COVID-19 pushes employers to virtual interviewing

Among employers still recruiting, many are turning to HR tech products to maintain a safe distance while finding new talent.
By: | March 27, 2020 • 2 min read
(Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As the coronavirus takes its toll on the workforce, and even with unemployment benefit claims breaking records, employers are turning to virtual job fairs and hiring in response to the pandemic.

There is no doubt that the coronavirus outbreak is having an ugly effect on the job market, writes TechTarget’s Patrick Thibodeau. But there’s another side to the economic fallout: Some hiring continues—nearly all of it with the help of virtual hiring tools.

See all of HRE‘s coronavirus coverage here.

According to research conducted late last week by Gartner, 49% of the 800 firms surveyed have imposed a hiring freeze.

Thibodeau reports for those firms that are hiring, virtual hiring tools are gaining ground. One example: Job-seekers at CVS receive a link to a video interviewing platform from HireVue Inc.


The CVS vetting process includes a “Virtual Job Tryout.” Applicants may get a “situational judgment test” that “presents problem situations.” Four possible responses are provided; applicants pick their most likely response and least likely response, according to the site.

Brandi Britton, district president of Southern California at Robert Half staffing agency, says roughly 30% of her clients have placed hiring on hold. The remainder are conducting interviews via Skype or Facetime and, surprisingly, in person.

“There’s a lot of people comfortable with face-to-face interviews,” she says. “But some aren’t, especially those living with an elderly person … our clients are assuring us and the applicants they bring in that they’re frequently cleaning their space, will maintain the appropriate social distance and will try to get through the process as quickly as possible.”

Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, isn’t surprised.

“There’s still this optimism among medium to large employers,” he said, citing a belief that “there’s going to be a snap back in the economy at the end of this crisis.


“Companies went into the crisis on pretty sound financial footing,” he said.

To read the complete story, click here.

Editor’s note: This story is part of a content-exchange relationship between TechTarget and Human Resource Executive®, which produces the HR Technology Conference.

Nick Otto is HRE’s senior digital editor. He is a professional communicator with more than a decade of demonstrated accomplishments in newspaper and trade publishing. He has spent the past five years covering the employee benefits space and holds bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He can be reached at or follow him on twitter @Ottografs.

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