Your Post COVID-19 Recruitment Strategy For 2021

COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected the recruitment industry. Whether you’re an agency or work in an internal capacity, you will have felt an impact from the dreaded “C” word.

There’s been a lot of content that has been shared to help those through the crisis, and luckily it looks as though there’s light at the end of the tunnel – particularly when it comes to hiring.

For some, recruitment plans are going to be different for quite some time, so we wanted to create a piece that discusses the common trends that we’ve seen, as well as advice on how you can innovate your recruitment in 2021.

Trends we have seen in the market

Is the future of work remote?

The biggest debate across the corporate world, regardless of the industry, size or location is remote working: to be, or not to be?

A lot of businesses have found that remote working has brought out the best in their employees, and in fact the demand to go back to the office is incredibly low. With giants such as Facebook and Twitter embracing a complete remote working model until summer 2021, a lot of smaller businesses are following suit.

The positives mean that many employees are cutting costs on their commute, have a better work-life balance and don’t have to worry about being potentially exposed to the virus. The negatives are all linked to poor mental health as well as a lack of motivation. This could be due to not having enough space to work, or being unable to focus due to children, friends or family needing attention.

Although there are negatives associated with remote working, the positives outweigh these, and many companies are looking at ways in which they can support those who are struggling with the adjustment.

Whether it’s ensuring that employees are equipped to work from home by sending them the correct technology, or companies purchasing meeting rooms or hot desk space for those who are struggling, the consensus is that remote working is here to stay.

Automation and AI

Whether we like it or not, AI, Automation and general Technology has been the saviour for a lot of companies during COVID-19, and we believe that it’s here to stay.

When you look at the recruitment industry, it’s clear that although AI will never replace ‘human’ recruitment, it can be used as a valuable tool to support companies that have still been hiring throughout lockdown.

Having access to platforms that can automate part of the screening process, as well as software that can allow interviews to run smoother, all contribute to the notion that technology has allowed the world to have some sort of normality during an unprecedented time.

At HdE TALENT, we actually spent the first lockdown developing our very own proprietary system to address this challenge. Launched last month, our talented Dev & Design team spent many sleepless nights integrating over 200+ jobs board, candidate workflows, CMS dashboards, video interviewing for Zoom and Google Hangout, plus a set of advanced AI & ML algorithms that has given us the ability to source millions of candidates, whilst most importantly giving us a seamless digital experience for clients and candidates anywhere in the world.

Let’s talk Recruitment 2021

COVID-19 has completely transformed how businesses will conduct their recruitment, and we understand that it can be difficult to know where to start when strategising for 2021. We’ve put together 4 things for you to consider and assess before conducting your 2021 recruitment strategy!

  • Recognise the skills gaps in your business
    If hiring is on the horizon for 2021, now is the time to start looking at the skills gaps that you have across the business, or within your own team. Assessing skills gaps allows you to be more streamlined during the recruitment process and identifying specific areas will ensure that you’re making the correct hire technically as well as culturally.It can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to grow quickly, without any real regard as to how you’ll do that sustainably. To achieve sustainable (and necessary) growth, you must recognise the skills gaps in your business before you do anything else.


  • Do you need to hire, or do you need to upskill instead?
    There is a fine line between needing to recruit someone completely new or upskilling current individuals in the business to facilitate the skills gap. Defining that can take some time, and we recommend asking yourself the following questions before putting out a requisition to your talent team (or agency partner):

    • Are the requirements going to take longer than 3 months for my team to learn?
    • Are the requirements too niche/technical?
    • Are the requirements permanent or temporary?
    • Will I/my team feel burnt out if we take on this responsibility together?

    If you find that you’re answering “yes” to more than two of these questions, then it’s probably time to start writing a job description! Remember, if it’s only a temporary skills gap – it may be worth looking at a contract option to facilitate this rather than a permanent hire.
    If you find that you’re answering “no” to the above questions, then it’s important for you to start upskilling the necessary individuals so you can be ready for 2021.


  • Re-think your interview process
    COVID-19 turned the ‘standard’ interview process for many businesses’ upside down, and it showed many how dated their current processes were. Unnecessary interview stages, tests and assessments were questioned; and more contemporary methods were adopted.Behavioural interviews are defined as “a technique used in which the candidate has the opportunity to demonstrate their potential for succeeding in the new role, by providing specific examples of how they handled similar situations based on their past experience”

    A lot of interviews are often based on technical skill and cultural fit, but these are only surface level assessments. Using behavioural interview techniques will not only allow you to understand your candidate pool better, but you can also get a real insight into how the individual deals with challenges.

    Another step that can help to enrich your recruitment process is psychometric testing, also known as aptitude tests. The benefit of a psychometric test is that there’s no right or wrong answer; it allows you to get a deeper understanding of the individual that is being interviewed, as certain tests can reveal information on how they like to be managed, as well as behavioural style and mental capabilities.


  • Onboarding and post-placement care
    Your recruitment process shouldn’t stop when a candidate officially becomes an employee. Post-placement care is crucial to ensuring that your new employee feels included and can settle in with ease.

    • What does your candidate experience currently look like?
      With many businesses opting for a remote workforce, this needs to be considered if you have also made the decision to have a part, or all of your team remote. If your candidate experience hasn’t changed in the last 18 months, it’s time for a rethink.
    • How can you improve and adapt it?
      Knowing where to start can be difficult in the ‘new world’ of working that 2021 will bring. We recommend doing two things:

      • Ask your current employees how they would envision the candidate experience looking like if they were to join the business now. Collaboration is key!
      • Ask candidates during an interview process what their expectations are so you can get real-time insight into how the candidates of today think.

Finally, it’s a marathon – not a sprint

COVID-19 has affected us all, and it can often feel like climbing a giant mountain when you have to recalibrate your entire recruitment strategy. However, it’s a marathon – not a sprint. Every business is unique, and our biggest piece of advice is to focus on what you can do to improve your recruitment strategy for 2021.

With access to a talent pool of over 25m talented candidates, HdE TALENT can help put the right people on your team and give you the support you need to make 2021 a year of positive growth. To learn more, contact us today.