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How to hire good candidates remotely

Remote hiring has been on the rise for several years now, but the events of 2020 brought into sharper focus the need for an online solution to handle at least early-stage recruitment. When planned and executed effectively, a remote hiring strategy allows organisations to access a wider talent pool, reduce administrative demand on their hiring staff, and facilitate a collaborative approach to the process.

Selecting the right tool for the job

There is a range of approaches to hiring remotely, and different tactics can be used in combination. The most traditional is telephone screening or interviewing, but with the growing popularity of services like Zoom and Teams, this has largely been supplanted by video interviews.

While this allows for much greater flexibility in the recruitment process, allowing candidates from any location to connect with employers, it does still suffer from the same scheduling or timezone conflicts common to in-person interviews.

Increasingly, forward-thinking recruiters are turning to pre-recorded video interview tools like QFinds which allow them to set predefined questions for applicants, who then receive a link to the platform where they can record and upload their response at a time of their choosing, to be reviewed later by the hiring team.

Key benefits for employers

The QFinds pre-recorded video interview platform offers a range of benefits for both recruiters and candidates.

From a hiring standpoint, the main benefit is the ease with which you can collect, review, share and score candidate responses, with each applicant’s video response available via a central and secure platform for recruiters to view at their convenience, send to colleagues for a second opinion and add ratings and comments.

The video format gives a much better perspective into the personality of each individual candidate, allowing you to better judge their suitability for the position in terms of how well they would integrate with the existing team and fit the company culture.

The use of pre-recorded, standartisized video interview solutions, when used correctly, can also reduce hiring bias. Here is why.

“By increasing the likelihood of more geographically remote interview candidates, (recruiters) improve their chances of increasing geographic and cultural diversity” - www.academicradiology.org

The process itself is also a good test of how well they understand the process and display initiative - weaker candidates may not even bother to record and submit an interview, which saves you time in the long run.

A better experience for applicants

From a candidate’s point of view, QFinds gives them the opportunity to make a greater impact than is possible through a traditional application form or resume and allows them the time and space to carefully consider each of the interview questions before formulating their response. There are time savings for candidates too, removing the need for travel and allowing them to schedule the most convenient window to respond.

It’s also a great insight into your company, showing that you have invested in a technological solution to make the process easier and more accessible, and thus giving potential new hires a positive impression from their first interaction with your business.

What makes a great candidate?

The obvious answer is - it depends on the role. Of course, the required knowledge, experience and skills are going to differ depending on the exact position you’re recruiting for. But there are a few general trends to look out for when reviewing applications that will help you identify which candidates are more likely to be successful.

“Be really clear about what you need from the person you are hiring for this role – in terms of both behavioral traits and skills. (This will help you filter out what is not important.) Identify the best way for your candidates to demonstrate if they have what you are looking for.” - recruiterbox.com

How well do they communicate?

Excellent communication skills are not only important in customer-facing roles. The quality of internal communications is a big factor in the success of any business, especially as more companies transition to a remote or hybrid working model. Candidates who are able to articulate and communicate their ideas well will be better able to gel with colleagues, managers and customers alike.

Will they be a good fit?

Culture is another key indicator. A candidate with excellent qualifications or experience who doesn’t fit in with your company culture will never be fully engaged, and you may find yourself readvertising the position sooner than you expected.

Look for those individuals who have researched your mission and values, and mention them in their responses. Applicants who are passionate about your business, your product or service and the way you work should be able to communicate this clearly in their responses.

What’s the long term value?

Future potential is one of the most important factors in how much value a new hire will bring to your business. Too many interviews are taken up with what the applicant has done in the past or what they are doing now.

Ensure you include some questions on their plans for the future, the direction they want their career to take, and their personal vision and expectations of the industry or niche. The closer their responses align with your strategy, the better a fit they will likely be.

Summary

Ultimately all the technology in the world can’t choose the right candidate for you - even if it can significantly streamline the process. Bear that in mind when making remote hires. Use tools like QFinds to identify, interview and shortlist your strongest candidates, and take advantage of the time saved to write more considered questions, develop a detailed job specification and perform final stage interviews in more depth.