It’s almost inconceivable to think of remote working as a novel idea these days. In the wake of COVID, it’s become a firm reality for many and it certainly doesn’t seem to be a passing fad. With the landscape of employment utterly transfigured, it only makes sense that the rudimentary processes of recruitment and hiring need to adapt along with it.
Communication and collaboration are immensely important for both hiring managers and recruiters – so how can these key processes flourish without face-to-face contact?
According to Emily Atkins, head of talent acquisition in Australia and New Zealand at LinkedIn, being prepared before you contact the hiring manager allows you to ‘build that relationship, show some level of understanding and inform the discussion.’ You both share a common goal – to find the best candidate as quickly as possible. So do your homework before the initial conversation:
- Research the role and how it fits into the company.
- Give the market an elementary overview so you can speak confidently about what’s out there.
- Jot down some specific questions to ask and set an agenda.
Building a structured process is a foolproof way to keep organised and on task, even when working from afar.
Finding the best and preferred means of communication is paramount to success. And it’s often a challenge even without a pandemic decimating direct contact! Moving to remote forms of networking can help fill this void. A video conference should be your first port of call anyway. It will give you an opportunity to have an open conversation about the process while helping to build rapport and gauge non-verbal communication. Follow-ups can then take place over the phone or through messaging services like Slack or Microsoft Teams. But, be sure to keep the hiring manager engaged and fully in the loop. Status updates should be clear and regular.
According to Harver, 52% of talent acquisition leaders say that identifying the right candidates from a large pool is the hardest part of recruitment. So it pays to be absolutely clear on the brief from the hiring manager. Probe for detail and ask questions that will give you the most accurate representation of the ideal candidate, like:
- What skills are vital for your preferred candidate?
- Are there any tech tools that they should have proficiency in?
- How is the team structured?
You can even have the hiring manager evaluate some initial choices in real time and gauge their feedback. It all helps you narrow down the search. Coinciding with this, you need to agree on firm timelines and ensure expectations are realistic. With so much changing on a daily basis, this has to be factored in to reduce the chance of disappointment.
We’re all in this together right? So it makes sense to offer as much support as possible. First, ensure the hiring manager is equipped and able for the subsequent processes of interviewing remotely. Whether it’s testing out call software, coaching through questions or providing documents and contingency plans for breakdowns in technology, bolster the hiring manager with anything they need to conduct a good interview. According to Indeed, 83% of candidates say a negative interview can change their mind about a role. Although the rules may have changed in 2020, it doesn’t mean the process has to be clunky or less in any way. If the hiring manager is comfortable, the candidate will be comfortable!
Physical distance from colleagues and remote working has been a challenge during COVID. But, with just a few tweaks to your approach you can more than make up for it. In its rawest form, it comes down to preparedness, vigilance and empathy. Taking these key components on-board will allow you to communicate and collaborate with a hiring manager, no matter how far away they are!