The global pandemic has certainly made an impact on people’s lives both socially and professionally. For many people, staying at home became the new normal which presented numerous challenges to be overcome. Many businesses were forced to restructure their working models including how their employee’s working conditions would change. Many businesses began moving to remote working with webcams and emails the new tools for meetings and information sharing. Indeed, some businesses have continued this model even after restrictions were lifted.
One challenge that a lot of companies and businesses faced was recruitment. The ‘feeling’ of meeting the ideal candidate in person was gone and was replaced by online interviews through sites such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Now, candidates (and employers) were required to be increasingly tech-savvy and not just hook up a web cam. This sounds daunting but it really isn’t. Here are 10 top-notch tips to employing the best candidate in the world of remote working.
Number 1: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
This age-old phrase is vital in a plethora of situations including the online interview world. It sounds basic but making sure that you have the right tech available and that is works will save a lot of heartache once the interview starts. Have a trial run with someone else before the day of the interview to work out any teething problems with the platform you choose to use. Can you screen share? Is the candidate on mute? Can you see the other people in the interview? These things are best to be tried out before the interviews. Losing the pace and flow of the interview due to poor tech or understanding doesn’t show off your company in the best light.
Number 2: Video
A simple request for the shortlist to complete. Remember, with remote working and remote interviews you are not going to meet in person very often. Asking the potential candidate to send a video of themselves gives you something else to base the recruitment on. This can be something as simple as ‘Describe yourself in 30 seconds.’ It also shows which people want the job and who can complete a computer-based task.
Number 3: Let the candidates book their interview slot
This sounds a bit like booking a table in a restaurant, but it is a great way to test the candidate’s ability to use the online platform your company uses. Allocate time slots on a particular day or days and ask them to set up a meeting with you and the interviewing panel. This also helps relax the candidate who may not have been interviewed remotely before. It is a daunting experience and not a traditional job interview scenario.
Number 4: Virtual tours
Usually, a company would give a tour of their premises whether that is a school, factory or office space. There is no reason why this cannot be done virtually. Take a video camera or tablet device with you and talk about the company and the working environment. This allows you to show off your company and gives the candidate a feel of who they would be working for. You may decide in the future to move back to face to face working. It is also a good starting point in the actual interview.
Number 5: Dress to impress
Although this is a virtual recruitment exercise, dress code is still required. Would you wear business attire to a ‘normal’ interview? If the answer is yes, then this applies to the remote working interviews too. A word of advice, not just the part visible on the screen. You might have to leave the room suddenly so best to be dressed appropriately.
Number 6: Communication
As you would with a face-to-face interview. Sharing time scales and expectations help to make the process run smoothly. Sharing the expectations with the interview panel to keep the discussions focused is more important with remote recruitment. There is often a slight time delay depending on internet connections, so people need to know the order and structure of questioning and discussions.
Number 7: Regular Check In’s
This applies once the recruitment process has been completed. Usually, the recruit would meet the team and have someone on hand to ask for assistance with work assignments or company policy. With remote employees this is very difficult to do. Hence the importance of regular check ins and contact. This isn’t just an occasional email saying How’s it going. These are nice now and again but there needs to be something more substantial to this. A video call, a group video call or phone calls help make the member of staff feel part of the team and valued.
Number 8: How are they getting on during probation?
There is still the need to give feedback on the actual work that is being completed. Allowances will need to be made as the usual offers of shadowing an experienced colleague or a senior member of staff checking in in person cannot happen remotely. You do need to monitor the work that is being produced and feed this back in accordance with company policy. There will be teething problems along the way with this so regular feedback is important.
Number 9: An up-to-date website
Your candidates will depend on this! They won’t be able to come and see your company or business in person so will need to find out as much as possible before the interview. Are your policies up to date? Is the staff list current? Is your mission statement clear? These and as much detail as possible to sell yourself to the ideal candidate. Your website should spark interest and enthusiasm which you would want to see in the interview.
Number 10: Using social media to your advantage
An extension of your website and a great way to maximise the pool of clients for the remote working post. Keeping social media platforms up to date allows more people to see and communicate with you and your business. A message through social media can be answered in the same way as an email. These replies are often received more quickly as people have their phones on their person. It doesn’t matter which social media platforms you use, nor how many, what matters is that they are current and live.
So, there you have it. Ten excellent ways to both employ and support new employees who are working remotely. A lot of the tips are simply rethinking what your company has done for year in the recruitment field. Being tech-savvy is becoming the new normal in a lot of industries, so it is vital that you as a company can keep up. You might just uncover a hidden gem who is more comfortable working online rather than face to face. Nerves play a huge part in interviews and some people cannot cope with them even though they would be excellent workers. Being interviewed from your own home could bring out the best in them.