Companies’ recruitment strategy shift to virtual platforms amid coronavirus outbreak

New Delhi: Following the unforeseen disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, companies are now resorting to intelligent automated systems that offer virtual screening environment and interviewing experience, instead of conducting in-person interviews.

Companies have taken the rising global health crisis very seriously and are concerned about the health of their employees and until this public health emergency is contained, corporates are shifting their entire recruitment strategy to virtual platforms.

“Since, the increase in number of COVID-19 cases, we have had few interviews cancelled ..they are postponed to mid April or later. Some of the companies have opted for video interview only if the role is for a key position and there is an urgency to hire. Most of our interviews have moved to telephonic or video calls instead of face to face meetings,” a spokesperson of Antal International, a global executive recruitment organisation said.

Companies are checking the travel history (official and personal) of the past three months, also their medical history is getting checked. However, if they have any illness, status of illness, track of residence locations, any address update that need to be done is also done.

“Critical business functions need not be brought to a standstill. Instead virtual onboarding and engagement can be initiated by leveraging digital solution suites like virtual hackathons where team members could come together to discuss present and hypothetical business challenges.

“Work management could be optimised through work from home, virtual meeting platforms, and other adaptive working practices,” said Siddhartha Gupta, chief executive officer of Mercer|Mettl .

Virtual platforms helps the talent acquisition team to stay connected with the candidates through the entire interview process by video calls and still can connect on a real time basis with the candidates.

The usage of online assessment has been increased as part of the hiring process especially for the IT and Tech roles, to quickly filter and move candidates to the next level, experts said.

“Amidst the COVID-19 situation, Skillsoft’s talent acquisition function has taken a decision to conduct all interviews via WebEx and avoid in-person interviews for the safety of both candidates and our team members. This helps the candidates attend interviews from their home or any remote location,” said Krishna Prasad, head HR – APAC – Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate learning.

The virtual screening process has helped firms get into a mode where there is no physical exposure between the candidate and interviewer as social isolation will help to mitigate COVID-19-led disruption and sustain business continuity.

“Companies have taken the epidemic situation seriously and concerned about employee health, for the existing employees work from home has been approved and calls are arranged to review the work which is getting done, special teams have been formed to ensure that in case of work flow emergency and also “health reasons” employees can do quick connect and call and have a discussion, even travel has been put on halt,” said Sudeep Sen, business head of manufacturing and engineering at TeamLease Services.

The Adecco Group India Country Manager and MD Marco Valsecchi said: “By leveraging technology, using the web and video conferencing, telecommunication applications like Skype and WhatsApp, we have been successful in maintaining an agile, modern and cautious approach to recruiting, which is now imperative during these unprecedented times”.

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has killed over 14,000 and sickened lakhs of people around the globe.

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