We’ve learned to embrace remote work, but remote hiring is still a challenge. Below are five tips on how to virtually screen for top talent in a remote environment.
- Be human.
Use empathy when approaching the interview process remotely. From kids at home to health concerns, many people are adapting and changing the ways in which we typically schedule our day. It’s important to be more flexible and not too rigid about the occasional on-screen appearance of pets or a young children running through the background. It’s equally as important to see how a candidate handles these unexpected interruptions as these moments can allow you to gain invaluable insights into the candidate. “ I mean, if you can’t handle the family cat busting into a meeting, then we’re definitely not going to be a right match for one another” says David Ard, Chief People Officer at Equinox.
- Test their skills.
Consider how skills-assessment tools can help you identify the strongest candidates. According to FeaturedCustomer’s 2020 Spring Customer Success Report, these tests have many benefits including cost and efficiency. The money spent on pre-employment testing software is significantly lower than the cost of recruiting the incorrect employee, the report said.
On another note, it could be beneficial to give potential candidates “test projects” or a brief for an assignment. According to Jenny Gorenstein, Chief Growth Officer at Foria, “This has been critical to helping us evaluate how candidates could work independently to drive impact and integrate seamlessly into Foria’s remote work culture.”
Treat video interviews with the same seriousness as in-person interviews. Know the job description, the candidate’s resume and specific questions to ask. Choose a quiet, well-lit room for interviews. Make sure all parties have the correct interview time on their calendar, properly adjusting for different time zones. Share with candidates how to access the videoconferencing technology and whether software needs to be downloaded.
Not only is it important to prepare the candidate and the technology, but it is also important to prepare yourself. Take time before the interview to review the candidates resume and jot down any questions you may have. Once you ascertain that the candidate has the right skills, focus on understanding who the person is and if they would be a good fit at your company. Isabelle Feverier, CEO of Mansur Gavriel says “Recruiting is difficult, and you need to take the time to understand the person. Everyone can be successful, but will they be successful in your organization?”
- Expand the process.
An all-remote interview process can be a growth opportunity. Rather than simply augmenting a current process to fit a virtual environment, recruiters should take the opportunity to adapt their traditional processes and create something entirely new.
“With recruiters and candidates spending more time interviewing remotely, it’s important to approach these interactions in a structured yet human way,” says Jacqui Maguire, Director of Talent Acquisition at Greenhouse. “Whether remote or in-person, every touchpoint can be an opportunity to promote your company’s culture and learn more about the candidate.”
- Set limits/expectations.
Give candidates advance notice that interviews will be conducted virtually. This is still a new concept so just sending a Zoom link the day before the interview can be a bit jarring. Also, it is important to set a time limit. According to Michael Bosstick, founder and CEO of Dear Media the time limit helps keep the conversation focused and tests the candidate’s communication skills. Michael says, “I keep the job interviews really short-15 minutes max… This is really important in a world where all work remotely and rely on these skills to be effective with teams.”