COVID-19 has changed the hiring process for almost every company across the world. In-person interviews, on-site skills tests and networking events are things of the recent past. In the present, everything related to the hiring process has gone digital -- and there are many experts who say remote hiring is here to stay.
Now, a company’s ability to attract top talent is dependent upon how well their HR team can modify their existing talent acquisition strategy for a remote landscape. For most companies, a remote hiring strategy includes transitioning to solely virtual interviews. That’s why, in this new digital world, it is crucial for HR leaders to understand and hone in on how they can execute a video interview as efficiently and inclusively as possible.
For companies struggling to create a better remote hiring process that includes more effective virtual interviews, it’s important to take into account three main things: Technology, the candidate experience and accommodating/attracting diversity through inclusive interview practices. Here’s how we recommend HR leaders reimagine remote hiring with inclusivity and efficiency in mind:
Step 1: Turn to tech.
Set your interviewers and interviewees up for success by giving them the technology they need to interview well. At the bare minimum, we recommend enabling people on both sides of the remote hiring process with a great video conferencing software. Your interviewers should have the right technological tools to ensure their speakers and microphones are clear, as well. Additionally, set up a test run of the tech tools your company is using to conduct virtual interviews well before each interview. Ensuring the technology is working correctly will maximize candidate experience and keep technological mishaps from getting in the way of properly assessing candidate fit.
If you wish to test the skills of applicants remotely, it’s a good idea to invest in a skills assessment tool. Many skills assessment softwares are already housed online and can be administered from an interviewer to a candidate 100% remotely. As you choose a skills assessment tool, make sure it is built to measure the skill set fit of applicants -- rather than their prior experience. Consider a platform that blinds the recruitment process and allows hiring managers to hire for diversity. As Brilliant Hire does, the best recruitment softwares accurately, fairly and anonymously allow the hiring manager and other company experts to assess candidate fit. That way, you can be sure that you are hiring inclusively and responsibly -- even when your hiring process is totally remote.
Step 2: Don’t reinvent the wheel.
We’ve found that companies transitioning to a fully remote hiring process sometimes hurt themselves and their talent acquisition results by stressing that transition to remote too much. What we mean by this is, companies making the switch to off-site hiring focus too hard on that switch and, in doing so, prioritize a total overhaul of their in-person talent acquisition strategy.
OK, we know what you’re thinking: What? Why’s that bad? Doesn’t a remote hiring process require a totally different strategy?
The short answer is no. While a remote hiring process is definitely a different animal than one that includes in-person interviews and on-site assessments, it’s actually counterproductive to focus so much on the differences between the two. At the end of the day, remote hiring and in-person hiring has the same goal: To attract and acquire the best possible candidate fit for both the role and the company that’s offering it. To achieve that goal, many of the basic best practices for candidate experience need to be at play -- no matter if the candidate is interviewing onsite or remotely.
Step 3: Take the candidate experience seriously and promote inclusivity.
For interviewers, being at home surrounded by family and technology can be distracting. Remind interviewers that giving their full, undivided attention to each candidate is an important basic in-person requirement that holds true when the interview is virtual. In addition, encourage interviewers to speak loudly, clearly and at a reasonable speed for comprehension -- the same as they would in an in-person interview. They should set their interview workstation up in a well-lit area so candidates can see their face.
We’ve noticed that the silent moments are even more stark during remote interviews. Remind candidates and interviewers that silence is a necessary part of interviews -- it gives the candidate time to think about their response. Encourage interviewers to let candidates have the time they need to answer questions. If an interviewer establishes a slower cadence of speech and regularly pauses before asking candidates new questions, it can make a candidate feel more comfortable with silence. Over virtual interviews, it’s harder to pick up on body language and verbal cues -- interviewers should be aware of this. To keep signals from crossing, an interviewer might consider checking with a candidate to see if they are finished with an answer -- as opposed to just jumping in with a rapid-fire question when the candidate could simply be in the middle of a pause.
Overall, there is a lot of value to bringing the same backbone structure and consistent processes that were established in your in-person hiring strategy to your remote hiring approach. When reimagining the hiring process to be remote-friendly, we recommend companies incorporate the same inclusive hiring practices they have already implemented to reduce hiring bias. That way, you can be sure you continue to attract and retain a diverse candidate pool and workplace -- even while remote hiring is the new normal.
Brilliant Hire by SAP provides companies with an innovative way to build diverse and inclusive teams. It offers an efficient, unbiased applicant screening solution powered by a network of experts. With a mission to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process, Brilliant Hire has been trusted by countless talent acquisition professionals to cut down on screening time while ensuring every applicant has an equal chance of moving forward. Check out our blog for more information, or request a demo here.