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5 Tips to Hiring More Effectively During COVID-19

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

We all can agree that the year 2020 has been different. All around the world, we have had to change many of the typical ways we live our lives. We have changed activities in our personal lives and even in our professional lives. The business world has experienced many adjustments from daily operations and also the process of hiring new employees. Hiring has changed dramatically, and business owners and HR recruiters are still learning and adapting to the new hiring methods. 

To help you and your business hire more efficiently during COVID-19, we have reached out to some experts to give useful tips on hiring better through these changing times. 

Tip 1-  Train for Virtual Conversations

Today, mostly all interviews for new hires have converted to viral video conferences. As this new interview-style becomes more prevalent, working out all the kinks is still in progress. Usually, performing a face to face interview presented the chance to identify a candidate’s personality traits, ability to communicate, and overall comfortability level. With the sometimes awkward video interview interactions, the ability to pick up on specific social cues may be a bit hard to evaluate.

One thing that CEO of Gadget Review, Rex Freiberger, found to be necessary for his company’s hiring process through virtual interviews is having his managers trained for digital communication. 

“Now we interview over Zoom, and our managers are trained to ease candidates into the process and help them acclimate to a virtual environment. They’re also trained to pick up on social cues that can be communicated virtually versus in person.”

Interesting fact, studies have shown the nonverbal cues make up 93% of the message we convey in conversation, and recruiters typically rely heavily on these types of signals.

Rex advises all hiring managers to study the fundamentals of digital communication and the psychological differences in how we respond visually and in-person for effective hiring through virtual interviews.  

Hiring More Effectively During COVID-19

Tip 2 – Make interviews more relaxed and personal

 

Even before COVID-19, Interviews typically have a nerve-racking effect on candidates and employers. Now with interviews conducted over video conferences, the tension of the interview process is additionally added. One tip  to make virtually interviews less apprehensive is from Copper H20’s CEO, Jessica Rose, who has developed a formal and interesting process to virtual hiring. 

“Our #1 tip for hiring candidates virtually is to personalize and humanize the process by offering a video conference coffee Q&A for candidates. In the less formal coffee Q&A setting, candidates are more likely to let their guard down, which gives your company a better opportunity to consider whether they are the right fit.”

Turning a new and somewhat uneasy experience of virtual hiring into an enjoyable and practical experience is a great way to give your candidates an insight into your company’s culture. Plus, you and the candidates create a fully transparent first impression when the virtual interaction becomes more than an informal hiring process.  

Jessica also provides more to this tip by allowing your candidates to meet virtually with 1-3 existing members of your team to ask anything they are curious to know. 

“This gives candidates a great opportunity to learn more about the company while also permitting you an opportunity to obtain additional reviews of the candidate from your existing employees.”

Hiring More Effectively During COVID-19

Tip 3- Record Video intros

As discussed earlier in this piece, reading a persons social cues over the virtual landscape can be challenging. The natural energy and friendly reception may seem strained through computer cameras. However, Andrew Taylor, the founder, and director of Net Lawman gives tips on making video conference interviews more productive while improving the ease of being seen through a camera.

“ I offer the opportunity to send a video back and forth to begin. I send a video asking some generalized questions and talking about the role. I ask them to respond via video, telling me a little about themselves and why they think they would be a good fit for the role.”

Andrews finds this method gives potential candidates a chance to make the most of their time and  prepare appropriately even more than a face to face interview. 

“After the video, we can have a zoom chat, but since it is like the second time that we have seen one another, things are a little more relaxed.”

Andrew gives some additional confidence boosts to employers,” It can be daunting making a video, but the more often you do it, the better and easier it becomes.”

The last bit of advice from Andrew is that he respects the candidates who look nervous and apparent they have tried several times. Also, he recognize those individuals confident enough to throw it out all in one take.

 

Hiring More Effectively During COVID-19

Tip 4- Applicant Pre-test 

Being innovative in the 21st century for most companies is a constant goal, and hiring in the latest or most creative way goes together. Today, hiring in the virtual form pushed many companies into becoming more innovative. Companies who are wanting to hire remote candidates effectively, you need to change your initial requirements. That is advice from Dennis Vu, the CEO, and Co-founder of Ringblaze.

“In the old days, you’d ask for a resume and some references, which would take hours to go through per one applicant. If you have a big HR team and a huge budget for hiring software, this is no big deal, but for a small startup like ours, we don’t have the time or money to waste on resumes.” 

Dennis’s tip for effectively hiring is to have a test task for each open position. Every applicant who applies will complete a small task, which ultimately displays to the company the candidates’ ability to get the job done and behavior in the role. 

Dennis talks about his experience using a test for a hire, “We recently had a Java developer opening where the test task was to write a few lines of code. When we see that the candidate knows how to complete the tasks within a role, only then do we look at their names and resumes.”

Lasting tip remarks from Dennis, “When hiring remotely, you’ll often get fake resumes and applicants that appear great but can’t do anything related to the job. This point is why it’s important to test skills first, and everything else comes second.”

Hiring More Effectively During COVID-19

Tip 5 – Remote Work Allowance Perks

Along with hiring virtually, many businesses have allowed some of their employees to work remotely from their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some businesses that can have their employees work from home are finding the process to be achievable. However, the idea of hiring and training employees from home may often be a challenge for both employers and job seekers. Sean Nguyen, the Director of Internet Advisors, shares a tip for offering certain perks for hiring during COVID-19. 

“What we do at Internet Advisors is offer a monthly stipend for remote work purposes. People think that working from home is free and easy, but it’s not quite like that. Yes, it saves money for both the company and the employee, but there are still some inherent costs associated with it that need to be covered.”

“Obviously, the internet is covered for everyone since that’s what our company does, but there are other costs – personal office spaces, office furniture, devices used for work – that need to be covered. That attracted a lot of candidates even before COVID, but now we’re having even more success with that strategy.”

Being aware that COVID-19 has changed the way some companies conduct business and may continue to evolve as needed.  If your company currently can hire and train new employees, Sean’s monthly stipend tip is a great way to help hire more effectively during COVID-19. 

Final Thoughts

This year has been filled with many changes for people around the world personally and professionally. Some running businesses are finding challenges to meet all new normalcy requirements, including hiring. We hope these tips from experts hiring during this COVID-19  time helps you become more effective in your hiring process.

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