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Hiring during COVID-19: A Recruiter's Perspective

Recruiters are often the “canary in the coal mine” during a recession, where they are often the first to be laid off as companies deal with economic impacts, and of course are the first point of contact for the majority of job-seekers. With that, I wanted to check on some longtime recruiters in my network and see how they are doing since they pandemic hit, how their work is evolving, and helpful advice they have for job seekers during this extraordinarily stressful time.

Below is my conversation with Christi Amend, a senior recruiter based out of Seattle who I've known for over a decade (wow!) and who, like myself, has worked in all three recruiting environments: staffing agency, corporate HR, and independent contracting. Along with being an incredibly kind and generous person to work with, this woman knows her stuff when it comes to leading the recruiting process AND providing an amazing candidate experience. As former candidates have gushed, she is "dedicated to doing right by all parties"and a "keen ability to look beyond a candidate's job titles to understand their core competencies". I love it! So, job seekers, pay attention...

What has been the biggest change for you as a recruiting professional?

It has opened up the candidate pool for me since location is not really an issue any more. I feel like I can do a better job finding a solid candidate with a much larger pool to select from!

How have you and your employer modified your recruiting, hiring and overall HR practices since the pandemic began?

Virtual interviews of course has been the biggest change as well as new employee on-boarding and training. We had been a more traditional company as a rule around allowing remote workers. With COVID-19, that mindset has changed dramatically for the positive.

Please share your top 2-3 tips for job-seekers during this incredibly stressful time.

  • Take your time filling out applications and personalize it to the role. Employers are looking for candidates who want to work for THEIR company specifically and not just any company. Do your homework in advance on the company, role, people etc. and showcase that in your application and conversations with the employer.

  • Have keywords and phrases from the job posting listed on your application. With some companies using AI-driven tools to screen out candidates, this will help you be found and ranked highest in search results.

  • Check spelling, formatting and grammar on the resume before submitting. This is a basic one but still one that is a problem I see every day! This is your first impression - make it a good one!

Christi's bonus tip? "Don't give up! The right role is out there for you...really!"


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