Remote Recruitment - challenges and repercussions

The world is slowly coming out of the pandemic induced coma and economies around the world are starting to rebuild. During this time of uncertainty, there has been a tremendous amount of turbulence in the job market. Some companies have had to retrench or cut salaries or both, and other companies have been scaling up as they benefit from the move online by consumers.

Many companies have witnessed a substantial amount of churn in their workforce as employees have chosen to move closer to their families, or to perceived safe havens.

Companies have been forced to suddenly try and recruit remotely and accelerate their hiring as they grapple with unexpected departures or sudden growth in their business. The combination of trying to recruit rapidly and remotely has created numerous challenges for recruiters and many employers are struggling to effectively hire suitable candidates as a result.

Quick hiring
The first challenge is to find suitable candidates who are able to join the organisation quickly. Whilst there are currently many candidates looking for new roles, the best candidates have been retained by their organisations and are reluctant to move during these unpredictable times. Even when these candidates are open to a move, their notice periods and the current travel restrictions result in very long delays before they can join a new organisation.

Rigorous screening
The next challenge is how to effectively screen candidates when physical interviews are not possible. Whilst for junior roles it may be possible to get away with telephonic or VC interviews, it becomes much harder to screen candidates at managerial level, when personality, attitude and culture start becoming more important.

Testing and technology
Companies have tried to use various competency and psychometric tests and new technology such as Artificial Intelligence to try and improve their assessment of candidates. Whilst these can give helpful clues and support an interviewers assessment, they often lead to either inconclusive or negative assessments and can disqualify candidates that would otherwise have been a good fit for the role.

Process, process, process
In our experience, we have found that the best way to try and overcome these challenges is to put in place a robust process for both sourcing and screening of candidates, and utilise multiple tools to try and build a holistic view of candidates;

  1. Utilise Technical Assessments where applicable to initially screen candidates – depending on the seniority of the role, these can often help shortlist relevant candidates up front.
  2. Invest time in engaging with candidates, ideally with multiple interviewers to try and reduce any bias and also get a better understanding of each candidate.
  3. Use psychometric tests wherever possible to support the assessments during interview.
  4. Perform very thorough reference checks on the candidates. Use a combination of both direct and indirect references, combined with the interviews and other assessment tools.

The downside of this approach is that it can often be time consuming. Unfortunately, in trying to recruit good talent, there are no short cuts!

If you’re struggling with some of these issues and would like to think through some possible solutions, please get in touch. Our team is working remotely with business as usual, and have taken this time to improve and increase our service offerings in talent management solutions.  We have been able to help a number of our clients fill critical positions quickly over the past few months.

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