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As COVID-19 continues to stun the world, many organizations have had no choice but to leave behind the comfort of their offices and adapt to the reality of working from home. Even though many of us are mandated to stay home, most organizations cannot afford to indefinitely pause their business. 

As the show must go on, so must the acquisition of new help. How can you grow your team from the confines of your home? After speaking with industry professionals, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks you can adopt when hiring for remote offices. 

Communicate effectively.

Some candidates may not have experience interviewing remotely. As telecommunication and remote job sites grow, many candidates are stepping out of their comfort zones. Understand that this is a new venture for all. 

  • Communicate the agreed times and details prior to the interview and discuss who will be calling whom. Be aware that time zones begin to play a major factor when scheduling these interviews and adjust accordingly.
  •  Ease into the interview. Starting with some small talk after an introduction allows candidates a chance to relax before diving into questions.
  • Be forthcoming about topics and events taking place within the interview. Preparation can largely affect the demeanor of a candidate, and how truthful their answers will be. 
  •  Acknowledge that you may be just as inexperienced with remote interviewing as your candidates are being remotely interviewed. Transparency will be respected and appreciated.

As the ability to remotely hire becomes readily available, there is a higher chance of encountering potential candidates from around the world. Author and executive coach John Spence understands this all too well. 

“There’s a lot of opportunity,” he said. “There’s also a lot of interest now because that means the world becomes your talent pool.” 

Keep technology up to date.

With many organizations turning to remote hiring, having the necessary equipment to conduct an interview is essential. Many new platforms have inserted themselves to the forefront of everyday business. For instance, remote conferencing service, Zoom, has been instrumental in shifting many organizations to remote work.  Some things to keep in mind during telecommunications:

  • A strong internet or cellular connection is vital when conducting an interview online. Lags in service or streaming seem unprofessional to prospective candidates. 
  • Double- and even triple-check that your organization professionals have the necessary broadband width to sustain multiple streams of video.
  •  Make certain that you announce any changes to the technology being used and, if so, provide the necessary links or codes needed for access.

Organize your interviewing team.

In a traditional in-person setting, there may be multiple employees conducting the interview. As it may be more difficult to conduct team interviews remotely, Spence recommends some basic training in order “to help people figure out how to do that remotely without stepping on each other’s toes.” 

  • Having a smaller team will reduce interruptions and simplify communication. Keep teams to four people, max.
  •  Assign roles to interviewers. Having one or two people ask questions allows another interviewer to focus on assessing and documenting a candidate's body language and responses. 

Listen effectively.

Not only are you interviewing the candidate, they are interviewing you as well. Show that your organization is one that welcomes and respects the thoughts and actions of its employees. 

  • Minimize distracting noises. Conducting the interview from an office or area that will reduce outside interference shows you take the interview seriously.
  • When awaiting a candidate’s response to a question, extend the amount of time you expect an answer to accommodate for potential technological lags. 
  • Exaggerate movements to relay understanding over camera. Nodding your head frequently or looking directly into the lens to replicate eye contact reinforces that you are paying attention.

As organizations continue to adjust to the side effects COVID-19 has on the world of associations, there will be many learning curves. Associations can lean on each other to overcome these obstacles and remain strong. While business as usual has changed, perhaps forever, associations that can learn, grow and succeed can come out of it stronger than ever.

Ashley Neal
Post by Ashley Neal
April 14, 2020
Ashley is a marketing and communications professional with expertise in sales conversion, copywriting, and social media.