In the space of just a few months, COVID-19 has changed the global business economy. Lockdowns and social distancing measures have forced many public-facing businesses to close and office-based businesses have been forced to begin remote working. Whether they were ready for it, or not, businesses have had to dramatically change the way they operate, including the way that they approach recruitment and the hiring process. Although many businesses are struggling during the pandemic, the hiring market never stands still, and many businesses are still trying to grow and expand despite the difficulties they face.
How to successfully hire people remotely during COVID-19
Although remote hiring is not a new concept, COVID-19 has certainly brought it to the forefront of many business agendas. Here are four tips to help you hire successfully during the pandemic.
- Be clear with your job description
When hiring for a remote role it is important that candidates are aware of what is expected of them. Are they to be working remotely full-time or are they expected to come into the office for a few days a week when restrictions are lifted? Will their role start out as remote but then end up office-based full time? In the current climate, some candidates are drawn to remote positions because they wish to remain a remote worker, whereas others may be happy to work remotely for a time, but ultimately will want to work in-house when quarantine ends.
- Have interview flexibility
Interview flexibility is important during any hiring process, but given the current situation, it’s more important than ever to give candidates the flexibility to choose their own interview slots. Interview scheduling can seem tedious and may also get quite complicated if you have a lot of people vying for the role, and so you may want to consider a virtual interview scheduling tool to help you manage things.
- Speak virtually face-to-face
Telephone interviews can be great for first-round screening but really, as the hiring process progresses, you need to ensure that you are meeting with candidates face-to-face, even if that means from behind your computer screen. By using video conferencing software to video chat with potential candidates you can assess how they present themselves in person and will also be able to more accurately assess their communication skills.
- Assess their written communication too
Whether the position involves remote working permanently or just for a short period while COVID-19 is ongoing, you need to ensure that you are able to communicate clearly with your new hire via email, text, and other written methods. You will have been able to assess their verbal communication over the phone and during their interview but don’t wait until it’s too late to see how they communicate in written form. Consider setting them a small written challenge, or alternatively, just pay close attention to their communication over email while scheduling their interviews.
Remote hiring can be scary, but in order to thrive during the current climate it’s vital that businesses don’t put off their growth and expansion, but instead remain agile and adapt to new remote practices.