• Sarah

Recruitment Is Changing. Here's What To Do About It

Remote Interview and work from home becoming the norm in 2020

Covid-19 has more or less been a global disaster. But for all it’s negative impacts, the pandemic has done something pretty incredible. It’s pushed all of us out of our comfort zones, tested us to our limits and, according to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, has driven us to accomplish two years worth of digital transformation in two months. Of course, with its high dependence on human interactions, recruitment is likely to be one of the most affected areas of the business.

Even as we enter phase 2, remote everything is still more of an expectation than the outlier. With that in mind, here are some of the things you can expect or may have seen, and how to make them less of a struggle.

You've spent more time looking through applications

resume review and CV review

Unless your recruitment strategy has had a huge focus on events, it’s likely that the process for sourcing new talents is going to stay more or less the same as before. In fact, it’s likely that you’ve been seeing an increase in applications during this period. What this means for you is: having to spend significantly more time looking through CVs.

In most cases, a candidate’s CV is one of the major deciding factors on whether they get moved forward in the recruitment process. Which, let’s be honest, may not be the most efficient process, or the best process to get the brightest candidate. With the influx of CVs, even with an ATS, you’ll likely be spending a lot more time reviewing CVs, which means that by the time you do find someone who looks like they’d be a great addition to your team, they may not be looking out anymore.

There are lots of times where we’ve met an incredibly talented engineer, who’s just not great at writing CVs.

This means that if they’re being entered into your ATS, they could fall through the cracks and you may not even see their resume. Imagine the number of talents you could be missing out on if that’s your only way forward.

Solution: Streamlining Recruitment

Streamlining processes and making things more efficient

The answer to streamlining your process, is to add a few steps to the initial application process. Which sounds completely counterintuitive, but stay with us here. These steps can help you to filter candidates before you even take a look at their CVs, cutting down the initial number you have to review. Plus, they can help you to identify candidates whose strengths are aligned with the role requirements and your company’s culture. This gives you something outside of their CV to review as well.

At Breathe, and with lots of other companies like L’Oreal, GSK and Mastercard, personality and psychometric tests are included in their initial application to help understand their personalities, motivations and how suited a person really is to the role. Candidates that score well on the metrics we’re looking for on these tests, can then be assessed based on their resumes.

Understanding candidates' motivations to ensure best fit

To complement the process, a preliminary asynchronous interview, where the questions are pre-recorded and the candidate just needs to upload themselves responding to them, can be done. The psychometric tests and personality tests can also complement the current systems you have in place to determine if a candidate has the required technical skills to succeed in the role. If you’re thinking of implementing something like this into your processes, here are some resources you can start with.

Not only would this help your teams to cut down on the time and effort you’re putting onto your initial screening process, but it would also help increase your interview success rate, since the candidates making it through to the interview stage would be higher quality ones. It would be especially useful to companies that are trying to increase the diversity of their hires, by taking out any unconscious biases that may be present. And who knows? Maybe it would expose you to some really great people you never would have thought to look at.

You've Started Conducting Virtual Interviews

Remote team conducting interview while working from home due to Covid

Pre-covid era, conducting in-person interviews was hard enough. But now, that we need to do it virtually, it becomes a bit harder, since you not only need to consider what the content and structure of the interview would look like, but the logistics, and ensuring your team is on the same page.

Keeping in mind that the interview stage would be the candidate’s first proper interaction with your company, ensuring the process runs smoothly is crucial. Especially with more senior talents, haphazardly done interviews could have an irreparable impact on their impression of you, and cause you to lose out on some really talented people.

Solution: Overcommunicate

Team communication and collaboration

Sounds like a drag doesn’t it? But you can’t underestimate how much back and forth it saves if the entire team knows exactly what points they’re looking for in a candidate, how important they are, and how to identify an exceptional talent. So, come up with some guidelines on what you’re looking for and go over it with the team.

It may also be worthwhile to take some time to run training interviews for anyone who’ll be conducting online interviews. That enables you to get a sense of what you can expect during the interview, pre-empt any issues that may arise, and understand what the candidate sees when they’re talking to you. In this case, the preparation for virtual interviews should look pretty similar to if you were to run a webinar.

Children can be distracting while working from home and homeschooling, making remote work tough

Some things we’d recommend looking out for? Ensure that there’s nothing too distracting going on during the interview. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to get distracted with online interviews. Re-assuring the candidate that you're paying attention to their responses is another important factor in conducting a good interview. We try to nod and smile every so often to show the candidates that we’re still on the line, and that no, our internet connection didn’t just drop off.

What The Candidates Are Thinking

Candidates speak to each other

Nowadays, there’s been an increased focus to what companies are doing, employee happiness and candidate experience than ever before. Any half decent candidate is always looking at opportunities at a number of different companies, so imagine how many potential offers the exceptional ones are fielding.

One of the most common things we hear all the time from candidates is that they have a really good interview, and love the company culture. Until the company ghosts them for the next month.

Keeping Candidate Experience Up

Discussions and transparency help to improve employer branding and perception

One of the easiest ways to improve the candidate journey is to keep them updated on the status of their application. Even if it’s not good news, most people we’ve spoken to would actually appreciate the company taking the time to get back to them with an update. This could be done by using an automated email to them thanking them for their time and an update on the status of their application.

Another way to zhuzh up your candidate experience is to give them the feeling of an in-person interview. So once you’re back in the offices, maybe you could bring them on a virtual tour of the office, and say hi to their potential team mates.


Like everyone keeps saying, it’s likely that this really is the new normal, and we’re all going to have to learn to live with Covid. Which isn’t all bad news. The pandemic has given the recruitment industry an opportunity to take a look at its inefficiencies and the time to improve processes moving forward.

If you’ve been thinking the same, and want to improve the processes in your company, get in touch with us and maybe we can help. We recently helped Transferwise save over 720 hours in interview time!

Alternatively, if you’re not ready for that much commitment yet, we’ve also been conducting free 30 minute diagnostics on our partners’ recruitment processes which could potentially help you start the process to a 100% acceptance rate on your offers.

Get your Employer branding and recruitment processes up to speed