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Recruitment and HR Blog

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Why ‘Remote Recruiting’ is becoming vital for many employers

17th March 2020

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At the time of publishing, a total of 1,543 people have been tested positive in the UK for Coronavirus (Covid-19), with medical experts urging anyone showing the smallest signs of a fever or a continuous cough to self-isolate, and people in ‘at-risk’ groups being asked to stay home for 12 weeks.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are having to find new and innovative methods of enabling operations to continue with as little disruption as possible, with remote working options becoming a vital part of the ‘social distancing’ strategy to slow the spread of the virus and enable businesses to carry on as normal (as possible).

But when it comes to the recruitment process – is it realistic to think that it’s ‘business as usual’? Google certainly thinks so, it hasn’t taken them long to replace traditional face to face interviews with video interviews.

For many industries, particularly hospitality and high street retail, these are trying times to say the least. But for other employers, there is an urgent need to recruit – for instance Amazon is looking to hire an additional 100,000 full and part-time staff to keep up with demand.

27.5 days is the average time to hire in the UK – if employers who are looking to recruit wait until the coronavirus outbreak subsides, the delays could have a significant impact on those businesses who are not ahead of the game.

Employers who are in a position to do so, need to continue with a selective recruitment process, enabling them to focus on only interviewing the best applicants or at the very least have a bank of suitable applicants ready and waiting for a face to face interview when the pandemic ends.


So, how can you start ‘remote recruiting’?

Recruitment doesn’t have to come to a grinding halt, technology can enable you to continue the recruitment and selection process – and it can even help you to save time and avoid those costly mistake hires by adopting varied selection methods…


Online Pre-employment Skills, Knowledge and Psychometric Testing

Did you know that 28% of job seekers lie on their CV? From IT, literacy and numeracy skills, to accounting, health & safety, and customer service – online testing is a sure-fire way to reduce the risk of a poor hire, and save you time from having to interview applicants who don’t meet the required standards.

Psychometric Testing Service is a useful tool to help you to understand how aspects of an individual's behavioural style will affect their performance at work. It can be used for all roles but is particularly useful for sales, managerial and leadership positions. 81% of people using psychometrics believe it helps reduce risky decisions!

Click here for more information on online skills and knowledge testing

Click here for more information on online psychometric testing


Video interviewing

Conducting video interviews with candidates is an obvious way to reduce the risks of face-to-face interviews, but how on earth do you start implementing the process?

Well, when it comes to video software – from established providers such as Zoom and Skype to the apps on our mobile phones such as Google Hangouts (Android) and FaceTime (Apple/iOS) - you won’t be short of options!

If we had to pick one, it would be the online meeting room/video conferencing tool Whereby. It’s simple to use and set up, just think of it as an online meeting room – set up your unique URL and send the link to anyone you’d like to join, and they can enter the room once you’ve let them in. There’s no need for the interviewee to set up an account, and it is browser-based so there’s no need to download any specific software - which makes it perfect for video interviews!

Here are our top tips for conducting video interviews:

  • Ensure you’re in a quiet location, with as little visual distractions as possible (a bare wall is ideal).

  • Lighting is key – if you have a window with bright sunshine behind you, the interviewee won’t be able to see your face, so try to ensure you’re facing towards any windows or lights.

  • Test the quality of the video and the sound with a colleague first to ensure there are no issues.

  • Try not to type any notes during the video interview, as the noise from typing will be louder than you think and may distract the interviewee.

  • Hands are key to communicating with body language – so make sure your hands are in view and not just your face.

  • Use post-it notes with questions and place them on your screen – these can be useful cue cards to ensure you look professional and don’t forget any questions you had prepared.

  • Be conscious of your body movements – the microphone can pick up even the smallest of noises, so even normal movements such as shifting your weight in your chair can be distracting.


As the situation continues to unfold, there’s no telling how serious things could get and the impact it could have on all aspects of how businesses operate – but the only thing we can do is use the tools we have at our disposal to mitigate the impact.

The CIPD has compiled plenty of useful resources and guidance to help employers respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, click here to read more:

If you’d like to discuss anything mentioned in this article or how JVP can ensure your business is not impacted by delays in the recruitment process call us on 01745 774 955, email, or schedule a consultation call at a time convenient for you here:

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