July 30, 2021

Written by Nicolas Speeckaert, skeeled’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, recruitment was halted in many companies. However, with UK employees being urged back to the office from 1st August, we are also seeing hiring intentions starting to change.

The latest figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) JobsOutlook survey suggests that employers are becoming more confident about hiring new staff and their ability to make investment decisions has improved for the first time since February[i].

The REC found that organisations planning to hire permanent staff within the next three months increased from a net +6 in early June to +14, while demand for staff in the next four to 12 months remained at net +12. However, with many people still working at home some or all the time there is likely to be major changes to how companies attract talent in the future.


Embracing technology

The pandemic has highlighted to CEOs how technology can support new ways of working. During lockdown, remote workers were increasingly using tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams for meetings and to engage and connect with their colleagues.

Recruitment also adapted and moved into the virtual world. Recruitment outsourcing company Cielo published a report in June entitled, ‘The Future of Work Survey[ii],’ which found that two thirds of businesses had successfully interviewed and onboarded new starters during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The report highlighted that most employers are now comfortable using technology for talent acquisition, with 82% of hiring managers saying they will continue to interview using video once the pandemic is over. Two fifths (41%) are happy to onboard staff virtually and 32% are not concerned about making job offers without meeting candidates face to face.

66% said their reliance on advanced technology will remain so for CEOs now keen to expand their teams, ‘virtual’ talent acquisition is likely to become the new normal.

Technology can be used to manage the entire recruitment process and help companies to screen, select and appoint staff.  It can streamline and automate processes including helping companies manage the high numbers of job applications which will be likely in the coming months, with increased unemployment, resulting from the impact of the coronavirus on companies

Managing a flood of job applicants could be a real headache for CEOs. Sifting through high volumes of CVs and applications and selecting the right talent can be arduous, time consuming and costly.

However, by embracing digital recruitment solutions, employers can automate many of the repetitive and time-consuming processes involved in talent acquisition, particularly in the early stages of recruitment in attracting, sifting, and selecting candidates for interviews.

New AI recruitment technology

In recent months, we have seen demand for virtual talent acquisition solutions accelerate.  To address this demand, we recently launched our predictive AI talent management software in the UK to support employers with their talent acquisition. The key benefits of skeeled is the fact it is powered by innovative predictive AI technology which automates and screens talent to ensure it matches the job brief.

The software’s pre-screening tool, which is powered by machine learning and Natural Language Programme (NLP), accurately sifts through CVs and select candidates that are the best match and fit with the job description. The system produces an automated binary decision: that either rejects applicants clearly not a fit or puts them forward for further analysis. This technology saves companies hours of time and money screening candidates and ensures a completely fair and objective selection process.

Some CEOs may have concerns that using technology in this way will remove the human touch from the hiring process, but this is not the case. While the screening decisions are automated, these can be easily monitored and revised, and employers or recruitment teams can requalify applicants they might consider a fit.

During the pandemic employees have become accustomed to regular video calls. skeeled also incorporates video in its pre-screening processes and employers can invite candidates take part in a pre-recorded video interview to answer some initial questions.

These video interviews give employers a far more holistic view of the applicants so they can check if individuals are a good fit before progressing to a face to face interview, which also saves both parties a great deal of time. For businesses operating globally these videos also enable companies to share candidate information with colleagues and teams in different countries or regions, so they can really collaborate and ensure that collective, objective, and fair hiring decisions are made. Candidates can also undertake assessments that test their motivation and skills using the system.

An Applicant Tracking System is also included which enables interviewers, recruiters, and CEOs to collaborate and communicate throughout the hiring process and follow up effectively with applicants in a timely manner which helps to ensure a good candidate experience.

As companies start to navigate the post Covid-19 world selecting and acquiring the best talent is going to be key to their recovery. Busy CEOs are increasingly going to be making use of innovative recruitment solutions to transform talent acquisition, saving them time and money.


[i] https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/employers-feeling-more-confident-about-ability-to-hire/

[ii] https://www.recruitment-international.co.uk/blog/2020/06/59-percent-expect-tech-and-remote-working-to-lead-to-more-effective-recruitment