How 2020 Has and Hasn't changed the Recruiting Industry

The coronavirus has changed the way we do things in different areas of our lives. Masks are now the new norm in public spaces, avoiding hand shakes when you meet someone new and adapting to a work from home schedule are among some of those changes. Averaging almost 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day, it is safe to say that the U.S. is still heavily in the midst of the pandemic. With that being said, some changes to daily routines might be here to stay.

For recruiters, this is no different. When COVID-19 lockdowns forced many workplaces to close back in March, the economy had its expected drop and the country was in a state of shock. In the months since however, everyone has seemingly adapted to this new style of life and for recruiters - that meant some small changes as well.  

What Has Changed for Recruiters?

Candidates Working from Home

According to a blog post from the federal reserve bank of Dallas, before COVID outbreaks, only 20% of people with full time jobs worked from home. So when COVID lockdowns started in March and many were either left furloughed or doing remote work, it was a big change to typical work habits.  

The commute of those in the workforce through COVID-19. Source:

Since the work of recruiters is easy to do remotely, the changes have been pretty minimal when it comes to the candidate experience. The biggest changes it seems have been more leniency on either side when a majority of people are working from home.


No Face-To-Face Interviews

Having no face time with a candidate before placement is probably one of the biggest changes recruiters have faced over the past 9 months. Some employers have been making offers without meeting candidates face-to-face at all. However, with technology being used more prominently throughout the world to combat the pandemic, rounds of interviews continue to be done over web services such as Zoom or Google Meet. For some recruiters, this also might mean getting used to technologies that are out of their wheelhouse -- allowing for some learning opportunities. Recruitment agencies such as Helios HR decided back in March to switch to all remote work, saying that they’ve “moved [those] interviews and presentations to video, and [they’re] encouraging our clients to do the same”

For many recruiters, it is the technology that is an obstacle but many have had to seemingly overcome this difficulty. A silver lining is that the prolonged use of the remote work technology will allow for future flexibility and use for many who wish to work remotely moving forward.


Influx of Candidates through different channels

Back in April, workers in four sectors were feeling the most drastic effects of the COVID-19 economic changes. Roughly affecting over a billion people worldwide, the economy had taken a hit overnight that was comparable to the 2008 economic crisis.

Graphic made by LinkedIn to promote #OpenToWork feature. Source:

The economic shock has left many without jobs this year, leading to campaigns such as #OpenToWork from LinkedIn. This campaign was created to help recruiters sort through all of the candidates in the workforce looking for placement. For many that were left unemployed in the wake of COVID-19, this is a way to try and get some people help struggling to find a job.

What Hasn't Changed for Recruiters?

The Importance of an Applicant Tracking System

For recruiters wading through the candidates that are out there in the current market, one thing that hasn’t changed through the pandemic is the importance of recruiting software. From a single dashboard, there are many benefits to having an applicant tracking system on your side.

Candidate Tracking: This comes as a standard for any ATS, however the recruiter’s user experience can differ depending on which recruiting software is used. Features such as custom workflows can streamline job placements for those in need of flexibility.

Resumé Management & Parser: Keeping track of all the resumes that pile up can be a demanding task, especially when time is of the essence. Having an ATS that can parse candidates applications is an invaluable time management tool.

Calendar Sync: For the recruiter who is always busy and keeping track of deadlines, calendar sync comes in handy when you need to keep track of interviews and candidate calls. For most, this can make a huge difference in ATS usability.

Email and SMS Integration: For intermittent communication nowadays, both email and text message capabilities are essential when a recruiter is trying to make a placement. The convenience of having those tools of communication at your fingertips are keys to success.

Just some of the highlighted features of an ATS show how a recruitment process has been made more efficient. Looking into the future of recruiting, the importance of some form of recruiting software will only increase as people start to seek job placement opportunities once again.


Additional Resources

For the latest news and announcements from CATS, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and read our blogs.