Keep Calm and Carry On

A great phrase that originated as a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II. Now, Coronavirus is nowhere near as daunting as the thought of going to war, but it has heightened our concerns for our health and the safety of the daily activities we carry out.

Why do you need to keep the recruiting process going?

The worst-case scenario the Government has given us is that 1 in 5 could contract Coronavirus; 20% of the population. But business and commerce need to keep going and that means maintaining your interview schedules is important. Businesses need to maintain productivity, and these new recruits could provide you with valuable back up staff at a time when your company is facing a potential raft of sickness and self-isolation of employees. We have already seen a vulnerable company collapse due to the virus, so carrying on as best we can is essential for both companies and the workforce.

But, understandably, there is concern that these interviews could put both candidates and hiring staff in a vulnerable position. There are solutions that can aid you in the process that could actually be quite beneficial to both companies and candidates alike and we wanted to offer you some suggestions.


Many companies will screen CVs to filter out potential candidates. This can be a time-consuming process that could be outsourced to enable you to easily draw up a list of suitable candidates quickly and efficiently. Once you have your shortlist, you can move on to first stage interviews.

First stage interviews

An important part of the filtering process is where you have your initial meeting with your candidates. These are usually conducted with the hiring manager and/or department manager and are your opportunity to explore a candidate’s suitability for the role and cultural fit for your business. Conducting these interviews by video through Skype or Google Hangouts will allow businesses to conduct a traditional format interview, but without the need for candidates to travel to your premises. In fact, there are many benefits to using video in the interview process not least that it can be more time-efficient and as candidates are more relaxed, you might get a better feel for their ‘fit’ for your business.

Second stage interviews

These are usually limited to a small handful of potential candidates and can again be conducted through a video process. But at this stage, many employers and candidates would benefit from a face to face meeting. If both candidate and interviewers are fit and healthy and not in contact with anyone who is suffering from the virus, then this is an option you can consider.

Conducting a face to face interview

Candidates should consider their options when it comes to travel. If you can drive to the business’s premises, this is a more preferable method of transport, but check your route thoroughly at the time of the interview to gauge an accurate journey time. Carry hand sanitizer with you that you can apply after you have made contact with hard surfaces and we believe that at this point in time, taking handshakes off of the agenda is probably a sensible idea.

Offering candidates refreshments is common practise, so it may be worth considering providing bottled water rather than glasses or cups of tea of coffee. Coronavirus is thought to be passed from person to person if you spend more than 15 minutes in a proximity of 2 meters to someone so consider where you conduct your interviews. Use a large room that has plenty of ventilation and where you can avoid too much close contact. Make sure that there are tissues and hand sanitizer available in the room and if need be, a bin with a lid and liner for depositing used tissues. Once the interview has finished, show your candidates to your bathroom facilities so that they have the opportunity to wash their hands before leaving.

We all need to be more cautious with our hygiene at a time like this as well as being honest and open about our health. But as we stated at the top of this article, we need to Keep Calm and Carry on. The team at Recruit12 are on hand to offer help and advice whenever you need it, so please get in touch.

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