Managing Recruitment During The COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 virus is posing challenges to all businesses and societies across the world. For recruitment processes, it also has its consequences and we would therefore like to share some thoughts and experiences along the way. 



1. New Hires

For those of you who have recently hired an international candidate, we recommend contacting the employee as soon as possible, to inform the employee on how the situation affects your company and him/her. If the employee is arriving soon or has arrived, then guidelines regarding quarantine apply, meaning two weeks from the arrival date to Norway. 

An alternative may be that the employee works the first period remotely, and postpones relocation to Norway until the situation settles down. Stay updated on news from UDI here.


Ensure close dialogue with the team the new employee is becoming part of, not only for formal meetings. A social room (video) where people can stop by during lunch or breaks may be a good idea to bolster engagement and personal interaction. We believe the key is open and timely communication, ensuring that the new employee is not left with questions unanswered. 


Ongoing recruitment processes: we recommend to keep momentum and make use of video-solutions like Whereby or Google Hangouts as much as possible. Depending on your situation, it's not necessarily a bad idea to maintain the processes you've already initiated as some candidates now are left without a job. The candidate market may, for once be 'easier' than it has been for years. It would be best if you also asked yourself the question of whether or not you're ready to make a hiring decision without meeting a candidate face to face. If your answer is yes and you're OK with that, then the process may look very much like a typical process. The only difference will be that the interviews will be conducted by video. If your answer is No and you can't make a hiring decision without meeting the candidate face to face, the recommendation from us would be to finalize as much of the process as possible over video. 

Engage with the candidate's in-between steps, especially later in the process to keep the candidate interested. An in-between step could be a product demo session online to boost motivation, or setting up a video meeting with potential colleagues the candidate would work with. 


2. Letter of Intent

If you have reached a stage where you have found the right candidate to hire, but due to COVID-19 are forced to pause/await the situation. We recommend completing the process with a “letter of intent”. This means that you finalize all negotiations regarding terms and benefits, and that you send a “letter of intent” where the candidate and yourself sign. 


A “letter of intent” does not legally bind the candidate or your company to hire, but it is more of a psychological commitment, which can be experienced as more binding. This way you might avoid restarting a process to fill a position, once COVID-19 leaves its grip.

If you would like further advice or support, please contact us using the Ask the Expert contact form.