What are the best methods and tools for remote recruitment?
When interviewing and selecting candidates remotely, video interviews - using an app like Zoom or Microsoft Teams - will probably become your main communications channel.
But don’t rule out phone interviews – these could be useful especially during the initial stages of recruitment. Note, though, that they are generally best kept for short interviews and for questions that don’t require too much thinking on the candidate’s part. Complex behavioural or situational questions are more suitable for a face-to-face discussion. CV library offers really practical top tips in How to conduct a phone interview.
Video interviews can be conducted in a similar way as you would for a physical face-to-face interview. However, you will need to prepare carefully. Guardian Jobs has produced some excellent guidance on How to conduct a virtual interview and CharityJob has written on the benefits of remote recruitment in How to recruit remotely.
And here are a few top tips from us as well:
If you would normally have an interview panel, then use the software that still allows you to do this, so that each member of the panel can ask questions in turn and so that everyone can clearly see all those involved and who is speaking at any given time. All members of the panel need to:
- Make sure surroundings are clutter-free and quiet.
- Check video conferencing software and hardware is working well.
- Be aware that it will be harder to assess body language cues.
- Use active listening and more verbal cues than normal. It will help to connect better with the candidate.
- Make sure you look into the camera from time to time. Whilst it is easy to look directly at the candidate who is displayed on a screen or monitor, making ‘eye contact’ can only be done by looking at the camera.
- Take a little bit longer after the candidate finishes their response before speaking. This will allow for any lag time if the internet is slow and stop you from cutting a candidate off if they still have more to share.
- Olive Tree Media has created an excellent short video 7 Hints for Speaking to Camera - have a look at this before the interview day.
If your selection process would normally include a visit to the workplace, you might need to think creatively about how you could introduce the candidates to the workplace virtually (if possible).
If your normal interview process would include a presentation, then this could still be done live. But do bear in mind the challenge for the candidate of presenting to an audience when it is almost impossible to gauge the audience response, and the difficulty of presenting verbally and visually in a virtual setting. Alternatively, you could ask candidates to send you a simple home video of their presentation in advance of the interview.
If your normal interview process would include written tests of some kind, this can still be done remotely and how you arrange it is up to you. You could email the candidate the document(s) for the tasks and ask them to return them to you when the time given for the task is over. You could leave the call running while you 'leave the room', or pop them back into a waiting room whilst they fulfil the task and invite them back in after the allotted time is up. But do keep your choice of applications simple (for example, stick to Word or Excel, avoid Publisher) as candidates home computers might not have everything you would normally use in a work setting.