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updated: 5/15/2020 7:22 AM

Hiring in the aftermath of the covid-19 crisis

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  • Jason Eisenhut

    Jason Eisenhut


Consistently finding and hiring qualified employees has never been easy. It will be even more difficult in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

Searching for top talent:

With the workforce and unemployment riding a wild roller coaster, it's necessary for managers to use new and innovative techniques to attract talent. Consider reaching out to recent retirees who could represent a quick and easy way to fill a gap. Encourage your current staff to refer a friend or family member through a more attractive referral bonus offering. Single and multi-employer virtual job fairs are also becoming more commonplace.

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

If your company has a significant number of openings and does not have enough time to spend on recruiting, review AI options for first and second level positions. Several AI options can screen resumes and review video interviews to identify top candidates, which can save time if done effectively. However, having a real person reviewing resumes and conducting interviews is still preferred due to concerns over a lack of a long-term AI analysis and risks of discrimination related to gender, race and age bias in the programming logic.

In-person interviews:

Meeting face-to-face may still be necessary in some situations and that's ok. Avoid shaking hands and practice social distancing. Before the interview, inform the candidate of your company's recent cleaning activities and other related details (e.g., face mask policy).

Videos of your office:

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of candidates look for prerecorded, on-demand employer-provided videos including a tour of the office, co-worker testimonials, and a recorded statement from the CEO/president. Now, more than ever, these recruiting tools can be a differentiator in the hiring process.

Virtual interviews:

In situations where in-person interviews aren't possible, virtual interviews are a useful and reliable substitute. With today's advances in technology along with our recent mass exposure to apps such as Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting, video interviews will be preferred by most employers and candidates until a vaccine is ready and the crisis is over.

Here are some tips to facilitate an effective virtual interview:

1. If you haven't already, contact a video conferencing vendor and start a free trial -- most vendors are offering extended periods of time for the free trial. Test out the functionality with your family before trying it at work to see if you like it and how it compares to the other options.

2. After a video conferencing vendor has been selected and prior to the actual interview, facilitate test calls with the hiring manager(s) and human resources to ensure everyone's system is working and they feel comfortable with the process. If more than one person from the company will be on the call, remind everyone to mute their lines when not in use.

3. Be flexible with interview times. Candidates may have limited access to a shared home computer or other technology needed for the connection. They may also need to work around child care issues.

4. Provide the candidate with tips for a successful virtual interview. The tips can include a request for the candidate to test their video conference connection before the actual interview and to dress appropriately like the person would for an in-person interview. Also provide the candidate with the names and job titles of people from the company who will be part of the interview.

• Jason Eisenhut is vice president of human resources at Employco USA in Westmont. Contact him at or (630) 286-7341. Visit for more information.