Yes! You Can Recruit Successfully During COVID-19

COVID-19 requires adapting your hiring processes to successfully recruit key hires to keep businesses hitting their goals. Here are some key tips for a successful hiring campaign during the pandemic & beyond.

1. Job brief agreed (by all stakeholders)

A simple but overlooked first step is a clear agreement on the job brief by all of the stakeholders involved in the hiring decision. Alignment is key for job requirements, budget, and timescales. It provides the right direction towards a good hiring strategy, which is lined up with organizational needs and objectives. Whether you decide on working with a recruitment company, or you have an in-house talent acquisition team –  you should know and be agreed on the key requirements of a new hire. Be thorough, skimping on detail here can lead to a costly bad hire, no hire, and a lot of wasted time and expense. 

Partnering with a recruitment company

If you decide to partner with a recruitment company, the right recruitment company will take the time to understand your needs. This goes beyond understanding responsibilities for the role, location, and salary. They need to understand company culture, business challenges, and nuances, “the good, the bad and the ugly” parts of working there, career opportunities, key targets and objectives for the new hire, background of top performers, what processes and systems are in place to support performance, learning and development plans, induction plans. They need to be a true partner and require open honest insight so you get the right hire in place.

This amount of detail is fundamental to a new relationship and delivers improved company productivity, better profits, and saves you time.

2. Embrace technology

In the wake of the pandemic outbreak, organizations around the world have been adapting their recruitment strategies to the virtual ways of doing business. Video interviewing software such as Zoom, Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams can extend their use to virtual onboarding programs. Companies that are able to embrace this technology are the ones that will win the race for the critical talent they need. Here you can find how to set up things visual in your next video conferencing/interviewing. 

At ABN Resource, for the last 5 years we have been utilizing our unique online candidate delivery platform “i-intro”, which has enabled us to connect our clients with the best global talent 24/7. In addition to video introductions, customers can access full competency interview results, executive profiles, CV’s, reference information, salary information, and key facts. With this quality of information customers have been happy to hire over video because all due diligence and assessment of fit is handled by ABN via the i-intro platform. 

Get in touch here to request a free demo.

3. Competency questions 

Competency-based questions, and the creation of an answer rating system, can help to align expectations and serve as a guide for interviewers. For example, if you are hiring someone who needs to be resourceful, self-reliant and trustworthy, focus on the questions around candidate’s ability to perform independently, i.e. “Could you give an example of a time you identified a new approach to a workplace problem?” This kind of question can greatly illustrate the candidate’s skills such as analysis, problem-solving, innovation, or practicality.

STAR Technique

For candidates a useful method to answer competency questions is the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result). It offers a straightforward format that provides real-life examples and proves you possess the experience and skills for the job at hand.

Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of the real situation you had been in.

Task: Describe your responsibilities.

Action: Explain what steps you had taken to address the situation.

Result: Share what were the outcomes of the action taken.

4. Grading / Benchmarking systems

A structured interview with a standard set of questions to ask each candidate, can give interviewer confidence, but also it makes it easier for an organization to evaluate and compare candidates in a more objective manner. Particularly for competency-based questions, it is a good practice to create a rating sheet, where the responses are measured and scored using a predetermined set of benchmarks (a standard rating scale).

Adapted from “Competency-based interviewing, assessing candidates based on their past performance. UNESCO (2016).


5. Psychometric Assessment

Psychometric assessment can give additional insight to candidate suitability for a role based on the required behavioural characteristics, aptitude, and personality. Most of the tests are now available online –  McQuaig, SHL, or DiSC Personality Profiling – they allow for easy participant access and completion, along with integrated reporting.

When used correctly, psychometric assessment can increase the chances of better hiring decisions, team cohesion, and employee retention. Since the cost of a bad hire is widely estimated to be at least one year’s pay, it pays to get that extra level of understanding!

Why behavioural assessment is particularly important?

While recruiting, most companies focus on level 1 & 2 shown in the image, both of which are important. However, using behavioral assessment can get you to level 3, it gives you the ability to look at actual data, not simply rely on observations or gut feelings to make decisions.  A data-backed approach is very useful in a hiring process that is operating more virtually. 

Copyright 2012 Holst Group. Original concept by MICA McQuaig Larkin

Psychometric assessment is a critical component of cost-effective, efficient and accurate recruitment, particularly useful for sales, managerial, and leadership positions. At ABN Resource, we use McQuaig in all our recruitment processes and placed candidates last 40% longer in a role than the industry average as a consequence. 


The way we recruit needs to change. Over the next few months, it is more likely we will experience the necessity for innovation and more virtual assessments to ensure the continuity in the talent acquisition processes. We have already seen success with how our clients have been adapting their recruitment to get hold of some amazing talent for their key positions. Last month we concluded a Managing Director search successfully all conducted through I-intro and video interviews. 

For more guidance and information, please book a free consultation with our recruitment experts.