- Austin Chan, Hannah Argiloff, Cordlyne Nwankwo
- Mar 31, 2021
In this series, blog writers Austin Chan, Hannah Argiloff and Cordlyne Nwankwo interviewed three HBA2 students on their experiences with recruiting in the pandemic. Here’s what they had to say:
Question: How have you found recruitment during the pandemic? What tips do you have for students who are struggling with recruitment in the pandemic?
Brad Perez: My recruitment was done at the beginning of the pandemic, and there were many lessons to be taken away. The most notable tip would be around keeping a sense of professionalism. Remembering that these online interviews do not differ all that much from in-person physical recruitment. With that being said, take the time to imagine, “what if this was an in-person interview?”, then, simulate the experience as best as possible. The last tip would be to reinforce your body language to show that your non-verbal cues display a sense of confidence and positivity within your answers.
Jordie Wilkinson: To start with the challenges (so we can end on a good note), a lot of companies have had a hiring freeze – especially for full time positions. There have just been fewer jobs in certain markets and industries due to all the uncertainty, so that has been a little bit tricky. There’s also a lot of uncertainty regarding the timelines of recruitment – for example, usually you would get hired in September and become full time in the new year. That’s not always possible anymore though.
On the sunny side, however, I find that there’s more time to network, and people can just kinda…schedule you into their day easier. With Zoom, you don’t have to go downtown to a café or something like that anymore, instead you can just hop on a quick 30 minute call. So that’s actually been super helpful; I think I’ve been able to talk to a lot more people than I would have otherwise.
A tip would be…and I know everyone will tell you this, but just keep going. It can be discouraging if you aren’t getting any interviews or people aren’t responding to you, but it’s really important. Also, don’t be afraid to take a break from the recruiting grind for your mental health. If it’s a day, if it’s two days, if it’s a week, if it’s two weeks, you have to do what you have to do. I was constantly recruiting and I was getting discouraged, so I took a two week break. No networking or applications. Some people would say that it was risky, but I found it really helped me destress. It was really needed so I could be the best version of myself afterwards, because recruiters won’t see the best of me if I’m stressed out anyways.
Lena Robinson: In my experience, the pandemic has changed the recruitment process in three key ways:
- It has flipped human interaction on its head,
- It has condensed the planning horizon for companies and job seekers, and
- It has created a sense of “extra time” for individuals where they would have normally socialized.
Networking is an important aspect for recruitment in all sectors. However, with the pandemic, many people have become less comfortable with social interaction and have replaced it with standardized emails and messages. This has made it very difficult to establish genuine connections with others. I recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone and hopping on phone calls with people who work at the firm you’re interested in so that you can be remembered.
With the pandemic, many recruiters will have shortened timelines as they adapt to last-minute changes and budgets. Be sure to set up alerts on major recruiting platforms so that you can be notified as these positions are posted.
In the event that you are unable to find your ideal position or are finding that you have extra time on your hands, I highly recommend taking some online programs to elevate your skills or earn additional certifications. Many universities, institutions, and corporations are offering programs at little to no cost which can set you apart from your peers as you recruit in the future.