Recently, we have been writing many blog articles about COVID-19 and the job search. The main reason for this is that we believe the way we recruit, interview, and hire will drastically change forever. As you all know, when COVID-19 initially hit the United States, our lives all changed.
For the vast majority of the US population, their lives went from working 40 hours a week to 0 within a week. Even though we have seen slow progress, we will likely see all these changes for a long time. Many companies were affected immensely at first, but this gave them time to evolve and improve their business.
Some of the changes we have seen are better cleaning habits, more focused on employee and customer safety, and a complete switch from in-person contact to virtual.
When looking at the numbers, the majority (86%) of organizations are conducting virtual interviews to hire candidates during COVID-19. This percentage is an incredible increase from what we saw just months ago of around 5%. It looks like we will see this number stay closer, in the next couple of years, to 86% than 5%.
The main reason why companies did not do virtual interviews before COVID-19 was that it wasn't an industry standard. The standard for companies is always to have in-person interviews to get to meet the candidate. However, now that close to 90% of companies switched to Zoom interviews, at least half of them will continue after COVID-19.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
As a local staffing agency in RI, we have seen several benefits to doing completely virtual interviews. The one reason right now is safety in the workplace. Every company wants to make sure their employees and customers are safe. Why risk someone interviewing in the office when you can do the same thing online?
Another benefit of virtual interviews is time. When you interview in-person, you have to set aside part of your day to travel, find parking, check-in at the reception area, and then interview. All of these steps aren't needed when you interview virtually. Not having to take this time out of the day makes the interviewee more likely to show up for their interview.
On the other hand, if you are the interviewer, you are more likely to have more time to do other things than set up your office for an in-person interview. What do I mean? For in-person interviews, you usually have to let your receptionist know someone will be coming in for an interview, make sure you email them to bring their resume (or print it out), and prep your desk with all the tools you will need for the interview. If they are running late, you will more than likely be there just waiting for them rather than doing other work. However, if you interview virtually, all of these timely tasks are eliminated.
When interviewing virtually, you do not need to print out the candidate's resume, do not need to check-in with the receptionist, and do other work on your computer while waiting for them to join your Zoom meeting.
Now that we know some of the benefits of virtual interviewing, don't you think it is a no brainer to continue doing it?
Before COVID-19, I am sure 80% of people have never done a Zoom Call before. However, nowadays, I am sure that the number is not closer to 20%. The reason is many companies are having conference calls and interviews virtually. Not only that, but I am sure you had had a virtual call with your friends when we were all in quarantine. Because more people have practice using these platforms, companies are more likely to continue using these in the future.
Virtual Interviews also widen your talent pool. How often do you see yourself needing to cancel plans or call out of work to go to an interview? Let's say you work a 9-5 job in Providence, RI, and it is a 45-minute commute for you. You check online, and a position just opened up closer to home for you. You apply for the job and get contacted to go in for an interview! You are excited until you hear that they can only interview that day or the day after. Unfortunately, you are the only one working those days because the others are on vacation and you can't take time off. The company trying to interview you closes at 6, but you won't be able to make it therein-time. What do you do? In most cases, you can't do anything, and you miss out on the opportunity.
Would this be different for a virtual interview?
The answer is yes. More often than not, we have virtually interviewed candidates in their cars because they have the same issue as that situation. Whether they called us on their work break or were leaving for work, they wouldn't have been able to do otherwise if we were only holding in-person interviews.
The last reason we believe that virtual interviews are the new way to hire candidates is to see how a candidate handles situations. What is the one tough challenge a candidate can face in the conversation? Internet connection problems.
We have seen big mistakes on virtual interviews. We have seen candidates lay in bed, having dogs barking in the background, and much more. These things are the candidate's fault, but audio/ video or poor connection issues aren't. This is an excellent way for you to see how a candidate reacts to under pressure. If they start getting angry and frustrated when their internet keeps disconnecting, they may not be the right fit for a role that deals with some angry customers.
You will be able to see a different side of a candidate than you would in-person. Ensure that they are dressed professionally, have a professional background, and see how they handle audio and video issues. You will get see who they are beyond their resume, which will help you in the future when you are choosing candidates to hire.
Now that you know the benefits of virtual interviews, do you think they are the new norm?
- 98% of candidates that interviewed virtually said the employer was innovative.
- 10 years ago, virtual interviews were nonexistent.
Whether you're looking for work or looking to hire, the best staffing agency in RI has got you covered! City Personnel is committed to cultivating the perfect job match seamlessly and effectively, ensuring candidates and clients have an exceptional experience from start to finish. To learn more, call us today at 401-331-2311.