Q&A – Recruitment actitvities during the period of COVID-19 Virus

AvantGarde Search have put together a Q&A text answering some of the most typical questions a HR Department or Management Team may have in relation to recruiting under the current climate. For more info please feel free to get in touch with Erik Falk Hansen in Oslo or Ingunn Søyland in Stavanger.

AvantGarde Search operates within industries such as Technology, Energy, Data Science, Maritime, Shipping and Logistics. This includes position at Senior to Middle management level, technical positions as Engineers and SW Developers, positions within marketing and communication, Design positions, Customer Success positions and positions within Sales & Business Development. The answers below are therefore in relation to our areas of specialisation.

Important: Irrespective of the  Q&A below it is important that any company in hiring modus, or with plans to hire, follows the guidelines set by the government and national health service.

How much additional time will a recruitment process take in the current circumstances?

It doesn’t necessarily have to take any longer than normal, but it depends to some extend as to how good you are using digital tools for recruitment. If you want to meet a candidate face to face you will have to wait and see how the situation develops of course, but as you will see below; there really isn`t any reason why you would need to meet the candidate(s) in person. Finally, it could also be that a process under current circumstances goes quicker than normal considering it being less difficult to reach out to candidates and secure the best talent.

Do we carry out all screening, interviewing and testing digitally?

Well, that depends to some extent on how things develop in the next 4-5 weeks. As mentioned above, this “problem” in relation to meeting candidates face to face won`t occur until after Easter. (considering the pre-elementary work and screening that takes place prior to this)

Best video conference solutions for interviews

Most, if not all of the interview and screening process can take place over video. The equipment available today (typically free of charge) also allows for presentations to be held. This further means that you as a company can show candidates a company presentations while the candidates also can solve a case and present this back in the interview. A useful article to read about the different video conference options was put out by Tekna last week. You can read this here

Would a candidate not want to meet the team before accepting a position?

In all likelihood, yes, but this can also be carried out over video. So when the time comes for that particular stage (often final stage of process) you simply invite for a video-meeting between the candidate and a few of the people already in the team.

Do we advertise a position now, or do we wait?

Based on the answer to question  to the first question here, as well as some of the answers below, it is certainly a good time to advertise a position, either yourself or through an external recruitment company. You will reach out to an audience you previously couldn’t reach out to. (those in jobs)

What advertising channels are best to use in the current circumstances?

First and foremost, there are a number of free advertising channels, in particular for start-ups and small tech-companies. This includes StartupmatcherHub, and Indeed. Secondly, using your employees to spread an advert that is published on your website via LinkedIn and Facebook will prove more fruitful than under normal circumstances. Finally, a platform like Finn will be even more useful than previously as more people are inclined to check this channel when they are sat at home and with less to do than normal.  If you are within the energy sector you could also try places like Energi 24 and http://www.enerwe.no

Why do many people deem these times as an opportunity to reach out to and secure the best talent?

More and more people will check out what is moving in terms of positions advertised, including those that are in work and who don’t normally look at job adverts. Additionally, people will spend more time than usual on Social Media, which means that you have a larger than normal audience to reach out to. Last but not least; there will be companies making redundancies and temporary layoffs, and employees within these companies may be easier to tempt over to your business.

Will the best talent in the current market conditions be more sceptical to make a move?

Most likely not, more likely the opposite if we look back to other years when there has been uncertainty in the marketplace.

What do we do if we are right in the middle of one or more recruitment processes?

Stopping a recruitment process here and now can prove costly. You probably have a good momentum in terms of candidates attracted to the role and thus you should do everything in your power to complete the process. This would also mean that you have an offer and acceptance by end of April, ensuring that you have a candidate ready to start as of 1st of August.

What if we have to put a stop to a recruitment process?

Don’t worry. Candidates will 100% understand in these times, but make sure you contact them all individually, briefly explain the situation and stress that you hope they will still be interested once you are ready to recruit again. In doing so, you will keep your Employer Brand intact, as well as it being the right thing to do on behalf of the candidate.

We lost out on a candidate we wanted some time ago. Should we contact him / her now?

This is a great opportunity to check in with candidates who may have turned down a position with you during the last 6 months. His or her situation may suddenly have changed where they are at present and thus he or she could now be open to join your company.


This crisis we are now experiencing will eventually pass by. At that stage, more or less all companies will be in a recruiting mode. This will make it harder to secure the best talent and also more expensive. Additionally, you will then have to wait for a significant amount of time before candidate have started. Example; You have put a position on hold now in march. You decide in June that you will start recruiting again. It is then the summer holidays and the recruitment process can officially start in August. Set aside 2 months for the recruitment process and then 3-months notice for the selected candidates and suddenly you don`t have someone starting before January next year. It may also turn out that you miss out on your “dream” candidate, a candidate you perhaps could secure now.


AvantGarde Search are currently taking on new recruitment assignments both in Oslo and Stavanger. Under current circumstances, we give our clients one of two alternatives:

  1. We work on a recruitment project as per normal with the aim of having secured the right candidate within 4-6 weeks, although much of the work will be carried out digitally; or
  2. We do the initial work such as advertising, candidate market mapping, digital screening before and over Easter, to then start the interview process on our client`s side, hopefully in the middle of April.

For media contact or if you are a company interested in more info about our agile recruitment services; please contact Erik or Ingunn as per the below.

Erik Falk Hansen | CEO & Chief Talent Sourcer | efh@avantgardesearch.no | +47 40 43 54 93
Ingunn Søyland | Partner & Chief Talent Sourcer | iso@avantgardesearch.no | +47 45 50 64 43