May 13, 2020 – As the world increasingly turns to remote work options, virtual interviews are quickly becoming more of the norm. “While qualifying prospective candidates and effectively demonstrating your organization’s culture in a virtual world is complicated, there are many ways to ensure that you are able to get comfortable with and overcome these challenges,” says a new report by Greensboro, NC-based executive search firm Charles Aris Inc.
Established nearly 50 years ago, Charles Aris is a search industry pioneer focused on senior-level assignments within the strategy and business development, private equity, consumer/ retail, finance and accounting, sales and marketing, education, executive leadership, engineering and operations, chemicals and agribusiness sectors.
2 New Recruiting Guides Focus On Adaptation, Forecasts and Recovery
The nation’s vast executive search community and their clients are quickly adapting to the new realities of Covid-19 – and what it means for hiring in 2020 and beyond.
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The part 2 installment, ‘Forecast & Recovery Strategies’ is our aftermath report – and provides critical data to guide your decisions and inform you on forward-thinking recovery strategies. Industry experts from across the talent and recruiting spectrum offer up their wide-ranging opinions, definitive viewpoints, and expert forecasts.
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During these challenging times, executive search firms have been finding new ways to interact with clients and candidates. Many search firms have reported to Hunt Scanlon Media the increased use of technologies such as Zoom to conduct interviews with candidates. Charles Aris provided the following best practices to get you started:
1. Establish your comfort level with a virtual process. Ask yourself critical questions such as: Are you and your team comfortable with making an offer without meeting a candidate in person? If so, does this change your expectations for how candidates demonstrate that they are the right fit?
2. Define your virtual process upfront. Take a look at your current in-person interview process and make any necessary adjustments. How many interviews will each candidate need to complete via phone vs. video? Who are the right interviewers? Consider additional qualifying techniques which can help you make the right decision:
- Case studies
- Personality profiling tools
- 360-degree references
- Independent valuations via third parties such as ghSmart and Green Peak Partners
3. Manage expectations from the start. Once you’ve aligned on the process, communicate this early and often with candidates as well as your interviewing team. If you plan to extend an offer without meeting a candidate in person, it’s critical to inform all stakeholders of that decision since some individuals may need more time to process that reality.
Set Up For Success
Charles Aris said to select the right videoconferencing tool for your team. There are multiple options such as Zoom Video Conferencing, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex and many others.
Interviewing in Times of COVID-19
With the coronavirus spreading around the world, it is essential to start applying alternative solutions to carry on with our daily routines. Government might have restricted our physical and social interactions, but people remain constantly connected through technology. Even locked in their houses, many individuals continue to actively look for a job opportunity or seek to recruit someone to fill their open positions, says a new report Hightech Partners, a Brussels-based search firm.
That’s why remote interviews become crucial, said Raffaele Jacovelli, managing director at Hightech Partners and the author of the report. “Although we have always been taught how to conduct face-to-face interviews, we might lack knowledge regarding the tips and tricks of conducting interviews in front of our cameras in a crisis period as this one,” he said.
Your environment matters: “Pay attention to your lighting, background and camera positioning, the Charles Aris report said. “While you want to keep the interview professional, video interviews present an opportunity to show off your personality and interests with family photos on the wall or a well-organized bookshelf, for example. This can help spark moments to connect with candidates on a personal level.”
Be natural: For video interviews, the Charles Aris report said you should remember to act naturally and do nearly everything that you would ordinarily do in an in-person interview. “Let your personality shine by eliminating distractions, maintaining consistent eye contact and good posture, using hand gestures, dressing as you typically would for an interview, and always showing a friendly smile.”
Don’t overcomplicate it: “While video interviews may be awkward at first, it will get easier with additional practice over time,” the report said. “And remember that candidates might feel the same if they aren’t used to video interviews either.”
Establish a Virtual Culture
Foster water-cooler moments: If your team members are interviewing a candidate via video back to back, Charles Aris recommended setting up one invitation for everyone. “This will enable interviewers to overlap briefly with each other at the beginning and/ or end of each interview, and their natural interactions will help the candidate see your strong culture in action,” the search firm said.
Conduct informational interviews: Charles Aris also said that selling matters in any interview process. “While you may not be able to take candidates out to lunch, you can still have a virtual lunch or coffee chat with members of the team.”
Mastering the Online Interview has Just Taken on New Importance
Online interviews could be the new normal — not just because of the coronavirus crisis but because companies are realizing meaningful cost savings. That is leading to more broad acceptance of the practice. Carol Hartman of Hartman Group Consulting offers ways to master your next online interview.
Create content to highlight your workplace: To accept an offer “site” unseen, Charles Aris said that candidates will want to get as much of a feel for the office and team as possible. The search firm offers a few ideas:
- If you already have a virtual tour ready to roll, you can repurpose that whenever candidates are unable to visit on-site. If not, you can have someone walk through the office, recording a simple video on their phone.
- Encourage team members to record themselves talking about their experience with the organization and upload the collective videos.
Build a personal relationship: “People don’t go to work for organizations; people go to work for people,” the Charles Aris report said. “In a virtual interviewing process, it’s even more important that candidates get to know the real you. Candidates are more likely to accept an offer from someone they haven’t met in person if they have established a deeper relationship and open communication.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media