Recruiting During Lockdown
As the once unthinkable happened in March and the country was locked down, we all had to adapt to a very unexpected and different way of living and working. Start dates for successful candidates joining our clients post March were honoured, and the candidates onboarded remotely. These candidates and clients had all gone through a somewhat ‘normal’ recruitment process – they had met members of their team and hiring managers face-to-face, and gained a good sense of the office and working environment – all elements fundamental in instilling confidence in when making an offer and in turn for an offer being accepted. What then of a hiring process during a not-so-normal time of lockdown?
The Search and Interviewing Process
In April, Victoria Wall Associates (VWA) was briefed on a middle office operations role for a successful investment firm looking to grow their team. There were specific requirements needed for this exciting graduate-level role including high academics, a certain type of previous experience and the right motivations and aspirations towards the role. It was intended that the initial testing and at least two out of the three stages of interviews would at least be carried out online, utilising the Lifesize VC platform, similar to Zoom. In addition to VWA’s established database of candidates to draw from, the role was advertised confidentially on behalf of the client – the CVs came flooding in, and each one was screened. With a dedicated research function at VWA, candidates were also proactively searched for, utilising online platforms and tools and initial interviews arranged with a VWA Consultant via Zoom. In typical form, competency-based and biographical interviews were carried out as well ascertaining aspirations and fit. Subsequently a shortlist of strong potential candidates to the client followed.With the client identifying candidates to test and interview at the 1st stages, VWA coordinated this, walking candidates through a remote interviewing process and expectations. 1st stages quickly evolved to 2nd stages with three candidates interviewed and within days, a candidate was progressed to a 3rd and final stage. This involved further testing and a set of three further interviewers.Interview Process during LockdownIn April, Victoria Wall Associates (VWA) was briefed on a middle office operations role for a successful investment firm looking to grow their team. There were specific requirements sting and a set of three further interviewers.
Confidence in Moving to an Offer
All through this, our consultant was on hand to help, advise, brief and coach the candidates and equally support the client. With up to a total of eight hours of interviews online, combining a focused series of questions and testing from the client married with a focused and prepared candidate, an offer was presented and accepted within 24 hours following the final stage. The successful candidate will be set up and inducted remotely this month.
Leading on from this search, much of the process felt very typical… dare I say even normal! The brief was established, and communication channels kept very open throughout the process. There was no deviation from the method of researching, identifying and shortlisting candidates with the only exception being that candidates were interviewed over Zoom by VWA and not in person, and subsequently by the client on Lifesize. Adopting and adapting to utilising these technologies and staying true to all the other elements in the process led to a confident offer extended and accepted.