How to make the most of technology and select the best candidate?

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The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed work and businesses; HR has also seen the need to adapt to the new normal and use technology to create simpler processes during these months of confinement.

Despite the inconveniences caused by the pandemic, 56% of companies in Mexico continued their recruitment process, but adapted it to the new needs, according to a study by the Internet Association.mx.

Video calls, interviews by appointments and reviewing the recruitment process remotely were some of the alternatives, some companies even combined video call interviews with the face-to-face ones for critical job posts, while taking all safety measures: using masks, gloves, and antibacterial gel and 1.5 metres distancing by.

Companies still need staffing; according to a study by Bumeran at least 30% of companies plan to recruit talent in the coming months, while 28% will reactivate hiring when the quarantine is lifted.

Companies have learned from confinement that technology is a great tool, and many are looking to incorporate it into their day-to-day processes. But we must not forget to train HR personnel and recruiters, since the recruitment process – face-to-face and remote – has its characteristics.

Bear in mind that the remote job interview does not work for just any position; managerial and executive positions require a face-to-face interview.

The same is true for positions that call for visible dexterity or require technical demonstrations, unless the company has a simulator, in which case distance does not interfere.

How the recruiter should prepare before the video interview:

  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection or phone signal, so that communication is not interrupted.
  • Be ready with behavioural questions, which leave no room for subjectivity.
  • Prepare questions on the functions that the candidate is going to undertake, to find out how he or she would act in a specific situation.
  • Be empathetic, more so than in a face-to-face interview, watch your tone of voice, and be clear.
  • Look after the candidate’s experience.

What can be evaluated

In face-to-face interviews it is possible to evaluate the body language, but in video calls this is limited, yet you can observe factors such as the candidate environment, this allows the recruiter to find out how much effort the candidate put into the location. Even though you must consider that the candidate will be at home and probably does not have a dedicated workspace, or that he or she will feel more comfortable and relaxed, and perhaps not wearing a tie or a suit. In such cases, you should recommend the applicant to dress suitably for the interview.

The tone of voice and speed of response can also be assessed. Experts recommend you are technically prepared with questions that reduce subjectivity, so as not to influence the speed of response.

More attention must be given to detail, make sure the person is comfortable. Above all, create a comfortable and familiar environment for conversation to flow, and use online assessment tools to measure behaviour and competencies.

The new questions

New questions have been added to the post-covid recruitment process in job interviews, which enables candidate assessment and to find out how they handled confinement, their ability to adapt, and their resilience. 

These kinds of questions enable insights into the candidate’s personality, values, and skills, while allowing the recruiter to find out whether the candidate is a proactive person, able adapt to change, is flexible, as well as to get to know their leadership style, how they manage priorities, among other skills.

The new questions

  • What did you do during the quarantine?
  • How did you cope at the beginning of the crisis?
  • What did you learn from the pandemic?
  • What have you been working on over this period?
  • Did you do a course or a specialism?
  • What did you do in your free time?
  • What aspects did you feel were the hardest to adapt to in the new reality?
  • What did you learn about yourself and your way of working during the pandemic?
  • What advantages and disadvantages do you see in working remotely?
  • Do you prefer to work from home or from the office?
  • What would you do differently?
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