Online Job Interviews – An Opportunity or a Temporary Solution?
The world of work is in continuous evolution, with the latest frontier in the field being the introduction of the home office. Now most companies have set this in place permanently, and additionally, many organizations in different industries started to rely on communication and teleconferencing software to quickly exchange information and to arrange and hold meetings. The weekly company online meeting in companies with several business units is a common occurrence nowadays.
In HR, too, the candidate experience has shifted to a remote plane. Candidates submit applications online, and talent acquisition teams use software to sift through them. Up until recent times, recruiters first connected with the prospective candidate via a phone call before inviting them to the official in-person job interview. However thanks to the pandemic, a further shift has occurred. Nowadays, many companies have digitized all the stages of the application process and are also carrying out candidates assessments virtually. Thus, remote recruiting is nothing surprising or new. Both recruiters and applicants are, in most cases, already familiar with it.
In times of crisis, it became clear that HR teams that experiment and adapt to tech innovation are more flexible and efficient. Talent acquisition teams started to hire new employees via virtual job interviews and integrated remote recruiting into their hiring processes. As a result, remote recruiting stood out as an efficient way to get to know and attract new employees worldwide.
Differences Between In-Person and Virtual Job Interviews
Although there are still many pros (and cons) of in-person job interviews, remote recruiting has the extra appeal because it allows for more extensive outreach to the workforce on the job market. However, to effectively use new recruiting tools, recruiters must understand their features.
In the online job interviews, the talent acquisition or hiring managers and candidates experience each other indirectly. In an in-person interview, the counterparts instead can have a face-to-face meeting in the company office. The prospective employee then gets the first impression of their prospective workplace and can meet their future colleagues in advance. A remote interview may not transmit to a candidate the company’s culture and values. And additionally, technology also has its pitfalls. Candidates can often be nervous about whether everything will work and function properly during a virtual interview. Voices may sound different, and some people may feel insecure in front of the camera. Moreover, virtually onboarding is complicated, and it may require a longer period for remote hires to integrate. Nevertheless, remote interviews still have a variety of advantages.
The Advantages of Remote Recruiting
- It saves travel time and costs to candidates who applied for a position in a city or country different from their current one.
- It enables recruiters to check in advance whether a face-to-face meeting is worthwhile.
- Recruiters can conduct remote job interviews in a more focused way if both sides have properly prepared for it.
- Recruiters can also check how candidates deal with technical equipment and how they overcome tech issues. Challenges can have a positive outcome by indirectly testing the candidates’ spontaneity and creativity.
Disadvantages of Remote Recruiting
- Technical challenges can become problematic if an interview is conducted across countries or continents.
- A tour through the office and company rooms occurs indirectly, if at all. Prospective employees can not establish contact with their potential future colleagues directly.
- Noise interference can disturb the ongoing dialogue between the recruiter and the candidates. This kind of disruption usually negatively affects the flow of the conversation.
- Some people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera and express it through a shrill voice by over-gesturing or increasing the speed of speech.
Get Off to a Good Start With Remote Recruiting
When weighing up the pros and cons, the huge potential of remote job interviews is clear. Prospective candidates can be reached out to more quickly, and job interviews can be arranged soon after. The efficiency of sifting through applications increases according to the industry and the sought-after personnel.
The transition to remote recruiting does not need to be difficult. Telephone interviews have been standard practice for a while in many companies. Talent acquisition specialists have learned to pay attention to nuances and conduct interviews efficiently, appreciatively and in a goal-oriented manner. A poor telephone connection, background noise, or a change in the tone of voice are automatically taken into account. In fact, a virtual interview can be more direct and allows for a deeper insight into the candidate’s working experience and skills (e.g. soft skills).
Leverage Remote Recruiting With Recruitment Marketing Technologies
In times of a skilled workforce shortage, searching for top-notch talent can be challenging. But it’s precisely this reason that recruiters should revamp their recruiting strategies. Why not use digital platforms and channels to reach out to prospective employees wherever they are? With fast, real-time outreach, remote recruiting can fit into recruitment marketing as an efficient way to promote your employer brand and obtain broader access to prospective candidates. Additionally, remote recruiting can benefit a company’s image of being dynamic and innovative.
What Opportunities Does Remote Recruiting Offer?
Online job interviews engage an active, agile target working class that is tech-savvy and can be quickly business-oriented. The opportunities that arise from online job interviews, therefore, lie on both sides.
For candidates, the remote interview requires little effort. It is quickly agreed on, implemented, and then a reminder for the interview if also usually offered. The use of digital tools for recruiting is indispensable across all industries. The use of technology during an interview process also enables the recruiter to test if an applicant is confident with the technical equipment. How do they deal with the tool? Have they chosen the background and settings accordingly? How do they react to any noise interferences or other disturbances that may happen?
Challenges in Remote Recruiting
Nevertheless, online recruiting is only one stage of the hiring process. Onboarding may also need to be done remotely. To fully integrate into the company and team, new hires usually need to meet their colleagues in person. But lately, this has not been possible due to the pandemic and the home office taking hold and therefore temporary alternatives had to be found.
However, it doesn’t mean that online interviews should be a temporary measure. Instead, similar processes and measures can be put in place to support the stages of the hiring process. These include online conferences with the future team, events organized online, and meetings in alternative locations to get to know each other.
The Best Setting for an Online Interview
The first online interview should be well prepared. The recruiters introduce the company, its culture and mission, and give insights into the company structure. If the technical equipment does not work, for example, the conversation with the candidate can be disrupted, making it difficult for everyone to exchange meaningful information.
The job interview is an opportunity for candidates to also assess the company. So recruiters should present all the advantages of working for it to make it attractive. The company’s values can also be transmitted through a remote job interview. We recommend doing the following when preparing for a remote interview:
- Check the technical setup, tools, and equipment in advance, including headset, loudspeaker, and screen setting.
- Select a background image that appears neutral and positive and does not distract from the conversation. Of course, you should be entirely visible.
- Pay attention to clothing and colours and avoid irritating patterns or jewellery.
- Make sure you are in a quiet space and close windows, so that street noise does not disturb you.
Introducing the Company
Talent acquisition specialists should carefully prepare the company’s introduction for an online presence during the virtual interview. It includes the company’s general information, its mission and values, benefits for employees, and give an idea of the working environment.
For employees, the design of the workplace and working hours, the role requirements, the working atmosphere and employee benefits are the usual decisive criteria for employees when it comes to deciding to accept the job offer, in addition to the salary of course. Therefore, recruiters should aim to highlight the attractiveness and special features of the company in the company’s introduction.
Beyond exceptional situations, online interviews can entirely replace or supplement interviews via phone calls. It is, therefore, worthwhile to invest in preparing the company’s introduction and include it permanently in your catalogue of recruiting solutions.
Onboarding is one of the key retention measures. If there is no possibility of in-person onboarding in the company office, it will need to occur remotely. For remote onboarding to succeed, a new employee should be supported and assisted by a main contact person. Furthermore, all tools and access to them should already be prepared by the company’s IT department so that candidates can participate in the working activity and have access to the working material from the beginning. For the new employees, they should test their internet connection in advance to make sure it’s working.
Additionally, the first assigned work tasks should be precise and communicated well. A good contact person should be able to show the operational flow to the new hires and provide answers to technical and company-specific questions. To integrate and introduce new hires into the team and to create networking opportunities, chat groups or online meetings are the right tools to use. If you have already implemented an employee referral program in the company, you can now benefit from your employee referral hires, which helps significantly as they will already know someone in the company making their onboarding process much more comfortable.
Adopting Digital Lifestyles
The world of work is changing, and so are our working and organizational attitudes. Technology has simplified our lives and provided us with tools for efficient life organization. Nevertheless, companies are often too slow in changing their habits and adapting to the tech revolution. The Covid-19 pandemic has served as a booster in many industrial areas, forcing companies to adopt innovative working tools.
That said, some practices can be enhanced and streamlined by revamping the processes already in place. For this purpose, suitable tools need to be found and implemented in a technically meaningful way. In the blog articles on our home office experiences, We’ve shared how we adapted to our home office experiences on our blog during the Covid-19 related lockdowns.
Hopefully, prospective candidates are already familiar with the practices of their related field. For example, scientists, developers and IT talents should be familiar with tech tools and quickly adapt to carrying out their tasks remotely. For applicants in other fields, recruiters must put their digital skills to the test with adequate tools to map their performance and industry knowledge.
Using Creativity to Develop and Take Advantage of Opportunities
To win over prospective candidates and enhance your hiring rate, we recommend using all remote tools possible to establish a great connection with them: e-mail, phone call and online interview.
The pre-established strategies for remote recruiting should be incorporated into the hiring process.
If you want to know more about the best-recruiting tools for future talent, we recommend having a look at our talent management infographic. There you will find all the info you need on finding, developing, and retaining employees in the long term.