Skip main navigation

Online hiring here to stay despite recruiters not feeling prepared, new study finds

FutureLearn, the leading social learning platform, is announcing the launch of its own-brand course “Online Recruitment and Onboarding: Providing Continuity for Business and Candidates” developed in partnership with the REC. The new course is designed to help companies and recruitment specialists better navigate the intricacies of remote hiring and onboarding).

The ways in which organisations are recruiting has been altered drastically due to the pandemic, with remote hiring expected to play a more prominent role in recruitment processes across all sectors.

New data commissioned by FutureLearn, from research group Find Out Now and representative of the UK’s recruiters, shows that 80% of recruiters across sectors including hospitality, retail, healthcare, social care and construction used at least one remote hiring technique during lockdown. The research looked at a representative panel of 315 individuals. It found that:

  • More than 50% of recruiters said they used remote hiring techniques alone over lockdown, meaning no face-to-face contact with candidates at all.
  • Only 14% of recruiters believe they saw a reduction in the levels of unconscious bias through the hiring process
  • 37% of recruiters have found it more difficult to find the right talent
  • 66% of recruiters are expecting to move to a more hybrid model of hiring in the future
  • 25% feel they are not prepared or trained to shift to the new way of working

While some industries have had to halt hiring processes and even downsize, sectors such as online marketplaces and healthcare are in fact experiencing growth and hiring at pace compared to others. This is, however, a new challenge amidst current circumstances. The innovative thinking and adaptability explored in the course will help recruiters face this new normal with the right training and insight.

“Online Recruitment and Onboarding: Providing Continuity for Business and Candidates” is a 3-week course delivered by experts from recruitment agencies and blue chip companies. Neil Carberry, CEO, REC, and Catalina Schveninger, Chief People Officer at FutureLearn will lead the teaching with contributions from leading recruitment and diversity experts. The course will equip recruitment, HR professionals and line managers with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively support candidates throughout the hiring process. There will also be a focus on maintaining and improving employer brand value during these challenging times.

The course is open for enrolment now on Teaching commences on 14 September 2020.

Catalina Schveninger, Chief People Officer at FutureLearn, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed recruitment and onboarding processes online rapidly, and we are seeing companies adjust their practices to ensure staff are able to identify key talent and deliver a great candidate experience in a digital environment. Many recruiters are finding it increasingly difficult to find the right talent, and the survey findings clearly demonstrate that a substantial portion of recruiters do not feel prepared and lack the necessary training to shift to the new ways of working.

“It is critical that recruiters are provided with the opportunities to upskill and develop, in order to confidently guide and advise candidates during these unprecedented times. If done effectively, remote hiring is also a great opportunity to significantly reduce unconscious bias and therefore improve diversity, which is why it is so important organisations get this right. We are delighted to be collaborating with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and with some big names in the industry to share approaches and techniques for effective online recruitment, helping companies maintain business continuity in the post-COVID era.”

Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation added:“This new course is a great first step for learners – and can be a gateway to the deeper learning we help REC Professionals to achieve.

“Learners will get practical advice on how to adjust current recruitment practices for a completely digital process.  The course will also offer guidance on how to attract, assess and onboard candidates in the context of lock down, and how to coach candidates who are anxious about losing their jobs or are reluctant to change roles during the current uncertainty. The course also covers ways employers can reach new candidate pools in the current climate, and how to collect key information about potential candidates during the recruitment process.”


Notes to Editors

About FutureLearn

Here at FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform access to education. We do that by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support over 13 million learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. We’re a leading social learning platform founded in December 2012 by The Open University and are now jointly owned by The Open University in the UK and The SEEK Group. We use design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to top universities, we also partner with leading organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE), as well as being involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.

About The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)

The REC is the voice of the recruitment industry, speaking up for great recruiters. We drive standards and empower recruitment businesses to build better futures for great candidates and themselves. We are champions of an industry which is fundamental to the strength of the UK economy.

Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at

Related stories on FutureLearn

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now