The Art of Viral Survival | Recruitment Strategy

Join us for our COVID-19 recruitment survival guide.The continued spread of the virus is disrupting the way we work. Here are some immediate changes to routine you can adopt to ensure a smoother transition.

The coronavirus epidemic is disrupting the global economy. For business owners in the recruitment sector, this can be an unnerving time. However, there are simple steps that one can take to mitigate the disruptive effects of COVID-19. Plus, uncertainty can reveal new opportunities.

From managing risk, to decentralising your workplace, to helping your clients capitalise on a changing employment market – here is our guide to surviving COVID-19.


The most immediate precaution is to minimise the risk of unnecessary exposure. By simply changing a few habits, We have already seen how many organisations are cutting out handshakes. Amazon has even removed face-to-face interviews for some of their hires.

Remote working (ie: working from home) is already a growing trend in the workplace, and it is explored in greater depth later.


This week, the Bank of England (BoE) announced a new £100bn in funding for low cost loans.

This programme is targeted to specifically help SMEs survive the difficulties of economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. The funding will be released at a more competitive rate, with BoE loosening restrictions for commercial banks lending to private enterprise.

But, with economic slowdown a genuine threat, is now really the right time to take on more financial liability? On the one hand, lower interest rates provide a low risk opportunity. And, assuming enterprise is well-positioned to pay off the loan when interest rates rise, the decision may be financially sensible. On the other hand, this is a matter that only individual finance officers can make. The particulars and peculiarities of each individual business makes the decision one unique for every case.


whether you take a loan or not, now is a great time to invest. The cut in interest rates has disincentivised saving to an even greater degree than before. Your piles of cash are earning relatively little in your account. Could they be making you extra income if used elsewhere?

Whether its an investment in skills, growth, or modernisation, economic downturns are a good moment to start spending capital.

Why is this? It’s known as contrarian investing: the worse off the markets, the better the chances of a bargain. The 18th century investor Baron Rothschild is credited with the concept that one should “buy when there is blood in the streets”. That is: make investments while most people are too pre-occupied with serious matters to do any investing of their own. This is perhaps a little dramatic for our current circumstances. But, strategically speaking, these factors all contribute to the reality that now is possibly the most beneficial time for smart money to invest in the future.

• EBOSS CUSTOMER? Book a consultation with your account manager and discuss your options

Equally, it’s a buyer’s market. Companies across every sector are looking to incentivise sales and secure revenues. A purchase you make today may be a much better deal than you could perhaps secure a few months from now.

Recruiting for the future

For recruiters in particular, investment opportunities are a two-sided issue. They may be inward-facing, or market-facing investments.

For example: on the one hand, it may be wise to modernise and futureproof your own workplace. You can look to adopt new technologies and enable flexible or decentralised team working arrangements.

You may also wish to improve your facilities to allow non-conventional hiring practices. This is technology which you use to the benefit of your clients. We’re talking about video interviewing processes and VOIP. With travel disruptions and internal policies hampering face-to-face interviews, a recruiter may be able to provide added value with technological platforms that ease a new hire.

Secondly, recruiters should look outwards keep an eye on the job markets and their clients, too. While we may expect a slowdown in hiring during a crisis, in fact, the opposite could be true. Remember: your client companies have the opportunity to take on cheap loans, too. Some will undoubtedly be considering using fresh finance to expand their operations. And this means making hires in order to secure necessary skills and expand their workforces.

Agencies should therefore prepare for an increase in hiring activity as well as readying themselves for a possible slowdown. Talk about covering all bases, right?


It is vitally important that organisations are equipped with the necessary tools to enable distant working. Agile groups have long been established working practices in the tech sector. Here is an industry of natural early adopters. Software already exists to facilitate cloud-based, collaborative team work.

As a recruiter, eBoss is your go-to for remote access to a database of candidates. Your eBoss account lets you log in anywhere, and from any device. You can take your entire agency office home with you. Not a concept that many consultants would initially be too happy about, admittedly. But, if the options are facing travel disruption and the risk of infection, many will see the up-side to remote work.

• EBOSS CUSTOMER? Book a consultation with your account manager and discuss your options

Similarly, communication and accountability are vital. Slack is a group messaging facility that has become a mainstay of the tech industry. The platform enables multimedia document sharing and communications.

Talking of document sharing: get used to relying on Google docs. This is a collaborative working environment that lets you produce marketing copy, communications and documents as a group. Other Google tools include the collaborative Calendar feature which is vital for scheduling.

And time management is a big factor in decentralised work. How do you account for the work you have done at the end of the month? How are you able to demonstrate your efforts? There are tools for this, too – like Time Doctor – which measures the amount of time you have spent working on important tasks.


There are different pressures associated with remote working within an agile team. As a consultant for eBoss, some weeks I will spend 90% of my time working remotely. The challenges range from distractions and time management to isolation and -potentially – alienation. Thankfully, there are effective coping strategies for each of these obstacles.

The first of these is easily solved with software support. Time Doctor, as I mentioned is an easy-to-use tool with some surprising benefits. Initially, you will probably have to overcome your misapprehension about the perceived intrusion of these devices. You may feel like you are running surveillance software on your computer. However, these programmes are great facilitators once you get over the initial (and entirely natural) misconceptions.

Teamwork: It’s not just about you…

In fact, Time Doctor has been a tremendous boon for many freelancers. On a personal level, it completely re-shaped my planning and time management. Seeing how much time I was allocating to each of my outstanding tasks enabled me to quickly re-evaluate my priorities when needed. Other freelancers credit the software for helping to demonstrate their accountability, diligence, and even the overtime that many shy away from invoicing for.

But the benefits go beyond organisational improvements. It is not unfair to say that time management and reporting software has helped many self-employed and freelance workers to secure pay raises – because their clients are finally able to see the level and volume of work that they are actually carrying out, rather than relying on blind trust.

And this is likely to be the number one concern for business managers faced with operating a decentralised team for the first time: how can colleagues demonstrate accountability? As a member of a newly-decentralised team, spare a thought for your managers. They will doubtless be tearing their hair out trying to co-ordinate a team whom they suspect are all now just watching daytime TV from their beds…

Read Even More Recruitment News in our archive