26 Apr, 2021

How To Hire The Right People Online

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Written by
Amit Volinits
Just as working from home has become the new norm for businesses worldwide, so too has the hiring process. But, as some countries and companies begin to trickle back into physical office spaces, many have seen the benefits of continuing to work from home.

“What someone may lack in talent can be more than made up for in self-motivation, self-direction, and follow-through.” Miles Anthony Smith

If this is something you can relate to, it may be best to understand the nuances of remote interviews and how to choose the right people.

Preparation is key

We all know the pain of attending a meeting that has been poorly planned. Whether daylight savings weren’t factored in when finding appropriate time zones, the Zoom/Teams link wasn’t sent…

It’s important to remember that an interview is also the potential employee’s chance to find out if your company is the right fit for them too. So make sure that their first impression of you is just as important.

Ensure that you communicate the below details so that the process runs smoothly:

  • Time and date of the meeting (including the timezone)
  • Which online meeting platform you’ll be using (Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, Skype, etc.) and the meeting link
  • Let the interviewee know who else will be attending the interview as well as their roles in the business
  • Send a reminder the day before about the interview to check that the applicant will still be attending

Avoid technology glitches

Do a test run of your online meeting platform. This includes checking that your camera and microphone work and that your internet bandwidth is strong enough (especially if there are other people on video calls at the same time).

Ensure you’ve got your login details on hand and that your equipment is charged and ready to go.

As you get used to the various platforms available, hosting online interviews will become second nature. However, always having back-up details of the interviewee (phone number and email address) on hand is a good idea just in case of an unexpected internet outage.

Don’t multitask

It’s only fair to your potential employee that you give them your undivided attention during the entire interview process.

You can help minimize distractions by:

  • Turning off your phone or putting it on mute
  • Switch any email alerts to silent
  • If there are other people in your home or workspace, make sure that they are aware you’re taking part in an interview, and where possible, avoid having the interview in a high-traffic area.

Be professional

Choose a location where you have some good natural lighting or a lamp lighting up your face - there’s nothing more off putting than feeling interrogated by a stranger sitting in the dark…

Be warm and welcoming and include some time to break the ice before the interview begins so that both you and the interviewee can feel more comfortable with each other. Your main aim here is to get to know the real version of the person you’re interviewing as quickly as possible so be open and honest about the proceedings so that they don’t give off a stressed or anxious version of themselves.

Be prepared for the interview by having a list of questions ready and a copy of their resume easily accessible.

Determine the candidate’s aspirations

Knowing how a candidate wants their career to grow and their goals will help you determine whether they are the right fit for the job and the company in the longrun. But do also remember that some people will just give you the answers you want to hear, so that’s why getting having that casual conversation at the beginning is so important to read the candidate’s vibe so you know whether their answers seem to align with their personality or not.

Include hands-on tasks in the interview process

Choose a task that best represents the day-to-day work that the employee will be doing. You can either have them complete a task pre-interview or try out a brainstorming session for a project during the interview.

This is useful to understand better how the potential employee works and to test their problem-solving abilities. It also allows them to see if they feel comfortable with the role before investing further time into the fullscale onboarding process.

Include current employees in the interview process

Allow current employees to attend the interview where relevant. If the potential candidate will be working within a team, that team’s opinion could be beneficial and it’s great for the interviewee to be able to ask real questions to the people who are actually in the role that they are applying for.

Trust your gut

Lastly, trust your instincts. An online interview should invoke the same instincts about a candidate as an in-person interview. You should genuinely believe that the candidate is the right fit for your company and not just someone who ticks all of the logical boxes. You will have to be spending a lot of time with this person in the near future, so it’s important to get this right! No pressure.

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