Builders Conference / COVID-19 / Events / Hiring / HR

4 new ways to think about hiring during a global crisis

At's Introduced|Virtual conference, leaders from LTSE, FiscalNote, Whitebox, Pie Insurance and Guru discuss how hiring processes are uniquely changing in this economic downturn.

"How Hiring Changes During a Recession" panelists. (Screenshot)
Correction: Details about Pie Insurance's hiring plans have been updated. (5/19/2020, 2:10 p.m.)

No matter what stage a company is in, hiring processes are likely changing right now. Some companies have halted hiring all together, while others are onboarding new team members virtually.

On May 7, hosted its first Introduced|Virtual conference, a daylong webinar of one-hour panels focused on various aspects to build better businesses. (Look for the IRL version to return during Philly Tech Week 2020 presented by Comcast this September.)

During the “How Hiring Changes During a Recession” panel moderated by Technically Media CEO Christopher Wink, attendees heard executives discuss how hiring processes look different during this economic downturn.

The speakers:

If you weren’t able to watch the panel live, you can view the session below:

Whether your company is hiring or not, or you’re job seeking, here’s a recap of some big ideas on how to think about hiring during a global crisis:

Gig work is in.

Baltimore-based Whitebox, which runs an ecommerce logistics platform for direct-to-consumer brands, is hiring more right now, Frey said, and is being flexible with its policies to allow for short-term employment opportunities for people looking for work during this time. Molzen also emphasized how short-term gigs can spark new long-term interests for people.

Remote work can open doors to new opportunities.

As folks continue to work from home, it’s important to reshape processes to fit our “new normal,” whether that’s onboarding new employees or making sure current team members are taking a chance to learn new things. Each of the panelists spoke to what their companies are doing well during this WFH time:

Don’t be afraid to repurpose roles to retain talent.

Kargas said that even though Pie Insurance’s inside sales have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, its customer care organization has been getting a lot of attention, so the company has shifted employees from the sales team to serve its customers differently. She also stressed the importance of being intentional about the roles the company plans to fill once it starts hiring again: Pie had planned to hire more than 100 people this year, it is now being more cautious and plans to hire 20.

Guru is also looking at ways to serve its customers better.

Above all, entrepreneurship can still thrive.

Wink said it best: Business plans can still be born during this time, so if you have an idea, go for it. Even if it’s an entrepreneurial project within a company, it’s worth the try.

It’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted companies in different ways. Here’s how attendees weighed in what the global crisis has been doing to their company’s hiring plans:

Catch the full day of panels on YouTube.

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Philly Tech Week 2020 is more like Philly Tech Year, with more virtual events like this coming throughout the next few months. Get updates on speakers, sessions, attendee specials and more by signing up for #PTW20 emails today:

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Companies: Pie Insurance / Whitebox / FiscalNote
Series: Coronavirus
People: Christopher Wink
Projects: Builders Conference / Philly Tech Week

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