How to recruit amidst lockdown and social distancing

Posted in Employers

Posted by Joanne Caine
Published on 29 May, 2020

It’s no surprise to hear since the lockdown we’ve seen unprecedented falls in recruitment across most industries. With a national focus on protecting lives and fighting COVID-19 many businesses pre-lockdown plans for growth and hiring staff have understandably been put on hold.

However, as we’ve all learnt to adjust to the new normal in business and our personal lives, the situation is starting to change. Now at last, companies are on the road to recovery after the lockdown. But for many, adjusting to continued social distancing guidelines requires a complete rethink to the recruitment process. Fortunately, at Cathedral Appointments we see this adaptation as an opportunity to improve how companies recruit and select their ideal candidates. Here is our guide on how to recruit during the lockdown and social distancing.

What Are the Best Remote Interview Tools?

When it comes to remote interviewing, video offers a chance to connect with your candidates ‘almost’ like a face to face interview. With the majority of the population now owning a Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop the remote interview is easily accessible and offers convenience possible thanks to technology.

And beyond the Teams, Skype and Zoom video apps we’ve all got used to over lockdown there are a number of specialist video interview tools and apps that aim to help make the recruitment process easier for company and candidate. Remote interview tools like HireVue, SparkHire, or LaunchPad offer pre-defined interview questions, technical pre-hire assessments and even AI driven candidate selection to help choose the best candidate for the job.

How to vet a candidate digitally

Like the traditional face to face interview, selecting the right candidate remotely requires assessing people against their aptitude and skill, their personality, and if they’ll fit culturally into your business and the people they’ll be working with. Here’s what we recommend to look out for.

Aptitude and Skill

For roles requiring specific skills like web and software development, or technical design and mechanical engineering its essential to test the aptitude of potential candidates to really see if they have what it takes. While developing your own assessment criteria could test candidates against the challenges you know they’ll face in the role, this process is time consuming and will take line managers away from their daily workload.

Fortunately, there are a variety of assessment tools readily set up to test candidates in their skill with specific coding languages like HTML, PHP and Python. A simple search online will bring up hundreds of assessments available for a variety of skills, plus tests in IQ or Emotional Intelligence. Also, remote interview tools like HireVue and SparkHire include pre-built or customisable assessments you can send to your candidates.

Candidate personality

Assessing a candidate’s personality remotely may seem hard, but there are a number of tools and techniques that do well at replacing the interaction you’ll miss from a face-to-face interview. Assessments like Belbin, or Myers Briggs 16 personalities can help you identify what your candidate is like. Before testing your candidates its essential to identify which personality is best for the role your recruiting for; a decisive leader for a company director? Or an empathising team player for a line manager. Using online personality tools work best when you know which personality type suits the role best.

Values & Cultural Fit

With technical skills tests and personality assessments recruiting remotely can easily slip into the analytical and forget the human elements you may miss from traditional face-to-face interviews. That’s why it’s important to factor in your businesses cultural values when questioning your candidates. On paper your candidate may have the skill and right personality for a role, if they don’t fit culturally with how your business you’ll inevitably face problems later on.

Recruiting inclusively - Differences between remote and face-to-face interviews

As people we are more likely to engage with those like ourselves than someone different. As a result, traditional recruitment approaches can have an unconscious bias in the selection process, with the best candidates for the job missing out. One way around this is to have a more diverse interview panel, but for many smaller businesses with limited human resource this can be hard to achieve.  

Interviewing remotely brings in a real benefit for recruitment diversity. With a greater structure around pre-hire skill assessments, and with AI candidate assessment technology offered in online interview tools. Your recruitment process can offer greater inclusivity and eliminate any potential bias your previous face-to-face interviews had.

Recruiting amidst lockdown & social distancing - Final Takeaways

Due to COVID-19, lockdown and social distancing restrictions, businesses are facing huge financial and operational challenges. But as we see signs of recovery, adapting to remote recruitment methods may offer your business an efficient new way to find brilliant and perfectly matched people into your business.

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Managing Director

I joined Cathedral Appointments in 1998 to cover a maternity leave and never left. I now own the business and love my job. I've a great team of consultants who work with me in ensuring that Cathedral Appointments provide an excellent service to candidates and clients alike.

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How to recruit amidst lockdown and social distancing

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