September 2020 Survey: How Job Seekers Are Adapting to Remote Recruiting

43% of respondents have had a remote interview in the past 4 months and over half said recruiters could do more to help them better prepare


Since the start of COVID, the number of businesses operating remotely has skyrocketed. And you may be wondering how job seekers have been impacted. To give you a deeper understanding, we surveyed over 3,100 people on ZipRecruiter.com (from all 50 states).*

Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Urgency for job seekers to find work remains high
    • 55% of job seekers feel more urgency to find a job now than last month
    • 53% need to start work within the next month and an additional 21% need to start within the week
  2. Job seekers are more open to new/different job opportunities than before the start of COVID
    • 94% are currently open to taking a position that they have the skills for, but is not exact to their most recent job title
      • Of those, 27% said they would not have been open to it just 6 months ago
    • More than half of our respondents (58%) said that they are more open to taking contract/part-time work than before COVID


  1. Close to half of job seekers (43%) had a remote interview in the past 4 months and people are quickly seeing benefits
    • 83% said that they are confident about their ability to showcase skills/talent through remote interviewing
    • 59% said remote interviews are easier to schedule
    • 62% are optimistic about being able to work remotely long-term in their current industry
  2. However, the remote recruiting process is not perfect just yet
    • 45% said remote interviews make it harder to learn about the company culture


  1. Job seekers are looking for support from recruiters to make the transition to remote easier
    • If having a remote interview, 52% prefer video over phone
    • To help make job seekers feel more comfortable, the top three things respondents say recruiters could do is:
      1. (33%) share tips beforehand about how to interview remotely and which video platform will be used
      2. (22%) provide more guidance about the process
      3. (21%) check-in frequently throughout the recruiting process

What this means if you’re hiring right now

The global shift toward online working and recruiting presents new challenges to overcome. By making a few tweaks to your approach, you can continue to offer a great candidate experience. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Over-communicate

    It’s crucial to keep candidates informed throughout the entire hiring process. Being transparent about any new changes or delays can help you avoid confusion and deliver a positive candidate experience.Here are details that would be helpful to share:

    • The timeline of the entire interview process
    • Who they will be meeting with
    • Whether the job is temporarily or permanently remote
    • What they can expect to discuss
    • Any assignments they will need to complete before or during the interview
  2. Be a valuable resource

    Many candidates may be unfamiliar with video interviewing, so it’s beneficial to share tips and tools to help them in this new setting. Plus, the better prepared they feel, the better they will perform in the interview—and the better their overall experience with your company will be.Consider sending candidates an email before the interview with:

    • A link to the video platform you’ll be using and instructions about how to download/use it
    • Details about what type of equipment they’ll need (webcam, laptop, etc.)
    • What environment to take the call in (a quiet space with bright lighting)

Want a more detailed guide about how to reach top talent from anywhere? Check out our e-book, The Rise of Remote Interviewing.

Download E-book

* Methodology: Findings are based on a survey of 3,000+ U.S. job seekers who logged into ZipRecruiter job seeker accounts between September 8, 2020, and September 21, 2020

Copyright © 2020 ZipRecruiter, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Our team is dedicated to helping talent acquisition professionals reach qualified candidates with industry-leading tools and strategies. We provide resources and insights on the latest trends in job seeker activity, technology, and industry changes. Learn more about Ziprecruiter's solutions and get ready to take your recruiting strategy to the next level.

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