Hiring remote employees is the way to go during this coronavirus. Every organization has given a nod to work from home and during this period companies can’t stop their hiring process. Around 74% surveyed by Gartner, said that they’ll shift some employees to remote work permanently. The companies have come up with a solution that is to hire remote employees, it’s not a new strategy but this works perfectly during these tough times.
What about the hiring process? According to a recruitment company, the online hiring process can be as effective. Now, not every candidate is suitable for remote working and therefore it’s important to do the hiring properly.
The remote hiring process is somewhat tricky as the candidate is not present personally. And to overcome this problem, we have the interviewing tips present to make the remote hiring process easier.
1. Keep the Candidate and Other Team Members in Sync
What’s worse is when the candidate is not aware of the interview process and he is kept on hold several times, making him disengaged. So, During the remote hiring process, as an interviewer and hiring managers need to be in a proper loop. You must decide the whole interview process, how many rounds it should take, whether all the interviews are done by video conferencing, etc. After finalizing all the desired information, this should be passed on to the shortlisted candidates, as they can prepare well in advance. You can drop a mail a week before the interview, telling them about the guidelines.
Plus you need to keep other team members in the loop, asking their availability during any desired round. You don’t want a candidate to go through a maze of telephonic calls and they don’t even have an idea about the team members. This is one of the most challenging parts and talent acquisition company falters at this stage only. A pro tip: create a document and share it with the respected team members and this will streamline the whole remote hiring process.
2. Use an Applicant Tracking System
Mass applications can be the case during a remote job role as a lot of people are looking out for a remote working job. This means you will get lots of applicants that are not qualified for the job role. You need a way out to sort out the right applicants and this can be done via an applicant tracking system, it automates the screening of the applications with the help of algorithms and matches candidates against the job requirements. Those who do not meet requirements are rejected.
This allows recruiters to stop wasting time with unqualified applicants by adding a question that will help to filter out the candidate. The question can be asking a candidate about a specific skill or you can include open-ended questions. You can include some detail-oriented questions like why they are interested in the job or job role.
3. Telephonic Interviews
After the candidates are shortlisted by the applicant tracking system. The next step would be to start the interview process. Telephonic interviews are the best way to screen candidates. During the telephonic interviews, the hiring manager gets to know about the educational background and a small introduction given by the candidates. The main benefit is that an interviewer gets a deeper insight into the candidate and after all telephonic interviews are cost-effective and can be conducted globally.
The telephone interviews shouldn’t last long, they should finish under 30 minutes. The candidates who clear the telephonic round should be moved to the next round which is a video interview.
4. Using Video Interviews to Your Advantage
Video interviews are an important part of remote hiring. This can be the next step after the telephonic interview and during the lockdown still in process. This is where video calls come to place and these are the perfect replacement for face to face interviews, they are similar to telephonic interviews and it helps to build a relationship with the hiring manager. The video calls can help to check body language while in the video interview.
There are lots of applications available for video calls, the best ones are Zoom call, Google Meet, Skype, you can use any of them, they all work fine. The next thing is that having a video interview at the office is completely different from your home. You can ask for a video cover letter before starting to interview the candidates. Video cover letters are perfect for remote hiring because they act as a filter to sort out interested candidates.
5. Choose a Quiet Place and Dress Professionally
Conducting an interview for remote hiring is already a tough task and if you mess it up because of an unprofessional interview, then it can hamper your brand image and you might lose a good candidate because of it. How to solve it? Here are some tips for telephonic and video interview process:
Telephonic interview tips:
- Choose a room that has a good reception and there is no distraction. No unwanted noise of children playing and disturbing could leave a bad experience for the candidate.
- Don’t do any multitasking when you are conducting a telephonic interview. Do not check your emails in between, you might lose the track of the interview and miss the viewpoint of the candidate.
- You can also record the telephonic conversation and play it later to shortlist the contestant with ease and replay the recording later when you have a tough decision to make.
Video interview tips:
- For a video interview, a well-lit location is a must, you can choose a room that has natural light. If this is not possible then you can use the desk lamps to serve the purpose.
- You should check if the video calling software is working properly, there is no problem with the webcam, the wifi signal should be good and there should be no connection error during the video call. If a call fails then this could hamper the flow of the candidate.
6. Stay Professional
As an interviewer, you don’t want the candidate to have an unprofessional vibe during the interview. For that, you need to bring your A-game to the interview. A simple tip is to dress accordingly as you will do for the real interview. Do make sure you are dressed up as formal and when the interview begins, don’t forget to smile. Making eye contact during the interview is also a sign that you are interested in the candidate.
You should also take notes of what the candidate is telling and how they are behaving during the interview process. Staying professional also means one more thing that the candidates should be given leverage if there is a connection error on their side or there is a background noise during the interview process. The interviewer has to be compassionate towards the candidates and these small factors like connection error should not hamper the hiring decision.
7. Utilize Skill-Based Tests
If you are hiring for a technical position then skill-based tests are your friend. You can arrange skill-based and personality tests to sort out the candidates. Now, what’s the best time to use skill-tests depends on your interview process. You can use them at the beginning of the interview process or at a later stage. If you use them at the beginning then the skill tests would help you to shortlist the qualified candidates for the next step.
If the skill tests are used later during the interview process, then among the qualified candidates you can select the candidates that will fit for the role you are searching for. So, skill-based tests are often needed during the hiring process and if you leave this during the interview process then shortlisting candidates with similar skills can be a tough task.
8. Ask Them Direct Questions
When interviewing a candidate you should ask questions that provide truthful answers. If you will ask common interview questions there could be a chance that the candidate is already prepared with the answer. The common questions include: what are your weaknesses? Why are you leaving your job? Instead, you can ask a probing question that can take them longer to answer but the information you get will be authentic.
Here some questions you can ask the candidate:
- Have you ever made a decision with all the information you needed? This question checks about the independent decision making of the candidate. You are on the lookout for the candidate that can be trusted with a decision making of his own.
- Can you share ways to overcome a slump in productivity? This lets you know about the self-management of the candidate that is necessary for a remote worker. The employer wants to know that the employee is disciplined.
- How would you stay distraction-free during work from home? Distractions are a part of remote work and this question would help you insight into how they face distractions as a remote employee and what are their solutions.
9. Giving the Candidate Time to Answer
The major thing during the virtual interview is to keep patience. You need to listen to every answer and everything said by the candidate. There could be a chance that even if an important minute detail left behind can hamper the chance of hiring the candidate. After you have decided on the questions you will ask the candidate and then you have to give the candidate a proper time to think about the answer.
If you will keep interrupting the candidate when he is answering then he might lose confidence. There can be several reasons for the candidate to delay the answer, it might be an internet connection issue, the candidate not getting the question clearly. So, giving time to the candidate to think and answer the question is important during the interview process.
10. Sending Follow-up After the Initial Interview
After the interview process is over and you as an interviewer you are done with the whole telephonic and video interviews. The next step would be to send follow up to the candidates whether they have progressed or not through the interview round. The main aim of this is to improve the interview experience of the candidate.
If you have hired a recruitment company, then they can take the follow-up via the email. It’s important to inform the candidate if they have not cleared the interview. This will not leave the candidates hanging in the thread waiting for the response.
You might also ask the candidate to give feedback on the interview process. The candidate can share, how did it work, what worked, is there anything that needs tweaking. All these factors can be valuable to improve the candidate experience for future interviews.
Some extra interview tips to keep in mind:
- If the candidate is selected after the interview process, then the company should provide a proper internet connection, laptop if the candidate doesn’t have one and also hardware solution if there is a need.
- Providing perks for remote employees, the candidates are looking for perks. You can attract the candidates by offering them the flexibility to work from anywhere.
- After the interview is done, you can do the background check of the candidates, you can go for reference checks. You can call their previous employers to find more about them. For this, you can request references from the candidate, following up with the references would be worth it in the long run. This increases the chance of better hiring of candidates.
Yes, remote hiring is a task that needs proper dedication from the HR team of the organization. But there are chances that they might not be able to do justice for the remote hiring part. For this thing, you can hire a recruitment company that handles the remote hiring by keeping all the above interview tips in check.