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How to find the right candidates and have a great interview remotely

Written for VentureWeb by Chris Barnes

LinkedIn and other professional sites have helped open the world of talent to all businesses great and small. It should be easier than ever before to find and hire great people, right?

The challenge is that the sheer volume of talent can become daunting if not totally overwhelming very quickly.

In a matter of weeks, the global pandemic dramatically shifted the way we work and where we work from, broadening the talent search landscape. Possibly for good – as we predict a lasting change in attitudes and workplace policies, to become more supportive of remote teamwork. A lot of skilled people are looking for jobs right now, and many hiring managers have the option of casting their net wide for the first time.

If COVID-19 has led to unprecedented work from home arrangements, or raised a need for new skills in your organisation, staffing in current times might feel especially complex. With all these changes brought on so suddenly, informed advice can help. Here are some considerations for finding talent in current times.

Redefine the basics

How will remote working plug in to existing structures and norms? It’s important to not only define the basics of the role, including reporting lines, but also take into account employee engagement. How will the successful candidate be supported and are there specific skills that would set a candidate apart for a remote working arrangement? Identify performance objectives and management tools & strategy for engaging remote team members. By redefining the basics, we’re setting the requirements needed to start the talent search.

Explore your options!

If you haven’t already, look into your options with agency partners. While talent portals will facilitate applications to your job posting, agency partners cultivate and retain their own network of talent. They’ll also work with your budget and specific needs in mind, and coordinate interview and contract logistics.
Supplementing your in-house hiring team with help from a staffing agency can provide a more targeted search and take the work of pre-vetting off your plate, helping you get to interviewing the right candidates faster. In addition to doing the heavy lifting in sourcing and presenting great talent, staffing agencies should be able to help with ongoing management and HR support from the point of hire.

Facilitate with technology

Face-to-face is still face-to-face when it’s digital. With video interviews, you can just as effectively get to know your candidates and assess their suitability for the job. Video interviews are also a great opportunity to assess the basic communication, organisation and technical skills of remote applicants. Are they on time? Can they adapt to a new software? How do they handle technical difficulties? These might seem like mundane qualities but in the long term–especially with remote team members–these things do matter.

Ask the right questions

You’ll also want to ask a new variety of questions for a remote hire. For example, a video interview should explore some work from home-tailored questions such as:

  • What’s your preferred communication style at work?
  • Do you have experience with collaborating from a distance? If so, what are some of the challenges you’ve encountered & how did you overcome? What were some of the benefits, or what did you find worked well (e.g. work day structure, project management processes, helpful tools, etc.)?
  • What are some of the particular challenges you might anticipate with your current work from home setup?
  • What experience do you have with cloud-based file sharing, organizing and information security?
  • How might you approach finding the information you need in order to respond to a request or problem resourcefully in a virtual environment?

For more info, get in touch at staffingsolutions@ventureweb.com

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