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Remote Hiring in 2020: What You Need to Know

Many businesses had never conducted remote interviews prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Now, faced with mandatory social distancing measures, these businesses find themselves needing to very quickly adapt their hiring process into a remote hiring process. It can seem like a daunting task you weren’t expecting.

In the following video, CareerPlug’s Director of HR, Natalie Morgan, shares her insight into we conduct our own remote hiring process and remote interviews. The full transcript of the video can be found below.

This is Natalie Morgan. I’m the Director of HR at CareerPlug. I want to talk a little bit about remote hiring. So Career Plug is now 100% remote with the current health crisis, but we do have remote employees across the country, even though most of our team is based here in Austin. 

Those remote employees, we hired completely remotely—and ran that hiring process remotely. So for businesses that are still hiring right now, looking for talent, wanting to get new people in the door, I wanted to share a little bit about how we’ve run a remote hiring process and hopefully give you some helpful tips as you do your own.

It is completely possible to run a hiring process remotely.

1. Do video conference calls.

The main thing is having your technology set up to do video conference calls. They’re your friend here—just as we’re finding for normal remote work with our internal teams. 

Whether it’s Zoom or Google Hangouts (it’s a big one that we use here), finding some kind of video call that you can log on, so you still get that face-to-face interaction. Remote hiring doesn’t mean everything turns into a phone screen. Do the phone screen stuff as usual. Anything that would be in person, do over video. 

Make sure your technology is set up ahead of time. When you’re doing a video call, first, make sure your technology is set up right and that you know how to use the platform. Check that your sound is on and your camera is on. Try to minimize those technical difficulties before you get in the interview.

2. Come prepared.

Same as if you’re showing up to an in-person interview, you’ll want to come prepared. You want to be professional. You’re not showing up to an interview in your pajamas even though you’re comfortable working from home.

3. Minimize distractions.

Another thing to think about is minimizing distractions. Just as you wouldn’t want to be taking your phone out in an in-person interview in the office, you don’t want to have Slack messages popping up or the internet browser up while you’re on the video interview. Make sure you’re focused on the person on the screen just as if they were right in front of you.

Then it’s basically business as usual:

  • You’re asking the same questions
  • You’re giving them time to ask questions
  • You’re following up on next steps 

4. Sync with other interviewers after the interview ends.

Something to keep in mind right when the interview ends: if you’re like us, usually we sync right afterward with the other interviewers who are speaking with the candidate to get their feedback to help us evaluate if we should move them forward in the hiring process. Either stay on the video call so you can do that with interviewers after the candidate logs off or get on a separate call to sync and get everyone’s feedback. 

If that’s happening organically in your office right now, you might have to be a little more intentional about it so you are getting all the data you need about the candidate from other people in the virtual “room” so you can make a good hiring decision. 

5. Deliver your offer on video.

The last thing I want to talk about with remote hiring is the final stage of giving a candidate an offer. If you’re like us at CareerPlug and like to give offers in person, we usually invite people into the office to talk through the offer package. This is really to get their questions answered in person. 

How we do that remotely is by giving them a video link instead, saying “Hey let’s hop on a video call!” Then at the start of that meeting, send over an email that has all the offer information, (e.g. benefits package, everything we normally include in an in-person interview).

Then review it face-to-face on the call so we’re mimicking that in-person interaction.

That’s all that we do to hire remotely! It’s been really successful for us, so if you are still hiring right now, hopefully, you can use some of these practices. Learn from others and keep iterating so we can become a stronger remote hiring workforce.

Happy hiring!

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