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Hiring post-COVID: the tools it takes to recruit top talent

COVID hit the workforce hard. As we inch toward economic recovery, more companies are dusting off the interview questions as they prepare to expand their teams. Many are also finding that the hiring process has changed, much like everything else.

In some ways, recruiting in the age of COVID has evolved for the better. With more resources to help companies seek out top talent, everybody wins.

These tools and selection tips are helping growing businesses attract the best candidates and set them up for success.

A widening talent pool

When you’re searching for top-tier talent, location is limiting. But with more companies operating hybrid offices where some teams work remotely, recruiters can now expand their search without having to go local or factor in relocation logistics. That means businesses can focus solely on things like qualifications and experience instead of proximity. Doing so also opens the door for more diverse teams who might otherwise be unwilling or unable to move for work.

One-third of job seekers research a company’s culture and workforce vision via social posts.

To reach beyond their typical talent pools, hiring managers are embracing their newly remote statuses by hosting virtual career fairs, online recruiter-lead AMAs (ask me anything) and taking their search to social media. Given that one-third of job seekers research a company’s culture and workforce vision via social posts, it’s a good way to intercept serious job seekers as well as those just testing the waters.

Even traditional talent pipelines like internship programs are experiencing a shift. By going remote, companies can expand the number of interns they take on each semester. It’s a practice popularized by international brands who are committed to retaining emerging talent and engaging in workforce development.

The interview and selection process is shifting

A big part of what recruiters used to do is prepare candidates for their in-person interviews, covering everything from how to dress to how much cologne or makeup to wear. Now, things have changed.

Though looking the part is still critical, new hire hopefuls can relax easier by navigating the interview process from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual interviews still have the all-important face-to-face elements, but can cost companies significantly less time and expense. Online interviews are also the quickest way to fill essential talent gaps on a team and move important projects forward.

One important shift on the company side has emerged, too. Without the ability to entice candidates on the promise of unlimited snacks, employer provided meals or a contemporary interior office, businesses are having to come up with new ways to sell themselves.

Applicant tracking systems

Recruiting and tracking remote workers is a full-time job. It’s why so many businesses are calling in a little extra help using applicant tracking systems to grow their remote teams.

Some of the most highly rated options include:

  • Lever, allowing hiring managers to source, nurture and manage candidates on a single platform. It combines the benefits of an ATS with a CRM for a full-cycle hiring solution.
  • Crelate supports executive searches. Set apart by its ability to “mine through data fields,” companies can search across a variety of collected information for high-up hiring, including resumes, internal notes, recent activity and email communication.”
  • Breezy is big on reporting and analytics. It also allows companies to customize based on their workflow and post jobs to multiple platforms.
  • Workable is great for businesses who want to automate their hiring process. It can do everything from review resumes and manage candidates to interview-prep, providing detailed hiring analytics to support future searches.
  • Greenhouse has graduated from recruiting platform to full-scale applicant tracking. It even offers A/B testing to help companies craft better job posts.

Tools that help remote work, work best

Hiring remotely sets the expectation that employees will be working remotely, at least at first. Good news is that remote work offers benefits on both sides of the desk. Employees statistically increase their productivity by a quarter or more, while employers experience significant cost savings on things like office space and supplies.

Tailored tools like those outlined by SoftwareWorld can help, “assign tasks, create milestones, organize conferences, real-time communication, brainstorm ideas together, recruit the team and even manage it.”

  • For remote-friendly communication tools try: Flowdock, HipChat,, Skype, Slack and UberConference
  • For evolved project management programs try: Acteamo, Apollo, Asana, Basecamp, Blossom, Jira, Meistertask, Procore, ProWorkflow, Todo, Trello, Twoodo, G Suite and Worksection.
  • For file sharing and access control essentials try: Box, Dropbox, GitHub, Google Drive and Huddle.

You can officially add talent sourcing to the list of things the pandemic has transformed. Though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With the right recruiting tools and hiring practices, businesses can find, train and retain the most qualified candidates that get the job done.