“I like to interview right around lunchtime, so I can see how the employees interact with each other.” This is my friend’s number one interviewing tip. He makes a good enough observation to really understand the company culture and if he’ll feel comfortable there just by being physically present in the office at a time where socializing and culture pops.
The recent enforced global quarantine has several companies, both big corporations and small start-ups, realizing that not all employees need to work from the office, that WFH has massive benefits for employees in various life stages, all while expanding the candidate pool. However, part of the interview process where the employee digests the company culture is at risk. How can human resources and team leads effectively portray their culture without the new employee ever stepping foot in the office? Will Glassdoor reviews suffice for a major life decision? Whether your offices are remaining closed for the foreseeable future, or you just decided to hire remote workers from now on, you’ll need new ways to show your competitive job candidates what your company is all about.
If your candidates can’t walk through the office before or after the interview, as my friend likes to do, give them the option to do it virtually! Create one video that is a walkthrough of the entire office space, or produce shorter videos featuring individual floors depending on which department the candidate is interviewing for. Be sure to show the hotspots — the kitchen, cafe, meeting rooms, creative spaces, or even the rooftop or other outdoor spaces. This can easily be taken on an iPhone, or with any camera.
A Pre-Interview Coffee
It’s common for a job candidate to be offered coffee or tea while they await their interviewer. That offer can still exist — digitally! Start the interview off on a good note by sending your serious candidates a $5 gift card to Starbucks, Panera Bread, or another cafe. They’ll get perked up, and also have a sense of the physical interviewing experience.
Many positions require some sort of task, presentation, or a combination of the two. Utilize this part of the interview process by sending a physical product to the candidate’s home. It can be something simple such as a notebook so they can flesh out their ideas with classic pen and paper, or it can be one object that represents a big value for your company. For example, if your company culture is about play and experimenting, send a small toy or puzzle. It may seem like a hassle to organize this process, but a tiny physical experience when the office is off-limits can excite your candidate and give them a better idea of what they can expect working for you.
If a candidate feels their potential employer is open and honest, they’ll be more comfortable and eager to work with them. Allow your company to be transparent with interviewees; give them the opportunity to ask questions to potential coworkers through Google Hangouts, or provide a password-protected PDF with answers to frequently asked questions in all aspects of work if there’s not enough responses on Glassdoor. Welcoming candidates into the veil of transparency gives them the chance to experience your culture, not just hear about it.
Any gesture of any size will add value to the entire virtual interview experience, and create a more accurate portrayal of your company. You can try one of these ideas, or mix it up, and help build your company’s reputation of having a great interview process.