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The Covid-19 outbreak has seen the UK drastically change the way in which businesses conduct themselves. Yet there will always be a need for medicines and medical equipment (not just those used to treat Covid-19) and so the pharma and life sciences industries have found themselves in the fortunate position that work can, to a degree, continue.

All our office-based clients within these sectors are now successfully working from home, with many adopting the ‘business as usual’ mantra. We believe this way of thinking can also be deployed across their hiring processes, if the correct measures are taken, and so we have set out to highlight the best ways companies can conduct remote recruitment over the coming months.

Sourcing Candidates

Despite current circumstances, there are still plenty of candidates searching for new opportunities. Some jobseekers are pre-empting upcoming changes to their working circumstances, while others are using the quieter evenings and weekends to update their CVs and see what opportunities may be out there for them.

We’ve already discussed in detail the benefits of using freelancers during the Covid-19 outbreak. If you’re unable to make permanent hires at this moment in time, a contract worker could be the perfect solution to your recruitment needs.

Here at Carrot Recruitment we’re highly capable at helping you source the right candidates for your roles and have recently invested in LinkedIn Recruiter. This has given our specialist consultants access to every single person on the LinkedIn network, allowing us to identify who is “open to new opportunities” and finding the best matches for your requirements. As always, we are still adopting our value of quality over quantity and will only send the CVs of candidates we feel meet your expectations.

Interviewing Candidates

For companies still in need of new hires over the next few months, remote recruitment will probably be the only option - but we've already seen it successfully conducted.

Inviting a candidate to interview should be relatively straightforward at the moment - with the majority of the workforce currently working from home they should have more flexibility around when they can speak with you. But interviews over the next couple of months will take a different format to the norm and so it’s vital to be aware of impact this may have on your recruitment process.

Here are our top tips for anyone looking to conduct a video interview:

  • Keep the process as simple as possible.
  • Send out any joining instructions with the interview confirmation so both sides can test their software ahead of time – ask another colleague or someone in your home to help with this testing.
  • Set up your laptop, computer or smart phone in a quiet spot, with good lightening and where you won’t easily be disturbed.
  • Be prepared for technical difficulties. Even if the candidate has prepared their devices as thoroughly as you have, issues can still arise.
  • Try to limit the number of people on the call to two or three. Any more than this and you may need to set up several video discussions to avoid overwhelming the candidate.
  • Where possible, mirror the face-to-face interview process. For example, if one of the stages would be an informal chat over a coffee, attempt to reflect this via a video call.

Offering a Candidate

Some employees may be reluctant to offer a candidate without meeting them face-to-face, but after a couple of video calls you should have a very similar impression of the candidate and what they could bring to your company as you would have gathered by physically meeting them.

When it comes to making the offer, either go via your recruiter (if you’re using one) or give it directly via a telephone call. Allow the candidate the usual period of time to make a decision and ensure you’ve thoroughly discussed everything with them, including remote on-boarding and when they can expect to start. The candidate will no doubt have many questions and will need the reassurance they are making the right choice by joining you.

Although you may be happy making the offer without meeting the candidate in person, you’ll need to help to immerse them into the company culture before they begin:

  • Send them any promotional videos you have, or footage from office tours or social events you should share with them.
  • Make lots of noise around the perks and benefits you offer and how these will be implemented once we return to normality.
  • Set up informal calls with other members of their team so they can get a real feel for the people they‘ll be working alongside and encourage them to discuss the social aspects of the company.

Many of our clients have been fantastic so far in ensuring candidates will be able to start their new roles remotely if required, although we understand this won’t be feasible for every position. If you are going to be on-boarding your new employee from home, provide them with everything they’ll require in order to hit the ground running – they’ll be just as excited to start as you will be to have them join the team.


We completely understand that recruitment isn’t a current priority for all businesses, but if you are looking to make new hires remotely over the coming months, whether permanent or contract/freelance, our specialist consultants are here to guide you through every step of the process. Contact us today to find out more.

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