume or any other documents remotely, and that you will not be interrupted by roommates or family members who might be quarantining at-home.  

Onboarding is also going virtual 

Since a lot of people are still continuing to work from home, it is likely that – when you are hired – that the onboarding process will also be done remotely. This is arguably the biggest challenge for HR; it is important that new employees feel welcome and immersed in the company culture, but there is obviously something less personal about doing this from their own home. The most important thing is that you establish a new routine with your company. Do not be afraid to ask for regularly scheduled video conversations and plenty of resources and information that you can help you get your bearings.  

Are these changes here to stay?

Even after the world has recovered from coronavirus, it is likely that some of the changes that we have seen in the interviewing and hiring process will be here to stay. In particular, more companies – depending on the job position – will be open to employees working remotely, at least part of the time. Not only has this been shown to increase job satisfaction, but it can also reduce overhead costs. 


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