For better or worse, COVID-19 has changed the world. From the way we eat, sleep, and socialize, to the way we work and do business, nothing is quite the same as it was just six short months ago. In some ways, this is good—many of us don’t miss hour-long commutes. In others, we’re presented with unique challenges, like how to keep kids out of our home office, and how to maintain professional relationships in a remote work arrangement. And when it comes to remote hiring—opening a new interpersonal interaction using the limited tools afforded us by technology—those challenges are only compounded.
Stressing about your next remote hire? Make the process a success with these five tips:
#1 Streamline Your Remote Hiring Process
When you’re working with digital tools, you have the opportunity to streamline the hiring process for both yourself and your candidates—so make sure to do so. Applicant Tracking Systems are a popular solution, while some companies use virtual assessments to further automate the recruitment funnel. Tools like these enable your team to stay organized while still learning as much as possible about a candidate before hopping on a call.
#2 Optimize Your Technology
It should go without saying, but make sure that you have the technology and space to support remote interviews before diving headfirst into remote hiring. This should include setting up your call in a quiet space, providing the link to the video room in advance, a solid internet connection, and of course a good microphone and computer set up. Reliable technology will help to put your candidate at ease, since all they have to focus on is the interview—not the video aspect of the process.
#3 Ask Good Questions
Just because you’re not meeting in person, that’s no excuse to skimp on preparation. We’ve seen the average number of interviews skyrocket from 3.5 per hire to 7.25 per hire—and frankly, that’s exhausting for your candidates. Make sure that you have questions prepared in advance and a clear agenda for what will be discussed in order to make the most of your time together.
In addition, many candidates struggle with nerves over phone and video interviews in ways that they wouldn’t in person—so it’s all the more important to be prepared and lead the conversation. This will help to put your candidates at ease, so you can get a better sense of who they really are and make decisions more quickly. If it comes down to it, trust your instincts: They’re probably right.
#4 Make Remote Hiring Collaborative
Even though your team may be far-flung, that’s no reason not to include them in the interview process. Once you’re past the initial screens, don’t be afraid to invite other team members who need to be part of the decision-making process onto the call. If schedules don’t align, you can even record the interview so that others can watch it later and weigh in. Collaboration like this helps everyone stay on target during the remote hiring process, so that you wind up with the ideal candidate in the end.
#5 Remember That Candidates Are People Too
It’s easy to get in an “automated” mindset when working remotely, but don’t forget that your candidates are people, too. With so much digital right now, the human touch matters more than ever. So, make an effort to reach out if the process is taking a long time and don’t leave your candidates hanging. If you make the decision not to move forward with someone, let them know with a personal email. Little things like these can go a long way, especially for candidates who have spent a long time in your recruiting funnel.
At GRN Mid-Cities, we work with candidates and clients all across the nation, so we’re no stranger to the world of remote hiring. While it’s not quite the same as meeting someone in person, by making it possible for your candidates to put their best foot forward given the tools available, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting an honest appraisal of an individual. As we all move more towards the remote work model, remote hiring is likely to become a big part of our lives as hiring managers and recruiters. So once again, it’s time to pivot, and turn our challenges into opportunities.