If you’re a business manager, then we don’t need to tell you about how difficult the past year has been. From furloughs to office closures, the past twelve months have been full of surprises, and very few good ones at that. But in spite of everything, work marches on, businesses must continue to grow, and the chances are that you will be looking to bring on new hires in the coming year. Nothing unusual about that, but let us tell you: if you haven’t posted a listing on a job site since the pandemic started, you may be surprised by what happens next.

There will be a huge number of applicants for any given position as people around the country are looking for a way to bounce back from redundancies. Given the flood of CVs and cover letters, it can be a little tricky to know who the right people are and which of these interviewees are just very good at selling themselves. Here are few things you should be looking for in your perfect fit.

What Have They Been Doing Since Lockdown?
Times have been tough for everyone since COVID-19 hit and an awful lot of people suddenly found themselves without a job. From long-time employees to hopeful graduates just leaving university, you are going to see some gaps on the CV from March onwards. One of the questions you should be asking prospective employees is: what have they done with their time in the interim? Look for the people who have been proactive, who have taken online courses to boost their skillset, started a new site to market their skills, or found a way to keep their minds engaged with a new challenge.

Look For Willingness To Get Involved
With so many applicants for every position, the fact of the matter is that you won’t be able to make everyone happy. However, that promise to keep a CV on file doesn’t need to be an empty one. If you have found the person who fits the job description perfectly but you feel like you can’t ignore that excellent candidate who doesn’t quite have the experience yet, think about offering them an apprenticeship. There are many benefits to hiring an apprentice, which you can read more about here at Employing An Apprentice, but one of the most important is knowing that you’re bringing on someone enthusiastic who is willing to learn who will be a great addition to your workforce.

Value Their Honesty
Anyone who has conducted job interviews for a while knows how to spot a chancer, someone who’s got the gift of the gab but doesn’t have the skills or the personality to actually fit the position if they ever started it. As you start interviewing prospective hires in this very difficult time, you will meet people who have struggled through the last year who are looking for a way to get back into the workplace. If someone is upfront with you about the hard times that they’ve had with their health, whether that’s physical or mental, that’s an attitude that is to be encouraged and shows that they’re serious about moving forward.