Strategies to Best Recruit and Hire in Germany in the Current Coronavirus Landscape

Berlin, Germany – More than 80% of Germans were online, with little over half of them on social media in late 2019. The German need for privacy when it comes to personal lives is notorious, yet no Gen Z or millennial – and even baby boomers, for that matter – have said no to social media and online tools as means of getting a new job.

How has this phenomenon changed? How to recruit better online in Germany and find the best fits for a company during the coronavirus outbreak? Here are some pointers from an international recruitment agency with +15 years experience in recruiting and outsourcing talent in IT, telecom, networking, semiconductors and services.

Personalize and adapt the strategy
First thing’s first: if a company is looking to fill positions right now, recruiting efforts will need to be adapted and the candidate pipeline kept full in this new remote work landscape. ‘Companies recruiting in this time frame should adapt their standard procedures during the pandemic. We have instructed our clients to be open to online tools, such as video interviews, up until the final stage of the hiring process, or even to replace technical interviews with online ones. Basically, we have been on call to craft digitally oriented talent recruiting techniques and yes, it is possible, with the right team on board. Every industry is different, every client is different, so that’s why digitalization should be hand in hand with personalization’, says Vivien Untaru, General Manager and founder of VON Consulting, international recruitment agency based in the EU, which has recently set up a subsidiary in the US as well.

Adapt the communication
According to TribePad, the daily rate of applications to businesses still hiring in this time frame – peaking with retail, obviously – increased from 5,000 per day to more than 200,000. Despite these figures, people are worried about how the coronavirus will impact the job market in the long-term and are cautious when it comes to changing jobs – and it’s people from all walks of life and different age groups. 7 in 10 18 to 24 year olds in the EU say they worry that the coronavirus will cause higher unemployment for a long time, whilst people aged 45 and older are articularly interested in how the coronavirus landscape will influence wages.
“Take these percentages into account when drafting your recruiting strategy. Be straightforward from the beginning about the recruiting process with candidates; inform them of how the process will unfold and what they should expect next. Also make sure that all their questions are met – particularly of what’s to be expected of them – so that when you proceed with a particular candidate you have the utmost chance of success in every hiring stage,” adds Ms. Untaru from VON Consulting.

Build trust

Following phone screening interviews, most companies move on to the next stages of the recruitment process, consisting in video interviews, which should entail a few best practices for conducting interviews by videoconferencing. Make sure to communicate these best practices to candidates, rather than waiting to see who adapts to conditions that aren’t made clear from the get-go. It might just set the company apart from other competitors recruiting for similar positions.
Let candidates know that they should be prepared. Make sure all parties have the correct interview time on their calendar, properly adjusting for different time zones. Share with candidates how to access the videoconferencing technology and whether software needs to be downloaded. From the part of company, treat video interviews with the same seriousness as in-person interviews. Know the job description, the candidate’s resume and specific questions to ask. Choose a quiet, well-lit room for interviews.
Set expectations. Give candidates advance notice that interviews will be conducted virtually. ‘Just sending a candidate a link to a video interview can be unsettling,’ Untaru says. ‘Give them the necessary context, phone them ahead of the video interview and let them know why you’re using video interviewing, and very specifically give guidance about the experience and what’s expected from the interview.’
Check the tech. Double-check the technology the company will be using, and ask the candidate to do the same. Prior to the interview, test the camera and microphone.’

With so many things currently in flux, candidates will remember and appreciate companies that keep them informed in personalized, empathetic ways throughout these new hiring processes.

“Following your video interview, checking in on people or sharing brief status updates can go a long way in building trust,” says Vivien Untaru. “They’ll notice little things, such as using their first name and sending a small personal note rather than something that reads like an email auto-response.”

Make the onboarding process a team effort
If a company is looking to hire in the near-term, depending on the industry the company activates in, it should allow new hires to work from home until the pandemic is under control.

“Establish procedures to on-board employees remotely,” Ms. Untaru notes. ‘Employers will be in a particularly strong position to attract top talent if they can design roles that allow working from home on an ongoing basis.’

“Make sure you take the time to introduce new employees to the company through virtual meetings and encourage team members to welcome new employees through short email or Zoom, Skype, GoMeeting, Hangouts, Slack messages,” adds Vivien Untaru. “arrange a virtual office tour for potential hires, or even a virtual presentation about different job roles at your company.” Don’t neglect employer branding strategy

Remote work is not a passing phase, and virtual recruiting solutions are critical for the future of work. Current events give an opportunity to build out best practices and stress-test remote capabilities and the way companies connect with candidates. Take also into account the fact that in-home media consumption has increased, by up to 95%, as shown by a GWI global survey. Moreover, 50% of the audience is watching more streaming services, 45% is spending more time on messaging services, and almost 45% is devoting more time to social media. Take these figures into account to devise recruitment marketing and employer branding strategies as well. Candidates are currently more cautious and also more scrupulous in searching information about the company, company’s employee wellness climate and personnel development opportunities.

Whether or not the Company a start-up, SME or a large corporation, the same rules apply: don’t ignore the value of what others are saying about the company, as it could mean the best PR and that last but not least convincing factor for talents company has in the pipeline.

About VON Consulting
Currently, VON Consulting has 3 offices in SEE (Bucharest, Brasov and Cluj in Romania), one in the USA and in process to open up a new one in Dusseldorf, Germany. They provide recruitment services, hardware design and verification services, IT support and software development for customers in different industries. They help their clients by building teams on and off site, remotely or on their premises that can assist in ongoing projects or can take on full projects. By bringing in their passion for the technical fields and an innovative approach, their teams become supportive long-term partners for clients’ businesses. VON Consulting has 150 employees and has worked with clients from the EU and US, mainly in IT, telecom, networking and semiconductors industries, some of them Fortune 500.