International recruitment during the Corona Crisis
Did the international recruitment change because of Covid-19?
No matter what your views on Coronavirus, there is no doubt that it has turned the world on its head. Obviously, our primary concern was our health, but we can now see that this virus is going to touch every aspect of our lives. The full economic effect remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, the world will keep turning. What does this mean for your career? Well, it certainly isn’t going to stop! Looking for a job during these times can be confusing. Are companies even looking for new people now? Is it a good time to move to something new? Is it even possible to embark on an international career during a lockdown situation? The answer is a resounding, yes!
Dominque le Doux, from Mundialz, explains how it is not only possible to find your dream job during this crisis, it might even be the ideal time to start looking.
Dominque, are companies still looking to recruit new employees during COVID-19, hasn’t everything just stopped?
No! Not at all! Recruitment is still full speed ahead. Organisations are finding many ingenious ways within the social distancing rules in order to meet with clients. It’s very much business as usual.
Surely companies are not recruiting internationally. How is it even possible?
The job market hasn’t really changed. There are still the same skill shortages in industry than there were before. Production remains in full swing in most industries and companies need quality employees to make that happen. We’ve seen that companies are more than willing to host Skype interviews with international candidates and still try to fly them over when possible. The only tricky part at this moment is the travelling part of the application process, due to lots of airports being closed. It is usually possible to find a way around it, though.
There must have been some effect on recruitment. Have you seen any particular trends happening? Is there an increase in vacancies in certain sectors?
If anything, we have seen an increase in recruitment from the more prominent companies, such as ASML in Eindhoven. They see a golden opportunity to recruit top candidates right now. People are at home so much that it makes it easier to reach out to them and get in contact.
Do you think it is a good time to apply for a job?
It’s definitely a good time. Companies want to ensure that they have the best employees for the time when the Coronavirus is over. It might be that there is less competition for the top jobs. People tend to play it safe in times of crisis, and you might find there are fewer candidates for the position, increasing your chances. I think people also imagine that HR departments are closed and everything has been postponed until after the crisis. That’s not the case at all, everyone continues to work from home. Maybe they even have more time to consider applications than usual.
So you’ve seen a drop in applicants since the corona outbreak?
Actually no, not overall. In truth, it has risen. I think the fact that so many people are sitting at home right now makes it easier for them to search for new jobs online. It’s also possible that more and more people re-evaluate their lives in a time of a crisis like this. They realise they want a change of scenery, to start afresh somewhere new. We only have one life, and there’s no time to waste in a job that doesn’t satisfy you.
Ok, but how do interviews take place if we’re all in lockdown?
There are a virtual plethora of video conferencing programs out there. Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Goggle hangouts: you name it. In fact, this is one of the most exciting factors to come out of this situation in terms of the recruitment sector. Companies are openly embracing digital tools to communicate with clients. There’s no substitute for face to face contact, but the internet is providing us with excellent digital alternatives.
Do you have any tips for digital interviews?
All the conventional interview techniques apply. Be on time. Dress appropriately etc. But probably the most important thing for a digital interview is your computer set up. Make sure you are using a stable internet connection, proper audio gear and that you are alone in the room. The most distracting thing that can happen during a video interview is the connection dropping over and over again. So, make sure that no one else in the house is watching Netflix or playing games on the Wi-Fi. Do the interview, and afterwards, you can continue doing all the other stuff on the internet. Also, make sure that you have a quality microphone because built-in microphones on laptops might be of low quality. Think about your setting too. It goes without saying that you don’t want piles of dirty clothes behind you! First impressions count, and you don’t want an interviewer judging you by your décor.
Do you have any more tips on applying for jobs online?
Your online presence has never been more critical. In the absence of face to face contact, interviewers are likely to examine your online personality more closely. They might also have more time on their hands to investigate you. Spend a lot of time making your Linkedin profile as detailed as possible. There are a lot of characters available in the ‘about me’ and ‘career’ section on Linkedin. Use them to create the right impression! Tidy up your social media in general or tighten your privacy settings.
Are you finding that start dates are being delayed?
Yes, in general, they are being postponed a little bit to July and August because of the airports being closed. Some jobs can start remotely online, but physical relocation can be a bit delayed.
Can I even move abroad during these times? Would I need to isolate? What extra support could Mundialz offer in these times?
Moving abroad is still possible. Different countries have different rules about isolation, but it is not unmanageable. There may be some extra challenges to navigate when relocating at the moment. Still, as ever Mundialz is here to help guide you through it. You might have to wait a few months to actually fly over but its no reason to stop you achieving your dream career.
Sounds promising, but…. Is it safe?
All companies across the entire world are diligently sticking to the prescribed anti-virus measures of their governments. Especially in the Netherlands. Businesses are really trying to make the best out of the situation and adhere to the rules. I’m not sure you’re more or less safe anywhere. We all have to learn to live in this new world together with its all its new conditions.
Coronavirus - Mundialz
COVID-19 is, predictably, having a significant impact on businesses and the recruitment industry is certainly not immune to that. Our company, like all businesses, is learning to adapt and we’re harnessing all our digital capabilities to maximise the recruitment process. As a job-seeker, you may be hesitant to enter the process during such uncertain times, but you shouldn’t be disheartened. Your skills are in as high a demand as ever. Companies that are proactively learning to embrace flexible distance working, digital communication and international recruitment are the most likely to survive in the long run. Use this unprecedented situation as a springboard towards your dream international career in engineering.