Skip to content-main content

How the Battle for Talent has Changed in the Face of COVID-19

Recruiting in 2020 continues to be a challenge for many organizations. We wrapped up Q1 experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, the lowest many of us have ever experienced. Rates that low indicate full employment and the battle for talent rages on. It has been a candidate’s market and organizations using a ‘post and hope’ strategy continue to wait for resumes to come flooding in.

Then, COVID-19 hit. We know certain industry sectors like entertainment, retail and hospitality have been affected with 75%+ of restaurant workers unemployed. We have also seen healthcare workers affected, as services are limited and non-essential procedures have been cancelled. Q2 unemployment numbers have climbed, but what we have not seen, is a dramatic uptick in professional resumes flooding into our doors. Even if the professional candidate pool starts to widen, will hiring be easier?

If anything, hiring the right talent in today’s uncertain market conditions is critical now more than ever. Recruiting in a market that is flooded with candidates may seem like an employer’s dream, but the reality is that it can be quite the opposite. Having more candidates to evaluate can be cumbersome, confusing and slow a process that is time intensive.

Uncertainty can cause the candidate market to react in different ways, as well. Some candidates may stretch for opportunities outside of their capabilities, further confusing your candidate pool. Others will struggle to make decisions about career moves in the face of so much market confusion, even if it is the right opportunity. You will need to be prepared to help guide candidates through this new experience.

We have seen high-performing organizations remain hyper-focused on their core business. Those continuing to search for talent have a well-defined process and have been thoughtful in their approach to managing candidates’ expectations. They are taking advantage of the current market by standing out as one of fewer organizations hiring. Their teams, or the search partners they are working with, are building a pipeline of talent, helping with their employer branding and creating an excellent candidate experience even if it has to be virtual.

Our team has been researching and executing creative hiring strategies for our clients. We are adjusting candidate sourcing and screening, crafting processes that includes tailored interview questions and consensus meetings, as well as managing virtual interviewing sessions so organizations can move their hiring process forward. If you need to talk through your strategy or processes, we are here to help at

About the Author

Tammie Hayden brings more than 16 years of recruiting experience with small organizations and Fortune 500 companies. She utilizes Fahrenheit’s customized recruiting approach to find the best fit for candidates and companies by understanding a client’s business, industry, and culture and sourcing open positions within an established network of qualified candidates. These strong relationships allow Tammie to identify top candidates and make the perfect match for long term success.