As lockdown restrictions begin lifting, the ‘back to normal’ talks are well underway in the workplace. But, what does the new normal actually look like?


While we can’t fully anticipate the pandemic’s ripple effect across recruitment, we can tell you that dusting off your hiring strategy from early 2020 isn’t going to cut it. Whether you want to bolster your business or start defrosting your COVID-19 hiring freeze, here’s how we fell you should be tailoring your approach so you can start attracting the right people to your workforce.

Remote recruitment is here to stay

For the last year, hiring managers have swapped candidate screenings over coffees for virtual intro’s. Ditched emails for texts and opened up their search, crossing time zones and continents for the right candidates. It’s no surprise that remote recruitment, and remote working in general, will continue long after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

According to a recent YouGov survey, fewer than 4 in 10 people currently want to leave their house to go to work.

Some may see remote recruiting a hindrance, but we see opportunity. With location being removed from the interviewing process, it means you can recruit from a larger talent pool, more efficiently. It can be tempting to switch back to traditional face-to-face recruitment over the next few months, but consider that not all applicants will be ready or willing to meet in this way. We recommend keeping a balance of both, that way you can offer flexibility to candidates as well as your HR team.

Look for transferable life skills

Flexible. Resilient. Adaptable. These are the skills we know you’ve leaned on and searched for to help navigate the difficult times of 2020 particularly. Yet, they rarely make an appearance on a job spec.

When looking at applicants and their credentials, their life experiences can reveal much more about their personality and what they can bring to a role. Unlock the story behind the career breaks, u-turns and side-steps. Hidden in those experiences are highly-desirable skills that can be applied to a multitude of working environments.

Take JobOppo’s excellent community of Ex-Military candidates. Their experiences are so unique and have shaped their characters in ways that can never fully be retold in an application form or CV. By using their experience as a talking point in an interview, you’ll soon discover the transferable life skills gained during their military days.

Prioritise wellbeing

Military people always think about the team around them. They consider all achievements in terms of “we” not “I” and while we know this isn’t great on a CV, it’s a commendable and refreshing mindset. Thinking about the well-being (and as a result the capability) of those around you.

Job-seekers are less enthusiastic about vanilla objective-based incentives. They are more attracted to benefits that are life-enriching. If you want to add new benefits to your job offers, try tailoring them towards improving wellbeing, anything from regular check-ins, walking groups, to access to third-party counsellors. It shows that you care whole-heartedly about the people within your organisation and will attract like-minded talent that are in it for the long-haul. 

Edit your job spec

It’s easy to copy/paste your existing job spec format and tweak the odd keyword here and there. But, if you’re looking for workers that are potentially going to be onboarded remotely then you might be missing a trick if you’re not re-writing the job spec from scratch.

Write it, without ambiguity, focusing on clear goals and expectations as opposed to general industry terms and buzzwords. Swap ‘must be a team leader’ for ‘you’ll be heading up a team of 5, so will need to be confident taking charge of x, y, x’.

By shifting the narrative from the offset, you’ll be able to target stronger candidates and also give them a better understanding of what’s expected of them in those all-important first few weeks.

Want to attract hard-working, highly skilled talent to your business? Talk to us about hiring Ex-Military.

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