As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip economies across the globe, few industries have been left untouched by the fallout, and that’s having huge implications not only for the workforce but also the recruitment process.
Some companies have moved to freeze hiring until the economic impact of the virus is made clear, but many others are continuing to recruit in a bid to prevent a business slowdown.
Indeed, in some instances the virus has sparked new demand for professions related to infectious diseases, according to jobs site Glassdoor, which has recorded a more than doubling of job postings with keywords related to coronavirus this month, particularly within the government, healthcare, biotech and pharmaceuticals.
However, measures aimed at containing the outbreak, such as social distancing and work from home policies, have required companies to get creative with their recruitment processes, and many are turning to virtual methods, such as video conference calls.
Tech giants Google, Amazon and Facebook, as well as recruiters PageGroup and Robert Walters, are among the global companies to announce a move to online job interviews for the duration of the outbreak. Video conferencing apps, including WeChat Work, Zoom and Slack, have risen nearly fivefold since the start of the year.
“In an effort to reduce some of the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, companies are turning to technology to maintain business continuity during this time of uncertainty,” Glassdoor’s community manager, Jo Cresswell, told CNBC Make It.
The move is not unprecedented. In addition to a general uptick in video interviews over recent years, thanks to advances in technology, previous periods of economic and social duress have prompted a spike in remote hiring, for instance during the 2008 global financial crisis.
“We saw rapid growth of interviewing technology during the last recession, which is why I’m not surprised we’re starting to see a spike in interest from hiring teams during the coronavirus outbreak,” noted Peter Baskin, chief product officer of remote recruitment platform Modern Hire.
It does, however, mark a new era for interviewers and interviewees. Many who are used to in-person interviews will have to switch to virtual screening processes for the first time and figure out new ways to best convey themselves and their companies online.
CNBC Make It spoke to the the experts from Glassdoor and Modern Hire to find out their top tips for getting the virtual job interview right.