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Hiring in the Time of Covid

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In a recent blog we addressed the challenges of applying and interviewing for jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. But individuals aren’t the only ones adapting to a new reality: Organizations are beginning to rethink their traditional hiring practices to accommodate a workplace that’s increasingly virtual. So what does this mean?

Across the board, companies are taking cold, hard looks at their current procedures and asking themselves questions such as:

 1. Is our hiring process taking too long? Organizations must determine whether there are too many rounds of interviews, whether they wait too long before contacting the candidate after each step, and more. Since all or nearly all of the process is done virtually, more communication and a faster turnaround time are required to lock great candidates in. Candidates can possibly expect fewer—but more concentrated and focused—rounds going forward.

2. Do we communicate quickly with candidates? On that note, frequent communication is especially important when physical presence isn’t a possibility, as it continues the connection.

3. Is there bias in our selection process? “Blind hiring” has never been easier or more important. Organizations can easily screen candidates based on qualifications and merit by using specialized software or engaging in “blind auditions” (with no video) before progressing to video calls and even in-person final interviews. This data-driven approach is going to become more and more mainstream. Candidates should therefore review their resumes and see how they can tailor them to the specific job openings they’re applying for, to show hiring managers, recruiters and even bots how their qualifications meet and exceed the requirements of the position.

4. How does this job fit into the overall mission of the organization? Gone are the days of “phantom jobs” that operate in a silo or don’t carry much weight. Hiring will need to be targeted and precise for specific positions that aid in the short- and long-term goals of the organization. Candidates should understand how the role fits into the business at large and what value they would bring.

5. Are we testing for culture fit? Just because an employee would be virtual doesn’t mean they wouldn’t need to fit into the company culture. In fact, this becomes even more crucial when there’s no in-person workplace to reinforce the culture and provide a great employee experience. Companies should be evaluating during these initial screens and interviews whether candidates would be a good match personality- and value-wise within the organization. Candidates should therefore think in advance about what’s important to them when it comes to their ideal job environment and assess the company’s culture, too, to ensure a good fit from the start.

6. Are we looking nationwide? The widespread adoption of remote-work arrangements means the entire country is now your applicant pool. Look beyond your location and consider talent in every corner. Note that you may need to adapt your recruiting and marketing strategies for new geographical markets.

I’m sure there are many more issues organizations will need to address when adapting their recruiting and hiring strategies for a new virtual workplace. What challenges or opportunities have your businesses run into?

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