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  • Nicky Webster-Hart

Remote interviewing - are you using it to its potential?

Since COVID19 opened the door to online everything, many businesses are still grappling with online recruitment experiences and working out the best way to attract the best hires to their business. The lack of face to face meeting means that the experience has become less personal for some, particularly if you are recruiting for fully remote roles or choose to carry out your recruitment remotely. Due to this lack of personal time, touch and engagement, candidates (and hiring teams) are finding it more challenging to build a rapport.

Therefore, remote hiring is a trend that anyone going through the hiring process can no longer ignore. Despite the devastating effects of the pandemic we’ve all lived through, it has also opened us up to being creative with working and hiring processes. The result? Remote hiring has provided access to a wider talent pool, fewer staffing and office costs and has even improved the work-life balance of many employees. However, working remotely poses its challenges and choosing the right employee to fit your team can be tricky.

If you are a global business and your teams are spread out or you are a remote mostly business why not try creating a video to introduce the team. You can ask your team members to record a very short intro about them, what they typically do and tell the viewer something about themselves. It is a great way to introduce some of the team members and shows that you are interested in sharing the experience with your prospective hires. The great thing about a video is that you don’t all have to be in the same place - and you can quickly pull together something short and fun that introduces any of your future colleagues to the business and their future team. This will also work for those people who don’t want to meet face to face and can be offered as an alternative to the point above even if they are going to be office based.

Whilst meeting face to face may not be possible for one reason or another, you should still be interested in selling the business to your prospective candidates. Remember that recruitment is very much a two way process and even more so these days when candidates have a lot of choice available to them. Don't fall into the trap of making the recruitment process endless, but do think about how you can involve team members in the recruitment process and enable your candidates to meet some of the team. If it is feasible to invite them into the recruitment process then do so. You might be able to do this through a lunch and learn session. Make it informal and get your candidates to join your team for a virtual lunch session. Give them the opportunity to ask questions of the current team and see what the dynamic is like for themselves.

If they are progressing through the recruitment process and you are down to your final candidates, why not try something different for their last recruitment interview with you? Send them a virtual gift card to gift them a drink of their choice to bring along to the meeting. First impressions count, you’ll be making the session memorable and be generating more interest in your business. If you want to stand out in the competitive marketplace and you are recruiting direct, you want to be creative with your approach to recruitment.

To give yourself and the applicant the best chance of getting to know each other, make sure they know exactly what they'll need for the interview. Do come prepared and don’t forget to ask questions that relate to remote hiring particularly. For example, have they got enough experience working remotely? How well can they communicate with the rest of the team? How do they build relationships in a remote environment? How do they minimise distractions and manage their time? You want to understand whether they are a ‘burn the candle at both ends' type of employee, which could spell burnout in the future. How will you manage to work effectively across different time zones?

Just as with an in person interview, be committed to the interview time you have booked in. Yes things happen and can change but if you’re rearranging the time to interview a candidate for the third time, without any reasoning or apology, don’t expect them to go through your recruitment process. Etiquette for remote hiring is the same as in person. You need to treat your candidate like they are important to your business, if you don’t it shows them how they can expect to be treated when they do work with you.

Make sure you share all of the required links for the interviews with them and check your own tech is working effectively too. Set your doorbell to mute, or put a note on the door, so that you aren’t interrupted in the interview process.

If you don’t quite get your tech right, have disruptions during your video call with your prospective employees or move the meeting around umpteen times, you could be creating a negative impression for your candidates.

Allow yourself plenty of time to get to know the applicant and give them a chance to settle in before starting the interview. Avoid looking at yourself on the screen, maintain eye contact as you would in person and eliminate all distractions that could interrupt it. The way you end the interview matters too – don’t just abruptly finish the call, thank the applicant for their time and inform them on what happens next in your remote hiring process.

Whether you choose to use Zoom, GoogleMeet, Microsoft Teams or other conferencing apps, stable internet connection, good lighting, sound, and camera will make all the difference. So much of our body language, tone and intent can go amiss, so your tech needs to provide the best representation of you.

Always have a backup plan for your remote hiring process. If your chosen application isn’t working, gets cut off or there are network issues, have their phone number or email address handy so you can stay in touch, move to another platform or even perform the interview over the phone.

Struggling with pre-screening - talk to a recruiter and speak to Auxeris

If you are struggling with the time for pre-screening applicants or finding the time to schedule and book interviews it might be time to work with an experienced recruiter. Our network of specialist recruiters have years of experience in recruitment and identify the right candidate for their client’s roles. They will take all of the prescreening stress away from you to enable you to meet with the best matched candidates to role and company culture. They will be able to identify why these candidates match your brief and help you to nail the interview times to ensure that there is no bad feeling created by continued rearranging of times.

If you’re struggling to attract the right employees to the business or to find the best type of candidate then it’s time to bring in a recruiter. If you find an experienced specialist recruiter, who knows how to identify the cultural fit of a candidate to a business, they will save you time and money in your recruitment processes. At Auxeris we have a network of recruitment specialists who have years’ of experience, understand the market and have placed excellent candidates that have met their client’s brief and cultural fit. Find out more about how you can work with us to find your temp, temp to perm or permanent hires. At 15% fees, we’ll save you money whilst bringing you a first class service and will attract the best fit candidates to your business. Get in touch with us today!

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