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Recruitment & Covid19

My name is Donald Buchan and I am Owner at DB Recruitment. A dynamic business solution aiming at providing quality service to both candidates and clients. We strive to adapt to the ever-changing recruitment industry. I am going to be writing monthly articles relating to recruitment, industry news, CV as well as interview tips.  

South Africa entered a level 5 lockdown on 26 March 2020 at 00:00 and this is the moment that many people’s lives drastically changed. Covid19, the worldwide pandemic, which according to Medscape is defined as “severe acute respiratory syndrome, which was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan” has created a “new normal” and has affected recruitment just as it has affected almost every single industry known to mankind.  

The following article will aim to provide advice and tips to job seekers and individuals attending interviews or seeking a job during Covid19.  

The first big change that Covid19 has brought about to the recruitment sector is the use of telephonic / video interviews. This is the process of using applications such as: Skype, Zoom, Teams or Google Hangouts instead of attending a face to face interviews with a company. Many organisations are not allowing people on site or are allowing their current employees to work from home and therefore as a first point of contact these telephonic / video interviews are being used. A few tips for those who have a telephonic / video interview lined up: 

  1. Make sure that you are in a quiet area and that there are limited distractions to draw your attention away from the interview.  
  1. Make sure that you are in an area with strong signal. To ensure you have strong signal ask a friend / family member to have a practice run with you.  
  1. Allow some time for a delay. Technology is amazing but can also be frustrating and therefore ensure that you leave 2 / 3 seconds to ensure that you have heard the entire question before answering. 
  1. Treat a telephonic / video interview the same as a face to face interview. Although it is not face to face it is still an option for the client to eliminate you from the process for having a bad telephonic / video interview. 
  1. Speak clearly and confidently.  
  1. Do research on the company. This tip applies to both face to face and telephonic / video interviews and is probably one of the most important things to remember. Potential employees want you to seem excited and knowledgeable about their organisation / brand and therefore having done research gives you an upper hand.  

The second major change that Covid19 has brought about in recruitment is a slower process. As mentioned above many organisations are first doing telephonic / video interviews and therefore adding an extra step to the recruitment process. The delay can also be caused by the fact that most people are not working from the office and therefore arranging a day, when everyone is present at the office, to do a face to face interview can be tricky. Have patience with both the recruiter as well as the organisation. Follow up with your recruiter (if you were presented by one) / the company (if you applied directly) at least once a week.  

The final major change that Covid19 has brought about to the recruitment sector is competition. South Africa always had a high unemployment rate and Covid19 has added fuel to this fire. The competition is tough and the number of candidates now available for a role has drastically increased. The biggest advice that can be given here is make yourself stand out. What makes you stand out in the crowd is the question that you should ask yourself. Do research, find articles and try and align your values with that of the organisation. A potential employer is looking for much more than just someone to fill a role: they are seeking someone to suit the company culture and help the organisation achieve new heights.  

I hope that the advice above is helpful. I look forward to publishing the next article.  

Donald Buchan 

Owner at DB Recruitment  

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