Trying to explain 2020 to your 2019-self would be near-impossible. None of us could have predicted the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result many organisations found themselves unsure on how best to proceed to weather the storm. 

Several companies chose to introduce hiring freezes, putting a halt to all recruitment efforts until the worst was over. Now that we know a little more about the virus and that the national lockdown has ended, businesses are cautiously beginning to get back to normal – and that includes hiring again.  

But, how do you start from stopped?  

1. Consider flexible working 

Whether you want your organisation to be completely remote, or in the office all of the time, you’ll need to think about what you want your working environment to look like when COVID-19 restrictions are completely removed. Pre-COVID, many employees were seeking a more flexible approach to working, with more than half saying this is what they wanted. A degree of flexibility may help you to appeal to more candidates, but you’ll need to balance that with the business need for productivity, collaboration and engagement. 

2. Broaden your horizons 

If you are open to an increase in remote working in the future, then make sure you expand your hiring pool to include new geographies. The best candidate for your Brighton-based organisation might be a senior accountant in Manchester. Location no longer needs to be a determining factor for businesses who have chosen to embrace remote working.  

3. Don’t hire to replace 

It’s anticipated that redundancies due to the COVID-19 pandemic could exceed 700,000 by the end of the year. If you have had to let employees go during this time, don’t fall into the trap of rehiring for similar roles now that things are improving. Instead, think about the skills gaps you have in your business and make strategic hires based on long-term added value. 

4. Pay the right rates 

Pre-pandemics, most industries were experiencing a candidate-driven market – jobseekers knew there were more jobs than those to fill them, meaning that they knew they could negotiate for the best opportunities. With more people out of work, some employers believe they can take advantage of this role reversal to offer lower-than-average remuneration.  

This will only backfire in the long term. Candidates know their worth and will quickly move on from a company which has undervalued them, even if they accept the offer at the time. 

5. Enlist the help of specialists 

This is a unique situation for all of us, but there are previous experiences we can draw on to help us navigate the challenges ahead. By working with a recruitment specialist who has experience in your market and the peaks and troughs of hiring processes, you can streamline your processes and access top talent. Good recruitment consultants will help you from the beginning, working on skills mapping in your organisation to ensure you only make key hires which will add value. They will reduce your time to hire and save precious resources which you can reserve for other areas of the business. 


Faulkner Scott are experts in hiring financial, human resources, marketing and sales roles. For more information, help and advice, please get in touch.