How we recruit during COVID-19

45 international organisations share

Impactpool is the world’s fastest-growing career platform for impact career. More than 1000 international organisations use Impactpool to reach global impact talents and more than 500'000 global talents use us for career support. Last week we organised a roundtable for our HR partners to discuss how COVID-19 affects their recruitment and how they deal with the situation. 45 different organisations shared what they do and in this article, we share what was discussed during the roundtable and the extensive minutes from the event.

Impactpool has in a short time-frame built a huge network of HR professionals in social enterprises, HR tech entrepreneurs, recruiters in development banks, multilateral, bilateral, international, and non-governmental organisations. 

The virtual roundtable was founded in dialogue with one of our partners (CERN). The purpose of our roundtable is to gather organisations and facilitate dialogue to support the sharing of tips, ideas and best practices between HR professionals working and facing similar challenges.

The first roundtable, held last week, hosted 45 different organisations. The next roundtable will cover how organisations promote careers for individuals living with disabilities. In that roundtable, partner organisations will share what they do to attract and retain talents with disabilities. Find the enrolment link below.

The COVID-19 roundtable hosted HR professionals from around the world. And even an organization based in Beijing was present, sharing what they have done and what we (who hasn’t reached as far as them in the curve) should expect to come.

Roundtable survey

Before the roundtable, each participating organization was asked to fill in a short survey. The complete survey result is included in the minutes. The survey showed that 25 percent of the responding organisations haven’t made any changes to their recruitment processes. A result that surprised us, as the list of respondents also included organisations with international recruitments requiring moving candidates between countries. Some organisations had chosen to evacuate their international staff/ex-pats.

Only one of the organisations indicated that they had gone for a complete recruitment freeze. All other organisations were trying to find solutions to keep the recruitment operations running.

Some organisations had switched focus to local recruitment. The humanitarian organisations attending confirmed that the switch to local, was very much hand-in-hand with the localisation agenda that is driven by the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS). In our recent conversations with organisations, we feel that organisations that have adopted the localisation agenda, meaning recruiting more locally for core functions is much better positioned in the current situation, and IFRC is a good example of this.

Several organisations seem to continue the job posting and recruitment process, but stop the process before the offer is sent out. Organizations tend to set a new start date in the future or hold back on the offer completely.

During the roundtable, the required medical examination before the offer was discussed. Now when the selected candidate is unable to get to a medical facility to undertake the mandatory health check, organisations shared how they handle the medical check. More about this in the minutes below.

Also, on-boarding was discussed, and best practices on virtual on-boarding were shared, more to read in the minutes.

Several organisations were investing in online tools, such as video interviews, online clinics, using documents-sign for contract signatures. And the UN Secretariat has launched a chatbot to support the recruitment process. During the meeting, organisations shared what tools they use to facilitate interviews and tests to improve the online assessment experience. Also, experience using these tools were shared. More about what tools are used in the minutes.

CERN took action to support interns in quarantine in Geneva to ensure their health and wellbeing. Other organisations having unpaid interns also shared how they have dealt with the challenges of the lockdown, and the challenges of interns’ living in shared accommodations and how they tackle expensive rents in big cities. 

UNHCR shared that they offer local contracts initially for their internationally recruited professionals. This is to make sure that the offer can be sent and the recruitment process close. The idea is to fly the international staff when the flight restrictions are lifted, but while waiting, UNHCR has its international staff operative from home.

WIPO takes this opportunity to invest more on the sourcing and outreach. They work targeted to get more visibility on university job boards and career platforms. UNHCR has also held a webinar to inform candidates that they are recruiting and how they go about recruitment, offer, and on-boarding. During the meeting, the organization shared how and if the applicant volume had changed. 

If you are not yet an Impactpool partner but feel that you would benefit from the minutes shared as a result of this COVID-19 roundtable, we ask you to kindly become a partner before you download. You can read more here on how your organization can become a partner. You are also more than welcome to set up a meeting with me. As soon as you have become a partner,  you can also join our next roundtable, please find the enrolment link below.