Hiring, staff productivity and retention are challenging for most organisation in this time of a global pandemic caused by the coronavirus but what will it look like afterwards and what can you do now.

Organisations are being forced to adapt to a new norm of virtual working where employees work in isolation to their colleagues. 

Consequently organisations, hr and hiring managers have been forced to  reevaluate and fully reassess their existing human resources and what business opportunities exist in this current climate in order to determine how their current hiring needs and processes — for both leaders and employees generally — need to adjust to remain competitive and consistent and further down the line how these processes may need to evolve to work effectively in the new working reality.

Here is our advice of how to adapt based on our experience and conversations with what our clients are doing.

Evaluate Business Functions

As organisations are finding certain departments and functions lend themselves better to working from home than others, while opportunists may identify new functions  which the business can utilise and capitalise on. Existing staff may be able to be retrained and this should be considered as first option rather than laying people off although the UK Government have recently introduced processes to try and avoid this. You will then know what openings remain.

Prioritise Hiring Needs

After carrying out the above process, this can be actioned based on necessity, business function, work arrangement, and location. Prioritise positions  that can be moved to or are already set up to work from home and also that can be realistically beinterviewed remotely and onboarded 'virtually' using video, skype and telephone. These should take precedence over other roles, once necessities and functional priorities have been determined but do make sure you have the necessary software and processes to recruit in this manner. Consider if you have a budget at this time agencies with bespoke software and packages like our own engage software which is designed for remote recruiting

Continue Pipelining 

Remember this state of uncertainty in the world will pass, so get yourself in a position using your own resourcing teams or preferred recruiters to be in a position to move and move quickly when it has passed.

Unfortunately their will be a glut of available candidates with exceptional skills available so know what you want, how this will fit into your post pandemic  business model and start pipelining effectively and fast. If you identify you want candidates with detailed experience of virtual platforms, credit control, legal specialisms and how to successfully implement this in your business, now is the time to start pipelining.

Consider Your New Skill Requirements

While most people can continually succeed in an upward fashion by building on prior experience, we are not in this stable state at the moment. The person who can repeatedly succeed in unknown situations you have identified is what some companies will need and look for as we move forward with fresh ideas and reinvention.

Consider Your Hiring Process

If the pandemic has identified for you that your hiring processes are ineffective, slow and outdated then now is the time to consider whether your hiring process can change. Can you incorporate greater testing designed to assess the adaptability and creativity of individuals as well as using video/telephone content at the outset to reduce the number of meetings and the time involved in meetings? Can your existing processes identify the new skills you now believe will be key to your organisation?

This may be a good starting point for you.

Download the Hiring Checklist


Evaluate Your Current Onboarding Processes. 


Onboarding 3-1

Ask yourself what aspects can potentially be done virtually now and going forward? Assess what staff and training resources will be needed for a new hire to have the fastest path to productivity. Ensuring that an effective onboarding plan is in place has always been crucial for quickly achieving ROI from new hires as well as retaining them but this pandemic has sought to re emphasise that. Maybe consider future engagement of specialist onboarding software and support.

Evaluate Work Arrangements and Contracts.

Could it be as an organisation you consider at the end of the pandemic more flexibility in the way you recruit than simply taking people on full-time. You could consider more contract and temporary roles .You may want to consider structuring hires to help reduce unemployment and recruitment costs in what will certainly be an uncertain time.

Evaluate Your Work Culture.

In such unprecedented times it is critical to keep employees involved and part of the plan in the short and mid term , given the uncertainty within the markets .Fostering  and embellishing a mindset of “we’re all in this together,” and  encouraging ideas and comradery is vital.  Staff that feel isolated and resentful employees will also be less inclined to get involved with the big push after lockdown measures end and the economy starts to move again. How has use of the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme within your organisation impacted employees or morale in the long term. You will need to evaluate this gonig forward.

Also do look for ethical opportunity in chaos. Which of your team would you want in the trenches with you , look for potential leaders as well as rank-and-file employees who have shown they can survive and thrive in uncertain times, and that holds true for current leaders as well.

We have no doubt Hiring practices will have to adjust so do your work on this now while you can.

Can We Help?

Hopefully, we can with our market knowledge even if its simply pointing you in a different direction.

We have placed and filled over 100,000 temp and permanent assignments over the last 27 years so have a range of techniques, ideas and platforms which could help you. Why not call us on 0113 367 2880 have a conversation with one of our team. Alternatively drop us an email here or check out are Testimonials and Case Studies.

If you want to find out a bit more about us check out our Showcase Video below.



About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry