Sova Assessment on Coronavirus: How to minimise disruption to your graduate recruitment process

Posted by Abigail Scott

As the coronavirus situation continues to develop at pace, never has our ability to be agile been so vigorously tested.

At Sova, we recognise that the situation is, and will continue to be, especially challenging for HR and graduate recruitment teams in particular as we begin the hiring season. On a positive note, we have been working closely with our clients to identify practical solutions to minimise disruption throughout this rapidly evolving period and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of these with you.

Business as usual?

It is clear from speaking to many graduate recruiters recently, that our working environment and the day-to-day rhythm of work is ambiguous and fluid. Today, there are two certainties:

  1. Graduate recruitment for the majority is still going ahead,
  2. Candidates are watching how your organisation responds to the current challenges and assessing your organisation.

We all need to be agile and this means pivoting your usual assessment approaches to attract, secure and retain the top talent. The worst course of action to take right now is to do nothing.

It is my strong belief that we can leverage technology more effectively to implement simple, practical and effective virtual assessment solutions that mean you can continue to make effective hiring decisions and engage with candidates in an engaging and meaningful way.


The overarching consideration is how to maintain the wellbeing of staff and candidates, by reducing the amount of in-person interaction. One of the biggest stages in graduate recruitment is screening, which is typically done remotely through online blended assessments, so for many large-scale businesses who are hiring on a very regular basis, this will remain largely unaffected. But for smaller, or less digitally equipped organisations, why not consider building in an automated element to this stage in the recruitment process? It’s a great way to support teams who may be struggling with resource during this time.

The interview stage

The interview stage can also be adjusted to remove the need for face-to-face interaction, by utilising virtual facilities. Taking this one step further by using asynchronous video interviewing technology can alleviate pressure further, as it consists of a one-way interview process which can be watched and scored from any location at a time convenient to the HR/line manager. This can be invaluable in ensuring the recruitment process can continue to move at pace and is particularly effective if used with an online whole-person assessment for a richer candidate evaluation.

Assessment centre

One of the more complex scenarios to navigate is the traditional in-person assessment centre, which is labour intensive and often largely paper based. We have been working with clients to virtualize their approach, through using digital assessment centre technology with integrated Zoom video conferencing to create virtual interview rooms. This seamlessly facilitates group assessments and further 1-1 interviews, negating the need for travel or physical interaction, thus offering minimal disruption and greater safety for all involved.

Virtualising your existing assessment centre

Transitioning to a virtual assessment centre is by far the most challenging piece of the puzzle. Simply purchasing a video conferencing platform is fraught with danger and will more often than not fail. The good news is that the right virtual transition is completely possible and can be easy. For your processes consider:

  • Finding a solution where you can drop your existing and robust content into a virtual environment.
  • Carefully consider scheduling, data entry and collation for assessors and candidates.
  • Make sure everyone knows where they need to be and when, and make sure you have instant and real time access to notes and scoring data.
  • As always, candidate care is critical, but perhaps now more than ever. Clear communications that set out what they will be asked to do and how they will be evaluated.
  • Find a pragmatic and automated solution that does not feel as though you are running an assessment centre blindfolded!

Sova are launching our first round of completely virtual assessment centres with Deloitte in Europe next week. For updates, or even just a chat on the current environment and situation, please feel free to contact me - Abi Scott, Managing Director Sova APAC on [email protected] or 0426 691 012.

Additional resources:

Webinar: How to minimise disruption to your recruitment process – This is scheduled for 9.30pm (AEST) on Wednesday 25th March. A second time option will be provided soon.

Blog: Ten tips to virtualise your hiring process



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