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Answers to your Burning Questions about Remote Recruitment

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Tips from the experts about overcoming recruitment challenges

It’s been a strange few months for everyone and has definitely stirred up the way things have been done in the recruitment industry. As we prepare for a new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic eases, our recruitment teams are faced with many new challenges to overcome.

To help address the many questions and concerns about what this new normal will look like, we teamed up with our friends at PageUp to bring together a panel of industry experts who have been recruiting during this time. We both gathered feedback from our clients and received over 180 questions about the following topics:

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  • Remote recruitment 
  • Candidate experience 
  • Employer branding 
  • Talent sourcing

We’ve created this blog to share with you the highlight answers to the burning questions that were discussed in the live event. You can also watch the full webinar here, if you prefer.

Q. What is the best approach to rejecting candidates when you have too many applications? 

It’s to be expected that while unemployment rates are up more applications will be coming in. Job seekers are going to be prepared for the reality that they are up against more applicants than usual. It’s a difficult time for everybody involved and the best practice to help alleviate concerns is to stay honest and transparent with candidates throughout the entire process. 

Feedback is an important part of ensuring that candidates have a positive experience even if they don’t end up getting the role at the end of the process. It’s also important to remember that for many companies, their candidates are also their customers so a negative experience could impact the company’s reputation. Providing feedback and keeping candidates in the loop helps them to feel appreciated and that their time is valued by the company helping to create a more positive candidate experience. 

TIP: Aim to be consistent with communication throughout the recruitment process and be sure to use the same communication method or platform so that candidates know what to expect and are kept informed. 

“I’ve been seeing many companies posting on LinkedIn that candidates won’t hear back from them if they’re not successful. This mindset is setting us back, every candidate deserves to receive feedback about their application.” - Nicki McCulloch, Director of Client Solutions ANZ at Hudson RPO

Q. What's your advice/concerns on hiring "overqualified" candidates?

With many more skilled candidates on the market during this time, it can be tempting to consider hiring someone overqualified for a role. It is important to consider the long-term consequences of this decision as well as considering alternate arrangements for these unusual circumstances. 

Everyone has their own reasons for why they work and during this time of increased unemployment rates, those reasons may have more to do with earning an income rather than seeking career fulfilment. In some cases people are looking for a role to tide them over until a more suitable role comes along and in other cases people are looking for a role that can offer them a sense of stability or security. 

TIP: If it appears that someone may be overqualified for the role and yet you are still interested in hiring them, you could consider hiring them on a contract basis instead. This gives you the opportunity to hire someone with an increased skill set for a time, while allowing you to continue looking for your ideal candidate, who would suit the role better long term.

“We need to be fair about the expectations of the role. Hiring someone with extensive skills for an entry level role may not always be what is best for them or for the company. It is likely that they won’t be challenged by the role in a few months' time and will end up seeking out a new role anyway.” - David Meere, National Manager, Talent & Attraction at Life Without Barriers

Q. How have organisations changed their onboarding processes to support new employees working remotely?

With the changes that have presented themselves through this current health climate, it is important to make sure that you have taken the right measures to ensure that staff receive a warm welcome and the correct training for safe practises during any in-person contact work. 

The use of onboarding and communication software has allowed us to connect with our remote teams which opens up many possibilities for collaboration and maintaining a positive sense of company culture. Introducing a new team member remotely can be easily achieved with the clever use of remote technology. Mixing it up with team meetings, one on ones or even encouraging a ‘walk and talk’ style online meeting are all great ways to engage your new team members. The use of these kinds of communication platforms have become the ‘new normal’ and will stay with us long after the pandemic eases.

However, Zoom fatigue is a real thing and it is important to make sure that recruitment teams are setting strong boundaries in relation to this new way of communicating. With the ease and convenience of video conferencing, it is also easy for it to encroach on our personal time, creating moments of ‘video exhaustion’ and added stress and pressure. While we have access to these great advancements in communication, it is important to make sure we don’t go overboard.

TIP: Be sure to set expectations with your new employee from the get go and lay out what their first week might look like in advance so that you both have a road map to follow in the early days. This will help get you and your new employee off to the best start possible in a remote environment.

“We have started encouraging a buddy system to help onboard our new candidates. Someone outside of their direct management line is assigned to the new team member so that they have another person who they can speak to for answers or feedback. This system also works well to help introduce the new team member the culture of the company and helps to take the pressure off the manager” - Ben Girdler, Head of Talent Acquisition at NewsCorp

Q. What has the candidate’s experience been of video interviews?

With the increased use of video conferencing and video interviews during the recruitment process, it is important not to have a ‘one size fits all’ approach. With the experimentation of using both the options of one-way video interviews and two way interviews, there has been a clear difference in the way these videos have been received by candidates. 

Candidates do seem to respond better to the two-way interview overall as it more closely resembles what they are used to. On the other hand, the one-way interview has had a drastic change since COVID-19. Prior to this time, feedback had been received that the method was ‘daunting’ and the completion rate was quite low. With the perspective of technology and video communication changing through this time. The willingness to engage has changed. It has removed some of the common roadblocks for candidates as they get to create and send from the comfort of their homes, without the added stresses of heading into an office for the meeting and other time constraints. 

TIP: Try to keep video interviews short and concise and aim to treat them as you would your first face to face meeting. This interview is an important time to build rapport between you and the candidate.

“The ease of video interviews is going to stay. It is important to make sure that the candidate feels comfortable and we give as much information as possible upfront to help them feel ready and prepared”. -  Nicki McCulloch, Director of Client Solutions ANZ at Hudson RPO 

Q. What technology can be used to support hiring during remote recruitment?

The use of technology has created vital communication methods that connect recruitment teams, employers, employees and candidates. There are many different platforms which can assist with getting you connected. However, it can often be difficult to know what to do when you feel you have outgrown your current product.

There are some important factors to consider when looking into upgrading your products. You should be looking for a product that integrates well with other platforms, allowing control and flexibility, and making sure that the organisation wants to work well with others too. 

Make sure that the product/s you decide to use also continues to grow and develop further. You want to ensure that you are using a system that grows with your company.

TIP: Consider the goals that you have set for recruitment during this time and search for technology that will help you achieve those goals while also providing you with a process that will help you in the long-term.

“It is important to know what the platform’s company road map is and what that looks like over the next few years. You want to make sure that product is continuing its development and that it aligns with your long-term goals.” - Nicki McCulloch, Director of Client Solutions ANZ at Hudson RPO

Overall, it is important to keep in mind that this is a really challenging time for candidates, recruitment teams and hiring managers everywhere. We should all be prepared to be flexible and consider new ways to embrace these challenges with quality long-term solutions that are appropriate to your own company needs. If you’re looking for more tips, be sure to watch the full webinar so you can hear more than just the highlights.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how Xref and PageUp can help you achieve your recruitment goals going forward then you might like to check out our integration page or get in touch for more information.

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