Hiring in a Time of Crisis


Every few years the world tackles an inevitable crisis that has a long-lasting impact on the world’s economy. We are currently facing a global pandemic with the outbreak of COVID-19. Markets have slowed down & businesses are taking a step back when it comes to making new decisions.

However, can businesses afford to come to a standstill in such situations?

When it comes to recruitment, how should organizations continue to push forward, and what are some of the benefits of hiring in a time of crisis?

Going Digital

With the advisory to move towards a lockdown & work-from-home notices to promote social distancing, many companies are conducting their day to day internal & external meetings virtually. In today’s age of technology, we have several tools such as Skype, Zoom, Webex, etc, easily at our disposal. While several organizations have made the decision to suspend all hiring processes until the world recovers from the crisis, many have opted to conduct face to face interviews via video conferencing tools instead.

Hiring Managers can ‘Meet’ Candidates

While first stage interviews are mostly conducted via a phone call, most hiring managers make it a point to meet their candidates in person towards the final stages. One is able to form a better judgment of candidate personality, behaviour & overall suitability for a role & their team when they meet in person. When hiring in a time of crisis where cities impose national lockdowns & travel bans, the next best option for hirers would be to virtually meet their candidates. Even if it is through a screen, managers are able to see their candidates & be able to make similar assessments as in physical meetings.

Ease in Scheduling Interviews

One benefit of having a virtual interview is overcoming the challenge in finding a common time & place for both parties to be present. Regardless of where either the interviewer or interviewee may be, the meeting can be easily arranged once a convenient time is locked in. This eliminates the need to factor in time to travel, often to a different country. Candidates are also more open to taking an interview during working hours as they can simply take the interview in a quiet spot instead of needing to excuse themselves from their existing employers for an extended period.

Increased Lead Time to Build Pipeline

As clients hold off major decision making & client meetings, sales teams are naturally on softer targets from their senior management. Newly hired sales professionals can buy more time to understand the new business & products and think of a strategy to hit their sales targets when clients resume looking at purchasing decisions. Hence, it is not always a risk to take on a new sales role when the market is not doing well.

Businesses can also make use of this time to mine & explore market segments they have not had the time for, establishing contact & relationships which can later materialize in potential monetary returns. 

Candidate Receptiveness

With the ongoing work-from-home arrangements there has been an increase in candidate receptiveness to speaking with recruiters & hiring teams. They are not surrounded by co-workers and can freely discuss new potential opportunities. It is a good time to target non-active candidates to build a rapport & align potentially exciting new roles for them.

Interview processes should still go on, keeping candidates warm & excited to embark on a new role once firms are ready to officially onboard employees. If firms were to hold off any recruitment activities until better times, there would be a lag time between the immediate requirements of recovering businesses & interview process time.

As candidates, we can also use the slow down in the day to day processes to re-evaluate how we would want to progress in our careers, potentially take on online courses to upgrade our skills, update CVs, etc.

It has been interesting to see how different companies have been coping and hiring in a time of crisis. There is always an opportunity under any circumstances, it’s about looking above & beyond the challenges that everyone is busy focusing on. If we wait around for the crisis to tide over, there is a chance that we will lose a valuable candidate to a competitor who is still on the lookout to strengthen their team. Similarly, as candidates, one might lose out on the dream opportunity due to an assumption that all hiring processes are on hold.


Anchal Murawala is a Senior Associate at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Financial Technology & Data sectors.

You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent – 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” hereAlternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on info@datasearchconsulting.com for a more detailed discussion.

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