Remote Hiring?

A few weeks ago, all of us were struggling hard to make remote hiring a new adjustment. However, it definitely looks like remote hiring is a new practice and is here to stay.
In the last couple of days, I spoke to a lot of recruiters, candidates and companies on their experience of remote hiring. While they are still racing ways to make the high human touch process a successful virtual experiment that can be the usual norm, here are some of the key takeaways. :

The approach:
– Most companies are equipping their Talent Acquisition teams with every tools and support needed to set up their WFH successful. It means ensuring the recruiters have digital signature apps, good wifi, more / innovative job boards or video interview licence support etc.
– TA teams ensure the candidates are ready for such interviews. (They have never been virtual for such long hours previously). This means making sure candidates have enough gaps between the interviews, right laptop with the right configuration, good internet connectivity, access to the interview links to their various rounds.
– TA teams also make sure that the interviewing panel is similarly equipped with the support system internally for successful interviews. Training them is the hardest part to make sure they break the ice over a video call.

Shining Stars:
1. Most of the TA specialists feel this is easily adaptable compared to how it looked when it all started.
2. Availability of the candidates has increased. Candidates no longer push interviews further down and in fact can also take interviews in phases (some on certain days, rest on next days etc.). They no longer complain on going for interviews travelling “X” distance.
3. Interviews now start right on time. (I guess something all the recruiters and candidates both craved for 😉 ). Most times and on so many occasions people run late for multiple reasons like huge traffic, sudden product deployment etc. (I remember one instance with me, where while we were interviewing a candidate, the candidate turned up 40 mins late and this delayed the rest of the interviews. So much chaos as the day was fully packed for all interviewers and the candidate was travelling out of the city the next day. Sigh! )
4. Interviewing panels are also easily available. Recruiters and coordinators are so relieved that the panels also do not have to stay up late at the office or travel to the office “just for the interviews” anymore.
5. All of this has resulted in the scheduling efforts to be swift and it’s very flexible. As mentioned above, the pending rounds can be scheduled at a later time when both interviewer and candidate both are available.
6. Never thought, technology could penetrate its roots deep down to make recruiting super stronger.

Darker Side :
1. Conveying the company culture to the candidates without any in-person meetings. Most of the companies actually are able to “sell-well” during in-person interviews as that is when they can showcase how the company is built, how the teams work, how communications flow etc. They get to “See” the real-life examples on the working style of the company.
2. The low inflow of candidates applying in. Since the “WFH is forced due to COVID”, candidates who are settled in their current jobs are not apparently interested in applying for newer roles right now. FOMO of their stable jobs is also affecting the overall market.
3. The ergonomics of both parties is negatively impacted. Screen time has rapidly increased for everyone. Doing 5 rounds of virtual interviews means 5-7 hours on screen besides also doing your general work which moves the hour needle by another 3-4 hours. This does bring in issues like headaches, burning eyes, backaches, lethargy etc. Making sure, enough support is provided can only help this get better but hard to eradicate this completely.

Final Note:
I feel all companies are now forced towards Remote Hiring, but if we are able to transform it well, this is going to stay. While we all try our luck with the swirling stars, we need to make sure Empathy (both towards candidates and towards our employees: Hiring Panels, Recruiters) becomes our North Star. In such times of social distancing, we have to make an effort towards staying closely connected with candidates and colleagues.

Source: Gallup, Linkedin, Recruiters and candidates from my network.

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