A lot has changed this year, from how we interact with each other – customers, colleagues, family and friends alike – to how we go about our day, maintain relationships and communicate. More than anything, what’s changed is the way we work and how we conduct business.
So it follows that your recruitment process should adapt too – particularly to being carried out largely, if not entirely remotely. The art of remote recruitment poses many challenges, none which are in any way insurmountable; it simply requires different skills, new systems and a flexible, thoughtful approach.
Read on for our how-to guide for adapting your recruitment process to account for all of the above.
1. Video interviews for the win
Zoom and various other video conferencing facilities are now a household name in the world of business, so they should be being used to streamline your recruitment process too. Video interviews are a fantastic way to get “face to face” with an individual, without having to be in the same vicinity; still, it’s important to conduct them properly.
Make sure you’ve thoroughly reviewed the candidate’s profile and know what you want to get out of the interview ahead of time; this way, you can focus on asking key questions and learning what you need to. With that being said, building rapport in a video setting might come less naturally, so dedicate time to this also. Work hard to identify a cultural fit as well as technical/professional, but don’t spend too much of your energy trying to analyse body language and presentation skill, which simply won’t come across at their best in these circumstances!
Finally, check your tech ahead of time – don’t put candidates on the back foot due to a poor internet connection or microphone creating awkward pauses or difficulties in hearing one another. Video doesn’t come naturally to many, so help rather than hinder.
Video interviewing means giving people the benefit of the doubt; always bear in mind that it may not be a true representation of the individual’s abilities or personality. That being said, it’s a great way to identify core skills and attributes in order to establish suitability for a role before progressing to the next stage!
2. Communication & expectations in equal measure
When hiring remotely, setting expectations from the outset is more crucial than ever to a successful process. When a candidate enters your talent pool, immediately ensure you help them understand your timelines, the recruitment process itself and what they can expect from you. Leave no room for ambiguity or misunderstanding in terms of when they’ll receive feedback from interviews, on what medium and through which means.
With this comes a commitment to communicating – clearly, regularly and reliably.
This applies during the recruitment process – as in whilst interviews are taking place – and moreover to that crucial post-offer period. Pre-Covid, once we’d made an offer to a candidate, we might arrange a coffee or catch up before their start date just to cement the relationship; the pandemic makes this more difficult. So, we can’t reiterate enough the importance of assuming nothing and keeping in touch.
3. Get the team involved
Just because the team isn’t all in one place doesn’t mean that remote hiring shouldn’t still be a team affair! Now more than ever, it’s important to reiterate the culture your workforce embodies. So, get more than just a candidate’s direct manager and the HR team involved in your remote hiring process. The more team members a prospective employee meets, the more you’re going to gauge; with each person they speak to you’re going to gain more insight, whether in a formal remote interview setting, an assessment or simply a friendly meet-and-greet capacity.
Furthermore, it means that should they be successful, they’ve already gone part of the way to building strong relationships with various contacts within. Which in turn leads to a happy, cohesive team!
Remote hiring: how to adapt your recruitment process
All in all, remote hiring simply requires more due-diligence, patience and flexibility than the traditional methods we’re used to; but, as with anything, practice makes perfect.
To learn more about how the team here at NLG is helping clients across North America build strong hiring strategies ready for the remote world, get in touch today.