Published on by Aurélie Gosselin
Tip#6 – How to convince online
Virtual hiring: the new normal
In recent years, virtual recruiting has evolved from a novelty to a necessity for recruiters around the world. Today, even if everyone can actually meet face to face again, virtual interviews are the new normal, and may be for some time to come.
The main advantage is saving time. Virtual job interviews are conducted faster, without any transportation needs, and can hence increase the availability of both parties, making interview scheduling faster and easier.
Video interviews are for sure an improvement to the previous ‘phone screening’ phase as you can ‘digitally meet’ the candidate or recruiter.
This virtual method also helps companies by extending their search reach. Instead of being pigeon-holed to the local area, they can expand their search without paying to fly candidates. Also, as the trend of remote working has gained speed, more companies have started hiring globally, making virtual job interviews necessary for some looking to expand their talent pool to foreign labour markets.
Remote interviews can indeed improve everyone’s recruiting efficiency but we all know that it is tricky to master the process. That is why we’ll explore how you can make video interviewing seamless for both you and the candidate.
Our tips for virtual interviewing
- It goes both ways: keep in mind that both candidate and employer will be assessing each other so use empathy. Candidates are also here to decide if they feel engaged into your company so your primary objective is to seduce the candidate!
- Use a recruitment software to schedule your interviews: For virtual job interviews, unclear instructions of how and when the interview will be conducted may result in great confusion. This is why it would be useful to use a recruitment software like Talentfinder from Profile Group. Interview scheduling is made easier thanks to customized workflows, email templates, candidate communication automation, and integrations with all major online video tools and calendar. With this software you will be able to standardize the video interviewing process, where both parties will know through what platform the interview will be conducted, how the interview will be conducted and how the candidate will be alerted.
- Get all the decision makers in the same interview: this is the best way to save time, facilitate alignment and also shorten the recruitment process which is also important for candidates.
- Create a hiring scorecard: Instead of going into an interview and making decisions based on gut feelings, interviewers can make decisions based on a predetermined set of values and skills.
- Prepare the right interview questions: A critical interview technique is to use the same questions for every candidate. However it is key to have questions that are specific to the candidate at least to show interest. Read through both the CV and motivation letter but also find out online more info about the person you are going to meet. Also think about if you want to animate the conversation by sharing material or using the white board functionality.
- Prepare the candidate on what to expect and ask if they plan to share any materials in advance or live.
- Set up is key: Clean up your desk, chose a quiet location without any distractions and blur your background to avoid distractions. Also pay attention to the lighting: bad lighting can make it hard to visualize or present you in an unflattering way. Take some minutes to prepare mentally as well.
- Be sensitive to the wider context: most people work from home, some with limited space and often balancing work with increased care or home schooling responsibilities. It is therefore important to allow candidates time to settle in and transition to interview mode
- Be aware that there is a reduction in non-verbal cues: Body language can say a lot about the candidate’s personality, confidence levels, focus, their attitude and many more traits which can be important in determining whether they’re the right organizational fit. The posture of the candidate, eye contact, their clothes, hand movements, the way they greet the interviewers, their handshake and even their departing farewell, are all things that the best job interviewers pick up on and take note of. Not having these indicators can hurt the decision-making process, and could potentially lead to the company not always hiring the right person. It is therefore important to make the person feel comfortable and relaxed so you can more easily grasp the non-verbal cues.
- Building rapport is essential: candidates and interviewers alike will need to make active efforts to remember to transmit and pick up on social cues. Pay attention to eye-contact and facial expression. Use smiles and emotions to create that rapport. Also allow space for the participants to make their points and feel confident. Have a genuine interest in the person, listen carefully and use more personal questions.
- Speak at an appropriate speed and with clearer diction than normal (without overdoing it): The flattening of the interaction and reduction in cues can affect the impression you make on one another, particularly when meeting for the first time.
- Use pre-recorded interviews: In many cases, it’s useful to ask candidates to pre-record an interview before progressing finalists to in-person interviews. On-demand video interviews save everyone time – candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers – and create a low-pressure environment for introverted candidates to shine. In this method, the interviewer sends questions in advance to the candidate and he or she records their responses on a video format. This approach has advantages for both candidate and interviewer. It lets the employer review the video when convenient; candidates get time to reflect on their answers before recording the video. However, there are also obvious drawbacks to the recorded video interview, especially for the employer. There is no direct interaction possible and no opportunity to evaluate how a candidate performs in a live, pressure situation
- Demonstrate your company culture: It is equally as important for the candidate to be able to acquire a first impression of the working place and the company culture in-person. With in-person interviews, candidates enter the office, are greeted by staff, and can examine the area and the people within. This can’t be done with virtual job interviews so it’s important to think outside the box:
- use videos of your offices or of some inspiring colleagues. This is a great way to showcase the culture, the work environment but also the team, the manager and the atmosphere.
- show the ways you create an inclusive environment and opportunities for employees to connect and bond virtually during and outside of working hours. It is great to show your company’s ability to adapt and embrace change, while finding creative ways to provide human connection and inclusivity.
- check in with candidates more often throughout the recruitment process and send them content. Those actions help to leave an impression beyond what they may get from the virtual conversations.
- Record the interview to review again or share with colleagues
- Don’t forget to follow up quickly
Virtual hiring: a growth opportunity
Rather than simply augmenting a current process to fit a virtual environment, we should see this as an opportunity to adapt the traditional processes and create something new. It’s important to approach these virtual interactions in a more human way. Each touch-point should be an opportunity to promote your company’s culture and learn more about the candidate. So prepare well so you can feel more confident and that positive energy will contribute to a highly successful encounter!
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