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Talent Acquisition during COVID-19

A comprehensive guide for recruiters and talent teams on how to:

• Transition to "Recruiting from Home"

• Attract Talent during the Coronavirus

• Navigate a Hiring Delay

Recruiters and talent teams, I think we all know that our world during and after the coronavirus is going to be drastically different.

Have you found a way to send your new hires all their swag that is normally waiting at their cubicle? Also, don’t forget to plan that virtual happy hour for after work in order to meet the team! (DoorDash has alcohol delivery)

If COVID-19 lasts longer than we hope, your company might hire someone for the first time without ever meeting them in-person. On the other hand, your company could be on a hiring freeze for longer than expected...

Whatever the situation is, it is crazy to think this is our new normal.

For many Human Resources executives, this could be your first time leading through a pandemic at this massive scale. Coronavirus has shifted our workforce landscape and will continue to bring the future of work to our reality faster than expected.

Talent Acquisition is no stranger to the digital workforce. You have been sourcing talent from all over the world, recruiting passive talent online from competitors in other states, and even working remotely as you travel to undergraduate campuses to meet the new generation of leaders.

However, due to our current circumstances, now is the time to either fill in the holes and/or perfect your digital recruiting strategy.

After surveying well-known Talent Acquisition industry professionals, we have compiled a list of technologies, strategies, and areas of focus to keep front of mind as your talent teams continue through COVID-19.

We need to keep that recruiting funnel headed in the right direction… and in order to do so, you must fully transition the non-digital parts of your hiring process to become fully digital. At minimum, here are some steps you can take.


Yes. You must conduct video interviews. Not because you want to, but because it is our duty to help Flatten the Curve and minimize physical contact.

There is a lot of content online about video interviewing. Let me sum it up for you in two bullet points.

  • There is free video interview software out there (I have listed them below)

  • All "How to" articles say the same thing. Practice and test your technology before you do the interview.

Now that you don't have to do any content research on this subject, you can put your time and energy to evaluating your current recruitment tech stack. There might be Video Interviewing functionality within your tech stack that you didn’t know you had.

Also, your current Applicant Tracking System (ATS) might be working on something to help you get through this time.

For example,

If your ATS isn’t taking care of you like these are… maybe schedule out some time to do some ATS shopping during your quarantine?

For those who don’t have access to video interviewing tools through their ATS or recruitment marketing tech or if there is a pressure to keep costs low during COVID-19, check out these options.



Due to intense social distancing and Stay At Home orders, career fairs and networking events are cancelled.

For teams who are continuing to hire the class of 2020, pick up the phone and contact your favorite campus career teams. Many university career services are quickly transitioning their

in-person events to a virtual setting. Also, Career Service teams have access to a wide variety of talent. Take the time to walk someone in Career Services through your open positions, and I bet they know some superstar students willing to send your way.

Don’t want to compete with other companies in an online job fair?

Host your own!

"Since we are now completely remote, we are working on hosting virtual events. We are using GoTo Meeting… and Microsoft Teams to communicate quickly with each other”
Karli Azar, Talent Acquisition Senior Associate at Somerset CPAs, P.C.

GoTo Meeting's 14-day free trial is a quick way to host virtual events.

If you want to perfect your first virtual recruiting event or networking happy hour,

  • Set clear expectations for all attendees before the event

  • Be upfront about the position your company is in right now in regards to hiring talent

  • Have topics ready to be discussed throughout the event

  • Allow prospects to mingle so you can observe how they interact with each other in a virtual setting (***important to observe behavior if remote work continues to be the norm after someone is hired)


If you already have a robust digital recruiting strategy and feel comfortable with the above transitions, these next tips are for for the really competitive recruiters and the high output talent acquisition teams. These technologies can take your digital process to the next level in terms of efficiency.

Talent Acquisition teams who have Auto Scheduling with recruiters and hiring managers swear by it. Auto scheduling allows you to put all time towards sourcing and streamline the rest of the workload. This allows you to meet top talent faster and not lose candidates. In a time when unemployment is high, if you are actively hiring, speed will be key.

Explore some of these options.

Auto Scheduling:

Automated Phone Screening:

  • Qualifi --> for scaling your screening efforts

So now that you have converted those non-digital items to digital for your recruiting strategy, let’s talk about what makes your company attractive during COVID-19.


If someone just got let go due to COVID-19, they might have had to give their work computer back... so job searching is completely mobile. With no access to libraries during stay at home orders, mobile friendly is a must.

Your first priority in attracting talent during this crisis is assessing the mobily friendliness of your front of funnel recruiting efforts.

When was the last time you went from google --> company page --> careers page --> to filtering jobs --> filtering city --> and then tried to fill out the application from your phone.

Next time you try this, write down how many clicks it takes. If it is over 2 or 3… it is time to reevaluate.

During this mobile search, how easily can a candidate get a sense of your culture, the impact they will make at the company, and if they will meet the qualifications of the role?

This mobile friendly experience is an opportunity to be clear and concise. Less is more. The less amount of barriers you have, the more likely you will win the candidate's time in filling out an application.

Some things to look for:

1) Need to pinch and zoom? Are you having to zoom in to read the information on your careers page? Make sure the text is easy to read without having to manipulate the site.

2) How busy is the design? The more bells and whistles you have... the slower the page will load.

3) Is it branded? Your mobile friendly careers page needs keep your brand at the front of the prospect's mind.

Click here to make your careers page mobile friendly without changing your ATS.


The second step to attracting talent during coronavirus is becoming more comfortable with search engine optimization (SEO). It is estimated that 226 million people take to Google to start their job search EACH MONTH.

And with more and more people working from home or not working at all, a lot of people are searching right now.

Are you optimized to be found in search results?

If you believe you can't do SEO, I am here to surprise you. These tips can be implemented

TODAY to help your jobs become more recognizable in the search engine algorithm.


As much as we want to, do not try to be creative in your job post. If you call your engineers "Miracle Workers" or your sales employees "Business Development Ninjas"... keep that offline.

People aren’t searching "Ninja" on google.

They are searching common job titles. Creativity is not your friend here. Implement strong keywords both in your job title and job description that are intuitively searched by the average person.


Google works by rewarding consistency, high-quality, and trusted content.

Your online presence needs to adhere to these three elements. What you should not do is over-stuff job descriptions with keywords or pump out low quality content every day. That will not reward your company's brand within the search engine.

Bonus points if your content is original and engaging...

Leverage Social:

You have to use social media.

There is no way around it... but let me explain why. Social allows you to post links to your content on those various channels like Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.

When you link to your content on platforms where you have an engaging audience, you are increasing your domain presence. Take what you learned above in "Quality" and just apply it to your social media channels.


The third step to attracting talent during COVID-19 is the follow through. This is the make it or break it moment.

If people are engaging with your company online, you must engage back.

This sounds oddly intuitive. Follow through can be the reason you win talent over other companies. Also, if you get a candidate into the hiring funnel, keep them updated. Even a weekly text message will suffice if the candidate is comfortable with that.

If a decision has been paused or yet to be made due to the Coronavirus, reach out and communicate that. Call your candidates! Anything is better than silence during a time like this.

If your company is on a hiring freeze, continue to build your pipeline of candidates. Talk with your team and managers to find out what they believe they will need the rest of the year or next year and start finding those candidates and having conversations with them. Stay ahead of the curve!
Matt Heiden, Director of Talent Management, Flexware Innovation

So, where do you put your effort now? It is time to focus on communication and education.


If you are in a hiring freeze, be transparent about it. Some companies have even put warnings on their careers pages. If you have job postings out there, make sure you are updating them or taking them down if you are not actively hiring for those positions.

In a stressful time like COVID-19 when unemployment is high, the last thing you want to do is take someone’s limited time away by applying to your company when you aren’t even accepting new positions and are letting a lot of people go.

Here is an example from a large diagnostics company. When you approach their careers page, this window prompt appears. If you aren’t hiring, let prospects know. Simple as that.



If your company has halted recruiting efforts, take this time to truly prepare for when your company lifts the freeze on hiring. When I say prepare, I don't mean have a few ideas on a whiteboard. Hash through your tech stack, full-cycle recruiting strategy, and get the approval you need to advance your recruiting into the modern landscape.

A battle is won during the preparation, therefore, you've got to know what the future of recruiting is going to look like. Here are some statistics from Glassdoor and other sources that will further break down landscape of Talent Acquisition 2020 and what it will take to win the War for Talent after COVID-19.

According to Glassdoor, 76% of decision makers believe candidates have grown wary of traditional job boards (Source).

It is time to face the truth. Traditional job boards should not be the core of your recruitment strategy. Although job boards will continue to exist, they will only become more saturated and less trustworthy.

The core of your recruitment strategy should stem from the foundation of your employer brand. Where can your company best tell a good story and take your message directly to candidates? Is a job board that?

Check out FuseMe's alternative solution to the job board that is engaging talent pools and increasing employer brand awareness.

Unfortunately, Job seekers consider recruiters to be the fifth most trusted source of information about career opportunities (Source).

The average candidate considers your career page to be more trustworthy than a recruiter.

That is why a mobile friendly careers page should be your top priority.

Click here if you want a mobile friendly careers page with ATS integrations.

"62% of software developers - the most in-demand talent out there - are open to new opportunities, but only 13% of them are actively looking" (Source).

Now, let's get candid. You are all aware that some of the best candidates are passive candidates. Turn this hiring freeze into an opportunity to build a robust channel to identify and nurture those passive candidates so that when the hiring freeze is over, you can get the talent you want.

As the quote above shows, there is in-demand talent out there, but a limited portion of them are considered active. If your brand is big enough, passive candidates will be aware of your company and might be easier to find. If your brand is smaller, you might need to get creative in order to find passive candidates in a unique way.

If you want to source passive candidates, try these:

  • Look back at your recruiting database. If you haven't really dug deep into your talent pool in a while, then there is plenty of passive talent already there to be sourced.

  • If you get on the phone with someone who you think is a passive candidate and they end up not moving forward in your recruiting funnel, before you get off the phone, ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in a new position. Leads from passive candidates can start an interesting conversation and might introduce some fresh talent.

  • Social Media and App Store Recruiting (Facebook Recruiting, FuseMe, LinkedIn Passive Recruiting) Leveraging social, as mentioned above in Search Engine Optimization, can help identify passive candidates.

  • Google Resume Search (How To)

If you're looking for some solutions to the above points, we would love to chat and brainstorm with you at FuseMe.


At the end of the day, thank you to all recruiters and talent acquisition teams who are continuing to put the human in human resources.

Times like these call for all of us to come together to lend a hand. I hope some of the points above sparked some ideas or allowed you to find solutions to some of your recruiting needs. Here at FuseMe, we want you to know we are here for you. We love discussing all things recruitment marketing and beyond.

We understand this is a difficult time. If you want, you can enter your email here and we will reach out to learn more about how we can help you during COVID-19.

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