Owing to the pandemic, work-from-home has become the new normal. Every organization is grappling with the protocols, procedures and communication channels for existing employees and teams. But there is also a challenge of acquiring new talent and bringing them onboard as a few organizations are restructuring by choosing gig workers or remote employees while others are looking to hire new teams to support the growing demands of their industries.
A few industries such as Aviation, Travel & Tourism, Food & Restaurant and Entertainment industries are having the highest job losses due to the Covid-19. But on the other hand, industries which are servicing people with essential goods and services (like Healthcare, E-commerce and Essential Retail) and providing learning and entertainment during the lockdown phase (like e-learning, online gaming and video streaming services) are doing very well and will likely see a rise in the number of new hirings.
In many cases, having candidates present physically for a face-to-face interview might not always be possible. More so, in today’s times when safety precautions are priority on everyone’s lists. Conducting interviews over phone or video calls is becoming increasingly common. Remote interviews could be quicker and hassle free while providing flexibility to both the employer and the jobseeker. Everything that can be done in a face-to-face interview can be done in a remote interview - including getting to know the jobseeker, informal conversations to ease into the actual interview, in-depth discussions about relevant past experiences, functional expertise and much more.
However there may be teething troubles since many organizations as well as jobseekers might not have experience with it. So we thought we would put down a few guidelines that can make it easier. To tackle this situation, preparation is key.
Here are a few steps that can help you do this seamlessly:
1# Consider your current interviewing process
Since, you are spending time in adapting your current interview process for a remote one, take this opportunity to see if there are any gaps in the process or barriers for the jobseekers. Can you eliminate some unnecessary steps or add a written evaluation or a prerequisite for previous work samples? Are the expectations and instructions clear at every step?
2# Have an objective for every stage of the process
To make your remote interview (or in-person interview) process efficient and productive, plan ahead and think of all the possible information you need from the candidate - what you need to hear and what you are looking for, to advance the candidate to the next round of interviews. This clarity will help you frame your questions.
3# Follow a structured process
In-person interviews don't allow you to have a ready reference of questions, but for certain kinds of interviews, having a structured set of questions helps. A remote environment allows you to do that. Though not every conversation has to be structured, having a list of questions on your computer screen for a quick reference during the interview process can be helpful.
4# Be clear with your communication
It will be a smoother process if you can inform the candidate about the process and the tools being employed during the interview.
Who will be calling?
Will it be an audio call or a video call?
Does the candidate have to download or sign up for any software or apps being used?
Does the candidate need to share his screen at any point in time?
What should they prepare?
Who will they be talking to?
5# Build trust as soon as possible
Trying to create a connection and emoting via a telephonic or a video call can be more challenging than in an in-person interview. Start off with a friendly greeting, brief introduction and set the expectations.
‘Hi, I am Lily, GM of Sales. It is wonderful to connect with you. Thank you for your interest in this opportunity and taking the time to have this conversation. I can start by giving you an overview of what we do. Does this sound okay? Do you have any questions at this point in time?’
You can even start with some small talk and let the candidate introduce himself/herself and then ease into the conversation.
6# Do your homework
You can ask the candidates to send in their past work that is relevant to the position they are applying for. Additionally, you can create an online evaluation with the parameters you set to gauge their competency and fitment. This will give you a better understanding of what their capabilities are. During the interview process, you can use these samples and ask them to walk you through some of their work. You can look into the specifics like,
‘What part of this project did you work on?’
‘Who did you collaborate with? What were some of the challenges?’
‘How did you achieve this?’
7# Do a test run
After you have set everything up, ask a friend or a colleague to help you do a test run to just see if everything works. You can even record the session to see how you sound and observe your own body language to adjust and improve it. This will give you insights to prepare better for the actual interview.
8# Be prepared for poor connections
Interviews are really stressful for the jobseekers. If they have a poor connection during an interview process, it might fluster them even more. Prepare for contingencies for a network failure on both ends. For example, if the candidate is unable to share their screen, ask them to send it later via email or connect with them over a phone call and ask him to send screenshots.
You don't want to judge the candidate based on his internet connection. If it is getting too much to handle, be open to reschedule.
Remote working is quickly becoming mainstream, especially as organisations are realising that it is not hindering the productivity of employees. Similarly, interviewing and hiring is also evolving along with it and need not be very different from an in-person interview. With a little preparation and use of technology, remote interviews can be conducted effectively and seamlessly. The need of the hour is, thus, to plan and structure your interview processes, in order to hire the right talent that caters exactly to the needs of the organization.
If you are looking to hire part-time or remote, job ready talent, you can reach out to us at FlexiBees to help you with it. We can provide you with vetted, flexible talent for part-time roles and gig based jobs across all functions and sectors.
FlexiBees has provided companies, both startups and established players, with part-time talent for many projects and roles; across a variety of functions & skill-sets like Inside Sales, Business Development, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Public Relations, Investment Banking, Technology, Content Development, Writing, Graphic Design, etc. All these companies have benefited by being able to hire high quality talent at pricing optimised only for the hours of work they need. With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to businesses trying new approaches, strategies, MVPs, etc, part-time and project-based talent, that are high-quality and affordable, can help.
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