Interviews are a critical part of any hiring phase. But what happens when you have to undertake these interviews against the backdrop of an emerging distance economy? It’s more challenging when you have to undertake the interviewing process remotely. Unless you employ impeccable skills and tactics, you’ll likely miss the mark in your recruitment process.
So, how do you ensure that your remote interview process is above board? Scott Parker, Director of Product Marketing at Goodtime, spoke with Siadhal Magos, Founder and CEO of Metaview. Here’re some useful takeaways from the LinkedIn Live conversation that can be handy for hiring leaders managing the remote hiring processes.
Prepare Your Interviewers Like Your Company Depends on It
When it comes to building candidate relationships, there’s little room for error during remote interviews. The days of the fashionably decorated offices loaded with perks are done for the foreseeable future, so preparation and proper training are key.
In most cases, candidates anticipate a polished interview process with minimal hitches. Having specialized training paths to ensure you have the right people asking the right questions to the best candidates is everything.
The interview preparation phase involves more than just selecting a panel of interviewers. Preparation involves optimizing your tech stack, the questions being asked, the interview sequence (who’s asking what and at what stage), and the scheduled times for the interviews.
Unlike face-to-face interviews, where you have more leeways to make adjustments, there’s very little wiggle room for remote interviews, especially if they’re across multiple time zones. If you want to run a high-quality interview in the distance economy, create training paths and interview templates to scale your process efficiently while keeping it bespoke to each candidate and role.
Train a Broad Pool of Interviewers
The new distance economy means the candidate pool is far deeper, which could easily overwhelm your team. A mistake some hiring managers make is settling for a smaller interviewer pool, which exposes the team to two negative outcomes: burnout and a slow time-to-hire.
It’s critical to empower your interviewers both in skill set and in load balancing. If you anticipate interviewing 70% of the shortlisted talent, you need to have at least 30% of an equivalent number of interviewers to oversee the interviews.
It’s essential to expand the interviewer pool when dealing with remote interviews. This way, you have room for diversity, increased productivity and better succession planning. Before commencing the interview process, empower the interview team in a way that they can manage the process seamlessly. It’s also important to note that your interviewers are the face of your brand. What they portray during the interview is what the interviewees will take as the actual representation of your brand.
Plainly: an exhausted and dismissive interview panel will absolutely send the wrong signal. Don’t let it happen.
Invest in the Right Resources
It’s surprising how hiring managers can set a very high standard for the candidates, yet rarely invest as much in the interviewing team. The interviewer training process is helpful as it sets the standards when dealing with interviewers.
Properly trained interviewers can cut the actual time of recruitment by up to 50%. The quality of the actual interview process depends more on the skill level of the interviewers than on the number of panelists. An interviewer should have conversational skills and analytical capabilities when managing the recruitment process. Other aspects such as experience in managing people also come in handy.
As an organization, it’s essential to invest the time in training your interviewers. When dealing with remote candidates, specific skills are critical. Unfortunately, most of these necessary skills cannot be attained without a formal, standardized training.
Vary Your Question Types
The process of interviewing candidates encompasses both open and closed-ended questions. Sometimes, direct, closed questions during an interview save time. But in other cases, you also need to listen to what the interview has said in length about some topic areas. This is significantly more so when dealing with remote interviews.
In most cases, open-ended questions are helpful in the modern distance economy context. Open-ended questions allow you to probe the candidates more and invite them into a conversation. It’s important to do this, since it will enable the candidate to feel at ease and blend into the conversation. It’s essential to set questions so that they invite a broad range of responses.
The future of hiring will witness a mix of remote, in-person and hybrid work settings. Open-ended interviews present a chance for interviewees to explain how they intend to ensure flexibility in response to the uncertain future.
It will also help put the interviewee on the different spot-on issues. On the other hand, closed-ended questions allow the interviewee to give short answers on direct matters.
The Bottom Line
The distance economy continues to disrupt how businesses run and operate. Talent acquisition teams must adjust and adapt to this evolving world of remote hiring. Optimizing remote interviews is among the new norms that every TA leader must embrace to develop the best candidate relationship possible.