Hiring in the New Virtual World


With some companies continuing to let their employees work virtually to increase safety and social distancing measures, many have found themselves in new and uncertain territory when it comes to the virtual hiring process.

The good news?  There are  myriad  virtual recruiting tools that can help you safely source high-quality talent. After all, hiring the right employees is still a vital part of the success of your organization.

So how can you use virtual interviews to help you identify new employees who are not only highly qualified but who fit well with your  team?

Embrace Video. Phone interviews are still a great way to get some basic information about a candidate’s experience or learn more about them, but video is crucial to accurately understand and gauge their personality. Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts are great free tools that you can utilize if you don’t already have a video conferencing platform in place.

How can video aide you in the interview process? It’s simple and efficient. If a job candidate is currently employed, it can be much easier for them to schedule and attend video interviews during their day. Employees won’t have to worry about complying with safety or compliance issues by holding in person interviews. In addition, video eliminates the time and costs associated with candidate and/or interviewer travel.

Streamline assessments. If you have a larger pool of candidates that you want to screen, consider sending out interview questions to candidates and have them send in pre-recorded video responses. These videos can easily be shared among the hiring team and it eliminates scheduling delays during the hiring process. This can also level the playing field for candidates since they will all have the same questions to answer and the same time to respond.

Create a process. You should have a process for both candidates and employees. Provide everyone with  a set of guidelines with their interview instructions – including a meeting invite with the date and time. This can include instructions on how to access the video platform, turn video and sound on or off, etc. Screenshots or a short video can be very helpful.

Consider Culture. Even though you’ll be working remotely – at least at first, you still need to evaluate for a candidates’ personality, values, and work styles and how they might fit within the existing team. Education, qualifications, and prior experience can be easily verified on a resume or interview, but it’s not easy for hiring managers to spot or qualify candidates’ ability to learn, get along with coworkers, and adapt to new situations. When evaluating candidates, tie in your company values to your questioning. Take note of things like whether they smile, seem confident exchanging pleasantries, or maintain assertive eye contact, you can learn a lot about personality from the get-go.

Use references and background check: Many companies conduct a background check or ask for references as a formality. But background checks and reference checks are even more important in remote hiring. Utilize all of the options available to ensure your candidates are well vetted.

Communicate. Just like with in person interviews it’s important to communicate with both the hiring team and the candidates. For candidates, provide a general timeline for the hiring process, names and roles of interviewers prior to each round, expected response time after each step, etc. For the hiring team, make sure to regroup after each interview or a round of interviews to get feedback from the team. Determine next steps right away so any communication can be sent back to the applicants.

It can be far easier to pick up on subtle cues and personality quirks during in-person interviews, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful doing them virtually. After all, if the position is going to consist of virtual onboarding and even start as a remote position, it’s important to gauge how comfortable candidates are now with using technology and being successful. Do you have any great tips or tricks to hiring in a virtual environment? I’d love to hear them!