Top 6 Biggest Obstacles of Recruiting During the Pandemic

pikwizard-3226a6565c109eb5ba1130254fec563d (1)
photo by Awesome Content

As every industry was hit with the difficulties that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were forced to lay off or fire employees, hire a large number of employees or still train soon-to-be employees. The idea of recruiting, as well as the hiring process itself, became ambiguous as a result.

Certain industries, however, experienced the most challenges. These included:

  • Transportation
  • Travel
  • Hospitality
  • Restaurants & bars
  • Theaters
  • Manufacturing

These areas were forced to lay off and fire large numbers of employees due to the pandemic restrictions and lockdowns. Many companies ultimately closed permanently because they couldn’t afford to pay rent or for supplies that weren’t used.

On the other hand, there were industries that thrived during the pandemic such as:

  • Retail
  • Sanitation
  • Online teaching
  • Grocery stores
  • E-commerce

The shift to remote jobs forced a change that subsequently aided these industries. Digital purchases, online education, technological advances, and even pick-up and delivery services for grocery items were specific examples of how those companies thrived.

For all businesses though, recruitment became a serious struggle. They all faced obstacles, some of which were:

  1. Hiring large numbers of workers.
  2. Significantly less job applicants than previous years.
  3. High numbers of layoffs.
  4. Having to change the onboarding process.
  5. Limiting the cost of resources and spending.
  6. A necessary shift to a remote hiring system.

How to Solve Recruitment Problems

Due to fears the pandemic instilled in many people, they have been reluctant to seek employment. Uncertainty about the future and their current financial instability pushed people to file for unemployment instead of job hunting. The global struggles led many people to re-evaluate their career choices. While there were more unemployed people not searching for jobs than those that were, recruitment issues could partially be resolved by seeking out those passive people. A benefit for recruiters was that people knew they would need to go back to work, but they didn’t have as many distractions as they previously did. This meant recruiters could approach them and they were more likely to seriously consider applying for a position they weren’t looking for.

Other examples of how to solve recruitment issues involved businesses adapting a fully remote hiring process and updating automation tools for the hiring process. Introducing CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives or publicly sharing a business’s culture on social media were also good strategies. This comforted people and encouraged them to potentially apply for positions by showing them what it would be like if they became employees. Social media quickly became a popular recruitment tool as well.


Overall, unorthodox methods were adopted by companies to get around the recruitment obstacles they faced. While this proved to be helpful to keep them afloat, those methods may have actually been a permanent addition to those companies’ recruitment plans. What works for some businesses quickly made its way into entire industries, completely revolutionizing the way the world recruits new employees.