As business operations continue to reopen and return to somewhat normal, employers are ramping up their hiring efforts. If your company was actively interviewing and hiring candidates during the pandemic, you undoubtfully had to change your hiring strategy. As many of us transition back to the office (or a hybrid schedule), video interviewing is becoming permanent. About 81% of talent professionals worldwide agree that virtual interviewing will continue post-pandemic, and 70% believe it will become the new standard. So, if your company is maintaining a virtual hiring process, how do you streamline it to get the best results?
Establish a cohesive virtual hiring process
As you navigate today’s competitive (and often frustrating) job market, you must establish a cohesive virtual hiring process. This new protocol will likely be a mix of your pre-pandemic hiring efforts and your more recent practices that you had to adjust while working remotely. Essentially, you want to create a standardized process that you can consistently utilize across your entire company. Once you establish this process, you want to document it and make it available to all hiring managers. The more transparent your new process is, the smoother the transition will be across the board.
Test necessary technologies
Like we recommend to all job seekers, you must test the technologies you will be enlisting to implement your virtual hiring process. If you worked remotely for over a year, you probably had your Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or other technologies dialed in. However, if you are back in the office, it’s best to reexamine your tools to ensure everything is working properly. Technology is great when it works, but you may face some kinks with your communication tools when returning to the office. Review all your technologies and run some tests before conducting any video interviews to ensure a seamless experience for both parties.
Be transparent with candidates from the beginning
Being transparent throughout your virtual hiring process is essential to its success. From outlining your remote work policy to detailing your timetable of making a hiring decision, it’s crucial to be transparent with candidates. The fewer questions that are left unanswered, the better experience you will create for your interviewees. You can clarify many of these issues in your job descriptions. Giving a glimpse of your culture, remote work requirements, and other details before candidates even apply generates a substantial competitive advantage. For example, if you are not supporting a hybrid workforce, you can save yourself (and prospective applicants) a lot of valuable time by outlining that in your job description. The more details you can share at the begging of the process, the more efficient it will be.
Develop standardized interview questions
Have you ever been to a panel interview, and each interviewer takes turns monotonously asking a list of basic questions? Yeah, most of us have. While we are not recommending such a dry interviewing process, it is essential to develop standardized interview questions. Obviously, some of these questions may differ from department to department, but having a core group of interview questions is key to success. Standardized questions will allow you to compare candidates on an equal playing field and help your hiring team eliminate any unconscious biases.
Pro tip: You can also record remote interviews so you can refer back to a candidate’s specific response or share with a colleague that may have had to step out unexpectedly. Just make sure you let each candidate know they are being recorded.
Treat candidates as if they were interviewing in-person
Treating candidates the same as if it was an in-person interview is probably the most vital step. Let’s face it, video conversations with someone you have never met before can be a little awkward. It can be challenging to develop some small talk or banter to make the interview more conversational. However, do your best to treat the interview as if it was face-to-face. Have everyone on the hiring team mute their phones and work notifications, dress appropriately, and eliminate any other distractions. It can be tempting to veer over to a work email while talking with a candidate. However, please give them the respect they deserve by devoting your attention to them.
If you are struggling to make the interview more conversational, you can ask a few fun questions at the beginning. These ice breaker questions will help the interviewer be more comfortable and help them open up a bit. Also, body language is crucial! Don’t forget to smile, make good eye contact, and nod your head to illustrate that you are listening. Your interviewees will reciprocate this energy, and the interview will overall be more productive.
Need more help developing your virtual hiring process?
Transitioning to a virtual hiring process can be tricky, but these five tips will help your streamline your process and yield better results. If you are looking for more tips to improve your hiring practices, take a look at our Client Resources!