How to Champion Remote Hiring in the face of Covid-19

A sketch of a man and a woman in a video conferenceCompanies across the globe over the last few months have found themselves unexpectedly operating as fully distributed organizations. In the same sense, mandatory quarantines have forced recruiters across industries to adopt remote hiring practices in a matter of weeks.

While Covid-19 is having unprecedented economic impact, thousands of organizations still need to build out their teams. Remote hiring may not have been in the cards for many of the businesses affected, but that doesn’t mean they cannot now champion its practices. In order to stay ahead of the curve and maintain access to the best candidates in the market, you need to embrace the benefits of remote hiring. End-to-end online recruitment can help you shift your thinking on how to hire, and do it in a more efficient, transparent, and globally fluid manner. Here’s how you can nail it, from the get go.

Leverage available tools. For businesses with resources, there’s no doubt that now is the time to invest in an automated recruitment solution and make full use of its functionalities. There is software available that takes care of the remote recruitment process end-to-end, including chatbot engagement, online assessments, automated scheduling, and video interviewing. These capabilities are more necessary than ever to keep the hiring funnel smooth and timely, making sure both recruiters and candidates have easy access to everything they need.

If an automated solution is out of reach, there are ways to leverage other tools while transitioning to a remote hiring model. For example, Zoom can work for video interviews and Microsoft Teams is currently offering its advanced video conferencing capabilities for free, meaning recruiters can easily and affordably record interviews with candidates until they can implement a dedicated solution.

In addition to video interviewing and conferencing tools, companies can also build makeshift Applicant Tracking Systems using Google Sheets, and platforms such as Google Forms, JotForm, and 123FormBuilder to create mobile-compatible forms that can work for candidate applications.

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The candidate experience. In the midst of this transition, it can be easier than usual to let candidate experience slip as you focus on other areas. But it’s still vital to prioritize candidate experience just as you did before, making sure applicants feel the same as they would with in-person contact.

This might mean updating your career site with helpful information for applicants about the online remote hiring process, and ensuring that any online forms or tools are mobile-friendly. Many applicants may not have immediate access to a computer and shouldn’t be going to public spaces to use one.

Recreating the experience of an in-person interview could also mean including videos or photos of your office or workplace on your website or sending a personal email from the CEO in place of the in-office handshake that interviewees usually receive.

You should also make additional considerations for candidate circumstances during this time. It’ll pay to be flexible with timings and understanding of people’s home environments. Account for time lags during interviews and the lack of social cues you might be used to seeing.

It’s also crucial to be crystal clear on the next steps post-interview and keep communication flowing throughout the process. In fact, 81% of candidates say the best way to improve the candidate experience would be continuous communication of status updates from employers. Not to mention, good candidates will still want to move through the funnel quickly, so keep speed-of-hire at the forefront of your priorities to not lose out on the best talent.

Make sure your team is trained and on board. Introducing new software will require additional training for all team members to ensure they are comfortable with the tools before they start using them. If you usually conduct three or four interviews with multiple team members, consider cutting this number down or involve fewer people if you can.

As you streamline the interview process and incorporate remote assessments, make sure interviewers keep the focus on culture fit and understanding what motivates the candidate. You still want to understand a new hire’s potential derailers and drivers.

While many businesses are being forced into hiring remotely, it could very well be the beginning of an entirely new model for those companies. Companies that fare the best will see this as an opportunity to explore the benefits of an entirely online recruitment strategy, rather than wish for the days that it can return to their previous “normal.”

Chad Fife
Chad Fife is VP of marketing of Talview.

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