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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to change the way they live and work. Manys industries received a hard blow and were forced to make employees redundant or completely shut down their doors . On the other hand, some industries flourished and witnessed a spike in their hiring numbers. With these growing industries upscaling rapidly, most of them are headed towards an unfamiliar recruitment process.
Virtual interviews! With 62% of employees in Dubai, more than 51% in Abu Dhabi, and above 56% in other Emirates working remotely, how are recruiters supposed to interview people online and properly assess them for the job role? You can’t read a person’s body language over a phone or laptop, and that is just one of the few challenges recruiters and HR managers face.
Recruiters must take into consideration all of the changes happening around them and then diversify their recruitment process. What tactics can stay the same? What approaches need to be abandoned? What processes need adaptations? There are many challenges that come with these adjustments on the path to a good hire.
One of the challenges recruiters face with virtual interviews is assessing the candidates’ emotional intelligence such as self-awareness and self-management, which are very important for a candidate to succeed. An article titled The Unique Challenges of Hiring Remotely says, “Discovering whether a candidate possesses these attributes can be a difficult task. Often, it’s less about answers to interview questions and more about how they interact throughout the entire process.” Recruiters should have a set direction of how they want their interview to flow, but they should leave room to see where the candidate wants to go with their answers.
Another challenge recruiters and candidates face are technical difficulties. Not everyone is tech-savvy and often struggle to understand the problems in the connection. That can lead to frustrations in an interview easily. “The best way to avoid technical difficulties is to do a bit more pre-planning than you would for an in-person interview”, says Marnie Williams, Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. If a recruiter decides on a video interview, then the first thing they should do is inform the candidate on the platform to be used, whether Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or so on. Next, the software, mic, sound, and video should be tested and any materials that might be shared during the interview should be ready in one place for easy access.
Companies should have all important presentations and pamphlets digitized in case they should be shared during an interview. That is also a bounce that recruiters can add to their hiring process.
How can a company’s culture be truly explained virtually? That’s another challenge that recruiters face during the hiring processes. It was very different when a candidate was able to walk through the office, see the environment and assess the spaces. Marnie Williams says, “Company culture can be shown as your company’s ability to adapt and embrace change, while finding creative ways to provide human connection and inclusivity”. This includes informing the candidate about the software and tools used, the potential growth opportunity, virtual opportunities to bond with the team outside of working hours, and the full A-Z hiring process.
Recruiters and HR managers should be wary of being too formal during virtual interviews as they might have been in face-to-face interviews. Instead, take things slow and approach topics one at a time as the process can already seem overwhelming to some.
It may be much easier to schedule an interview these days, however, the time spent from the first interview to receiving an offer letter has certainly grown. Online interviews cut preparation time and possible driving time, however, it does not make the recruitment process faster. Recruiters should offer insights into the amount of time a candidate should expect to wait for a final decision.
Of course, with challenges to the recruitment process there are also opportunities. Companies can really take advantage of the wormhole of golden opportunities provided with this digital shift. Recruiters can grow their already existing hiring process to fit better in the online world we are living in.
Networking was, is and always will be an important part of any recruitment cycle. Social media and the world wide web still provide great advantages to ensure access to better talent pools. Referrals hold more weight now than ever before.
Remote Hiring has opened the possibility to meet people from all walks of life. It has helped shift the focus from business cards to actual intellectual and genuine conversations. Therefore, recruiters now really need to focus on networking online.
Questions were the backbone of an interview but now it’s the right questions that hold fort. Precise questions that can give a recruiter the answers they need to assess the candidate they are interviewing. Questions can’t be asked just to make an interview longer, the right questions need to be presented to fully understand the person and their capabilities. “It’s important that you assess more around their ways of working, how they manage their time and prioritize tasks. This will give you a much better understanding on how productive they are when working remotely” Danielle Blizzard, Director of Talent Services at AstroLabs Talent. To get a better insight into the right questions to ask, check out our article: ‘Remote Recruiting Done Right’
Recruiters that record interviews can go back and collect data and analytics from them easily. They can then start comparing different answers, facial expressions, and reactions to specific questions to possibly understand what is working and what isn’t. This tactic also helps recruiters really monitor their interview process.Stuart Gentle, a Publisher as Onrec said it best, “The power will be in recruiters’ hands to shape the future success of the company through talent acquisition.”
In concussion with the shift the approach to recruitment, hiring managers must adapt their recruitment processes to align themselves on the best path towards a successful hire.
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