The government-instructed lockdown has changed the landscape, not only of recruitment, but of the majority of industries. Business continuity plans have been stress-tested, relationships are harder to maintain, and just getting through the working day can sometimes feel like walking through treacle.
With it, the lockdown has brought a great deal of uncertainty around hiring, business processes and the function of individual roles. Some have taken the approach to halt recruiting until we have a better idea of what’s going on, others are relishing in the elite talent that’s entering the candidate pool. These businesses tend to be those to whom remote working and utilising technology are no stranger. They’ve had a more seamless transition into the new normal and are able to look into the future as well as the present.
We´re here to aid your organisation’s processes, and to this effect we are sharing the fruits of our research and market analysis on how to hire the best talent for your business as effectively remotely as directly.
SET UP AND ETIQUETTE
Businesses that have seen a more seamless transition into remote working have been utilising their usual communication platforms such as Skype for Business, Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams for instant messaging, day to day contact and video communications.
Video & Audio
As with all in person meetings, each member of staff should have equal opportunity to contribute and listen by ensuring that their video and audio are switched on. The importance of maintaining face to face contact with your team and interdepartmentally during times like these cannot be exaggerated.
A well set up “office” is key to productivity during business calls. Not all members of team will have a home office, so here are a few hints to help in lieu of a separate office.
Deciding what’s needed from your next hire requires conversation, a bit of give and take and thorough research throughout the company to decide what your team needs. There will be those who feel largely out of their depth when it
comes to making such weighty decisions via remote discussions. However, it can be done, especially when done in conjunction with an expert recruitment partner.
When you come to reach out to your recruitment partner, ensure that they’re up to the task by addressing the following:
- Their digital interviewing technique and process
- How do they determine that someone is the right fit over a video call?
- What other services can they bring to the table? Psychometric tests, EA/PA training etc.
We’ve seen an increase in candidates being open to have a conversation about a role that we’re offering, likely because of reduced commuting times, lack of bosses at the next desk over and an increase in schedule flexibility. However, we’ve also seen a hesitancy in candidates to commit to a new opportunity or role. We’ve found that this is mitigated by utilising our close relationships with our candidates to talk their concerns through and address any uncertainties and hesitancies to put their minds at rest and encourage a greater level of commitment.
This is without doubt the most key stage of the recruitment process, so it’s critical that you’re able to interview as effectively in a lockdown, as you would were it business as usual. Our advice for conducting interviews is as follows:
Get Everyone Together
One of the benefits of remote interviewing is the ability to call in multiple stakeholders of the role, without the need for travel or nearly as much calendar management. Ensure that anyone who would like to talk to the candidate or ask them questions is invited to the call should this be appropriate for the role. In any case, you could send a link to the call, and ask a member of the team to join at a specific time so that you don’t have too many team members on the call at once and overwhelm the candidate. This also provides the team member with some excellent one on one time with your employees.
Following the etiquette outlined in this document is key. As the old adage goes, an interview is as much for the candidate as it is for the client. Make sure that you spend time getting set up. Take time to unwind from a stressful meeting beforehand, make sure your glass of water is full, dress in the manner that you would wish for your candidate to.
Another benefit of the increase in schedule flexibility is the ability to hold staged interviews that take place over a more concentrated period than would be otherwise viable (1-2 days). Should you choose to go down this route, here are a few pieces of advice to follow to help you navigate this:
Follow the Leader
As with a traditional face-to-face interview, a member of the interview panel should lead the interview - introducing the candidate, outlining the interview timeline, getting consent for a recording if appropriate and take the responsibility of ensuring the candidate is comfortable at every stage.
Keep to Time
Particular attention should be paid to ensuring that the interview is kept to time. An increase in schedule flexibility doesn’t necessarily mean that either candidates or members on the panel don’t have previous commitments to attend to soon after the interview. Keep to timings and keep to the interview structure.
When a candidate proceeds through to the next interview stage, ensure
that any members of the team who weren’t in the initial interview are brought up
to speed before the second or third stage.
Stay in Touch...
Should you have any further questions about recruitment during a lockdown, please don´t hesitate to contact us. We will do our best to help you during this challenging time. We are confident in our ability to do so - and look forward to meeting you again after the lockdown ends!