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5th May, 2020

Remote recruitment: When you need to hire without shaking hands

Recruitment is one of the many business functionalities that needs to be done differently in a COVID-19 world. Here are some ways keep your hiring efforts up to scratch in a remote work setting.

Hiring new staff has traditionally been a process that business owners have preferred to conduct through in-person interviews.

The belief has always been that meeting a candidate in person allows the recruiter to get a sense of the candidate’s personality through body language and eye contact, and also helps them tap into their own gut feelings about the quality of the person being interviewed.

But, due to the restrictions that have been put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, business owners that are still seeking new talent have been forced to abandon traditional methods of recruitment and conduct interviews remotely.

Adapting to new trends and changes in pace is never easy, and with the concept being completely new for many business owners, the remote recruitment learning curve can be quite steep.

So for those who aren’t quite sure how to go about hiring in a remote work setting, here are some ideas from a couple of remote recruitment experts that can help you master the ability to interview and bring on new candidates from afar.


Choose the right software


Video recruitment technologies are a dime a dozen. Each platform has its own benefits that can appeal to different types of companies and organisations.

According to Hanna Thomas, director of Mint Talent, making sure that your organisation chooses a video recruitment technology that suits its specific needs is an important part of developing an effective remote recruitment strategy.

“There are so many to choose from,” said Thomas, “so I would recommend scheduling live demos with a handful of them and exploring which one can work best for your interview process.”

After finding a video platform that can be tailored to your organisation’s needs, Thomas also suggested that users skill themselves up on how to maximise the platform’s use.

“Train yourself so you know how to use all the platform’s bells and whistles, and make sure you’ve gone through a few tests runs before using it for your first interview.

“Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to the platform’s support team. That’s what they’re there for.”

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Create the right interview environment


While the candidate in question could theoretically be anywhere in the world, it’s important to try and simulate an in-person experience as much as possible when interviewing them remotely.

Thomas believes that a big part of running an effective online interview was treating it like it was happening in person, and the ability to achieve that ultimately comes down to the environment in which the online interview is held.

“As the interviewer, your video background and environment needs to be quiet and simple,” Thomas told The Pulse.

“Arrive to the virtual meeting room early, dress appropriately and make sure there is nothing on your side that can distract you or the candidate.”

In place of being able to keep the interviewee engaged for an extended period of time through energy and chemistry that is generated in person, Thomas suggested that the interviewers find out-of-the-box ways to use the features of the software do achieve this result.

“Avoid allowing your video interviews to become static places with two people’s faces sitting glumly on a screen,” she said.

“Ahead of the interview, encourage to candidate to prepare slides and documents that can be shared on screen.

“As the interviewer, use the opportunity to leverage the online environment to show off your brand in innovative ways.

“Doing this has the potential to engage the candidate more than you might have done in person.”


Keep your recruitment team engaged


The quality of your company’s hiring and onboarding processes is ultimately in the hands of your recruitment team, and while keeping them engaged is always important, doing so in a remote working environment is crucial if positive results are to be achieved.

Aaron Dye, chief executive and founder of Referrer.io, shared his thoughts on how to keep remote recruitment teams engaged, and according to him, a great way to do so is through the use of gamification.

“Gamification has proven to be an effective method of keeping recruitment teams engaged while working in a remote setting,” Dye told The Pulse.

“By creating points, badges and leader boards for recruitment related activities, you’ll find your recruitment teams to be far more engaged in their work, which will lead them to come up with effective results regardless of where they’re working from.”


Preparing for the transition


Even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations had been flirting with the idea of changing many of their existing practices to become remote-friendly, and recruitment was one of those practices.

In many ways, remote recruitment has advantages that make the process far more effective than it is in the flesh. Some of the tech solutions out there can help recruiters make unbiased decisions, they make the process more efficient, and create an environment that offers unique insight into the candidate’s communication skills.

But, the fear of being unable to get a true sense of the candidate’s capabilities remotely had been preventing the practice of remote recruitment from becoming mainstream.

During COVID-19, we are being given the unique opportunity to learn how to master the ability to hire and onboard new staff remotely.

By taking the steps outlined above, you can get integrate remote recruitment into your regular business process, and when the storm finally passes, you’ll be equipped with all the tools necessary to enjoy the many benefits that remote recruitment has to offer.