Recruiting Remotely – The New Normal?

Author: Bella

Categorised as: Market Info


With travel and in-person meetings being suspended indefinitely, how in the world are we going to be able to interview and hire people?


Can we continue to assist our clients with growth and help them to evolve their organizations if no one can meet anyone face to face for the next few months?

These are some of the questions we have been discussing in our team over the last few weeks and the answer is: yes of course, we can!

Not every company can afford to completely halt their hiring plans, as certain roles may be essential to sustaining and growing the business amidst these uncertain times. And for some industries, hiring is absolutely essential right now. But if we’re going to be successful, it’s imperative that we educate ourselves and change our current mind set.

With the disruptions that CHCH based businesses have endured over the last 12 years, we are pretty confident they are now, more than ever, poised to embrace change. But what about other locations and the regions?

Even before Covid 19, the recruitment landscape and skills shortage in New Zealand dictated that our Consultants sourced applicants throughout the world for some of the key skills and industries we support throughout the country.

My colleagues and I spend a large majority of our time outside of “normal office hours” in the evenings and weekends connecting with people and undertaking online searches, identifying suitable applicants and interviewing through Skype or Zoom with potential applicants across the world. Connecting in different time zones means a lot of early mornings and late night interviews for us, which is now a common practise, just part of what we do. The 8-5 work day doesn’t really exist for us either – it’s all about securing a result for our clients and candidates. So in essence our recruitment model and process has already morphed.

We have invested in online application and registration systems, our digital forms and hiring process means we can solicit information as part of our recruitment process with ease. For our contractors and temporary staff working throughout the country, our timesheet logging tool is able to be accessed from a mobile app or via desktop and can be viewed and authorised by the client from any location. Our payroll is processed off site by an external provider, all done through email and online connections. Lessons we learned after working through the aftermath of the earthquake and moving everything to the digital space, ensured we could continue our business anywhere, anytime.

However the reality is that, for some organisations that don’t have a dedicated recruitment team or a relationship with a professional recruitment provider, navigating the change now will require a dedicated shift in their approach and processes to ensure the due diligence is still completed before hiring, especially remote hiring. That the necessary applications, health and safety checks, reference checking, authorities and consents are completed, may mean setting up online hiring and on boarding documents, very time consuming task, when the main focus will be on steering the business back to the new normal – whatever that looks like.

It’s inevitable that the hiring processes of old, the days of face to face meetings, handshakes, pressing the flesh, coffee catch ups and so on – are going to change – for now – social distancing and remote or digital hiring is the new norm.

So start preparing now to recruit remotely or get in touch about how we can partner with you to assist your business to move forward.


Article by Roz Grant – Senior Consultant at Crescent Consulting