Organizing recruitment remotely during the pandemic

While physical distancing principles remain in place, what is the best way to plan new hires without necessarily meeting candidates in person? A recruitment specialist suggests a few avenues to recruit successfully, even remotely.

In these times when handshakes are prohibited, it is still possible to continue most hiring processes, Marie-Josée Carmel, CHRP and partner of Équipe Humania, believes. “Curiously, it’s somewhat easier than usual for recruiters because many candidates are at home and therefore available for interviews.”

The specialist also confirms that the transition to virtual is in no way an obstacle to recruitment. “These are the same steps and ways of doing things in person and the interview takes place in much the same way as if we were in the presence of the candidate.” Video conferencing also permits a certain analysis of candidates’ non-verbal language, a definite advantage over telephone interviews.

With one difference: as is the case with virtual meetings, hiring interviews should not be too long, at the risk of losing the participants’ concentration. Marie-Josée Carmel recommends limiting yourself 30 minutes, or even a maximum of 45 minutes for more technical positions.

“The beauty with virtuality is that you can meet more candidates for the same job since there is a shorter transition time from one interview to the next,” she adds.

Guide to best practices

As part of a selection process carried out remotely, recruiters “must be particularly well organized,” advises Marie-Josée Carmel. And it begins with a certain mastery of the technology tools used, she says, especially since they could be called upon to guide candidates who are less comfortable with the technology.

“You must be very precise in the virtual invitation,” she adds, “and always keep in mind that it has to remain easy for the candidate.” Recruiters therefore have every benefit to opt for simple communication tools, which do not require downloading, for example.

Dress is also important. The same goes for recruiters. This is not generally the opportunity to stay “soft”. “The recruiter projects the image of the company he represents,” explains the human resources advisor, which is also the case for the background. “You have to have some decorum”, she believes.

In all cases, remote recruiting requires a good dose of inventiveness to “sell” the workplace. “Even if you can’t offer a tour of the offices, you can certainly offer a virtual tour or present a corporate video,” she suggests.

And integration?

According to Marie-Josée Carmel, current conditions are not ideal for integrating a new employee.

“I consider the current period to be particularly favourable for advancing recruitment files to selection,” she says. “That said, if everyone is working remotely, however, I recommend that employers wait for some feedback before integrating.”

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