As organisations continue to navigate the changing landscape to secure continuity, there has been a need for businesses across the globe to quickly adapt their process for recruiting new members of staff, particularly face-to-face interviewing. What this new digitalised way of hiring has made clear is that candidate engagement throughout the process is more important than ever.

Candidate engagement goes hand in hand with the interview process. Whether your processes are being sped up, stalled, or are on hold until further notice, keeping your candidates in the loop with any delays or changes throughout their experience with your business is key to your immediate and longer-term hiring strategy.

So, how are businesses managing to keep hiring processes moving forward and keep candidates engaged where processes have stalled? Here is what our consultants have been seeing in recent weeks:

Openness and transparency around processes and timeframes along with constructive feedback will always put organisations on the front foot in terms of hiring.

 Adrian Dawson, London, Business Manager – HR interim

Building trust and creating clear lines of communication with candidates when hiring is always important, but when operating remotely plays a key role. Firms that have done this well - FinTechs, challengers/disruptors, SME banks - have conducted video call interviews from start-to-finish and elongated the process by one or two more stages to ensure all questions have been asked, removing any risks linked to lack of physical meetings.

If a candidate’s experience with your business has been poor, this may also impact your future hiring campaigns.

Hendrik Kroon, London, Senior Consultant – Finance

Candidates have been very understanding that timeframes will likely be prolonged. However, if you fail to provide any information surrounding the process and delays, this will cascade throughout the marketplace very quickly and will reflective negatively on your company brand.

The opportunities of remote hiring processes

Those who have embraced virtual hiring will be in a strong position to get ahead of the competition, both now and after sensible Government restrictions are lifted as the stage will be set.

David Stansfield, London, Business Director - Strategy & Projects

In line with the need to social distance and therefore run remote interviewing processes, companies are utilising a range of online resources to keep their interviews moving forward. From conversations we have been having with our customers, platforms including Hintro/Hinterview, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Facetime, and even Houseparty have been used. Phone calls at later stages continue to take place too. 

Despite the circumstances, it is a great time to be looking for candidates due to the flexibility individuals now have in their daily lives.

Emily Nunes, London, Business Director - HR permanent & Offshore markets

As most professionals are working from home currently, there are far fewer time constraints that people face on a day-to-day basis. Without a daily commute and being away from the office environment, candidates are more accessible for an introductory call or video conference with a hiring manager.

With more flexibility and interview availability, building rapport during candidate conversations when sourcing talent is much easier.

Justine Paech, London, Associate Director – Operational Risk, Audit & Compliance

Scheduling meetings and progressing interview processes is also more straightforward than ever, as there are more suitable times available for key stakeholders. So, while there is often a need to extend the number of interview stages, there is much more time to get to know candidates to ensure the right person is secured for the role.

Our advice based on recurring themes across the market  

Be bullish, pragmatic, and transparent from the outset of a process with your candidates.

Jonny Gilmore, London & Ireland, Business Director – Finance

As the social distancing measures that are currently in place could be a reality for an extended period, it is important to ensure that both employers and candidates are comfortable with making and accepting an offer off the back of a virtual process.

Where businesses are choosing to wait a few months before making an offer to someone at the final stage, their preferred candidates are being lost to competitors. In this period, hiring talent is no different and possibly more important, which means acting quickly to secure top talent and keeping your preferred candidate bought into your process where there are delays is crucial.  

Professionals are being much more cautious at present, so being able to give them some confidence and reassurance in a hiring process is crucial.

Steve Hallam, UK & Ireland, Managing Director

By adding more stages to the process, you will be able to mitigation a level of risk associated with remote hiring. Do not just carry out phone calls, utilise video calls and explain the process to candidates upfront.

Understandably, we have noticed a rise in caution among candidates. Our customers have been able to work through this problem by focussing on the long-term benefits of joining their businesses and giving the candidate confidence that the business is going to not only going to survive, but thrive.

An empathetic approach to candidate reservations is crucial. Additionally, take the time to explain your own reservations so that they might openly discuss how, together, you may overcome them.

If you would like to discuss how we can support you, your team, or your business during this time, please get in touch for a confidential, non-obligatory discussion.

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