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Hiring Fast to Meet Demand in a Contactless World

February 25, 2019

The COVID-19 crisis continues to shake up the hiring market. As massive layoffs make headlines, companies in the grocery, delivery and manufacturing sectors are facing exponential demand and the need to hire rapidlyDesmond Lim, CEO & Co-founder of Workstream, a text-based hiring platform for hourly workers (and a GGV portfolio company), has witnessed this disparity firsthand. 

In this week’s GGV Evolving E masterclass for on-demand operators, Desmond described his experience with today’s job market which mirrors much of what is happening around the country. Ninety percent of Workstream’s local business clients (restaurants, cinemas, hotels) have stopped hiring, while there are 4x more job postings for drivers and 3x more job postings for nurses. Beyond these staggering trends, the global pandemic has changed the way employers are hiring and the way job seekers are job hunting. 

From sourcing and engaging talent to differentiating yourself as an employer, here are Desmond’s top 7 tactics for hiring fast:

  1. Move your communication from email to text  - text has a 98% open rate compared to the average email open rate of 30%.
  2. Treat recruiting like a sales process - create a standard process and move candidates quickly through the funnel.
  3. Follow up and follow up fast - increase engagement and show candidates you care (with Workstream, you can automate your replies to applicants so they get immediate responses).
  4. Set up an employee referral program - reward employees who recommend candidates to increase your top of funnel. Giving a $300 referral reward for every person hired is equivalent to, if not less than the cost of posting on a job board.
  5. Post on job boards early in the morning - where and when you post on channels can be key to getting as many applicant eyes on your posting as possible (Workstream’s AI helps with posting at optimal times). 
  6. Share on closed communities such as school networks, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, etc.
  7. Host virtual group hiring events - bring together a large group of candidates (virtually, of course) to build your brand and quickly screen for top talent.  
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Caption: A look at how Workstream works

With many applicants sheltered at home, everything in the hiring and onboarding process needs to be online. Here’s a quick and simple checklist for building an end-to-end hiring process that is fully virtual. 


  • Post on all major job boards
  • Develop a referral program
  • Add an application to your website  


  • Create questionnaires and quizzes
  • Build video intros into your hiring process - allow candidates to submit a 1 minute video introducing themselves and sharing work experiences / skillset 
  • Communicate via SMS
  • Reject unsatisfactory candidates even before an interview


  • Automate interview scheduling to keep the best candidates engaged in your process
  • Conduct interviews on Zoom / Skype/ Google Hangouts 


  • Go paperless - Use digital signature and standardized templates for required forms 
  • Create training videos / guides 

The turnover rate for hourly workers tends to be high but a solid hiring process can help with retention. Take the time to ensure there is alignment between the candidate and the role and be sure to dedicate time and resources to proper onboarding. Investment in training and resources can go a long way in keeping employees engaged and happy.  

Interested in learning more about Workstream? Contact with questions. 

This masterclass was a part of GGV Capital’s Evolving E series. Evolving E is an ecommerce tech community that began in 2016 as a summit in New York for the top entrepreneurs and executives in the ecommerce, retail and consumer goods sectors. Today it has expanded to include online and offline dinner series, masterclasses, and gatherings with an ecommerce community from around the world.