Are you new to recruiting remotely and not sure how to do it? How do you make remote recruiting work for you? What are the best methods and tools to use? What else do you need to consider?
Even in the current circumstances many organisations are still needing to recruit for essential posts, and are quickly having to redesign their recruitment processes so that they can move forward in finding new staff.
Interviewing and selecting candidates remotely brings its own set of challenges. And so we've brought together some advice and guidance from a range of different sources to help you adjust to your new situation, and to give hints and tips for those who are starting out on the journey of remote recruitment. We'll aim to keep adding to this page as other helpful information comes to our attention.
1. What are the best methods and tools for remote recruitment?
When interviewing and selecting candidates remotely, Skype or video interviews 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 Top tips to conduct a phone interview and How to judge a candidate over the phone.
Skype or video interviews can be conducted in the same way as you would for a physical face-to-face interview. However, you will need to prepare carefully.
CharityJob has produced some excellent guidance on How to recruit remotely whilst the country’s in lockdown.
And here’s a few basic 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. You could ask your candidates to send their presentation slides to you in advance so that you can print out and follow these as they speak. Or they could share them on screen whilst they do the talking (but note that that will hide the candidate from your view). 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, if your application allows it you could possibly share the document annotation tools on a shared screen for the candidate to fill in there and then - if that works for the particular type of test you have in mind. Or you could email the candidate the document(s) for the tasks at an appropriate time during (or after) the interview and ask them to return it to you when the time given for the task is over. But do bear in mind that not all candidates will have their home computer / laptop set up for everything you might normally want to use for your tasks, so keep your choice of applications simple (for example, stick to Word or Excel, avoid Publisher.)
2. Find the best video conferencing software for your needs
You might already have your own preferred software, but why not take a moment to see if there is anything else out there that might suit your needs better? TechRadar UK offer a round-up of the best video conferencing software 2020: paid and free solutions for business. Just ensure that whatever you choose, it is something that candidates can also easily access without needing to pay.
3. What else might you need to consider once your candidate starts working for you?
How can HR remotely manage induction?: a helpful post from People Management tackling another challenge organisations face at this time - making a new employee feel welcome remotely.
How to onboard new hires remotely: you can still arm your employees with everything they need to do their jobs successfully, just in a slightly more digital way. CharityJob give a few of their top tips for induction of new employees in a remote landscape.
Working from home: Acas highlights employer and employee responsibilities, including health and safety, looking after mental and physical health, equipment and technology, setting clear expectations, keeping in touch and more.
Homeworking: another section from Acas, this time including a downloadable guide to homeworking, a sample homeworking policy and a checklist for setting up homeworking.
Getting the most from remote working: a series of top tips from CIPD to help you and your team get the most out of homeworking – with links to excellent resources.
6 steps to help your team thrive at work: six things every manager can do to make sure stress doesn’t get in the way of success, including a new section on managing the mental health of your team while remote working. From CIPD.
Working from home - how to make it work and look after your team: tips from CharityJob on how to best manage your team remotely.
Working remotely: our new webpage of help for those new to homeworking. Includes hints and tips for how to work well from home, effective online meetings, homeworking and well-being considerations.
4. Running a good recruitment process
Running a good recruitment process is vital whether you are recruiting remotely or physically. Our comprehensive, step-by-step Guide to running a good recruitment process is designed to help Christian organisations and Christian churches understand and think through the different stages of the recruitment and selection process. We also address how UK law impacts recruitment activities in the Christian sector.
Employment Law - things you need to know: It can be a daunting task for churches, mission agencies and Christian charities to keep up-to-date with their responsibilities as an employer, as well as keeping abreast of employment law and HR issues that they need to be aware of in their particular context. This webpage offers links to articles, other resources and blogs to help navigate this maze.
5. Other helpful advice for recruiters and employers related to Covid-19
The legal situation is changing from day to day, and these sources of information are being updated regularly:
- Responding to the coronavirus: a wide range of CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) information, guidance and links to external resources - freely accessible to all and updated regularly.
- ACAS has also published some useful advice for employers and employees which is updated daily.
- Claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (Covid-19), at GOV.UK.
- Coronavirus - Ebriefings and updates: a compilation of recent Ebriefings and advice from Global Connections members Anthony Collins Solicitors.
- Covid-19: Guidance for employers and businesses: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Public Health England, 25 February 2020.
- Sandy Adirondack (Governance and legal information for voluntary organisations) sends some helpful updates via email. You can sign up to receive Sandy Adirondack’s e-bulletins with helpful information relating to Covid-19 here.
- Covid-19 further advice and information for mission agencies - Global Connections webpage of advice and information.