Best Practices for Hiring Remotely Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Best Practices for Hiring Remotely Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

While many organizations are facing a tough time preparing and motivating employees to get acquainted with the new remote working norms thrust upon them by the coronavirus pandemic, they are also grappling with another critical problem.

The HR and talent-hunting teams are trying hard to find a way of filling vacancies as social distancing and travel restrictions make it impossible for them to conduct interviews in a conventional way. They too have to make a transition from face-to-face interviews to virtual ones – and they know this is not going to be a walk in the park.

Employers need to come up with a hiring model that can replace the existing recruiting procedures and they need to do it fast, especially in sectors like the healthcare industry and in organizations where customer support plays a key role in keeping the business afloat. 

Talent acquisition teams are looking at the best possible ways of finding talent quickly and efficiently even as new problems keep popping up just when they think they have found a compelling solution to an existing one. Hiring is a pretty sensitive thing and choosing the right talent through remote interviews does involve some tough challenges.

HR professionals have to craft a solution keeping in mind vital aspects such as budget, quality, recruitment goals, and others. The past three months of the pandemic have revealed to some extent that even the best recruiters are largely unprepared to deal with the situation.

Here are some tips that can help the recruitment team of your organization conduct online interviews successfully and find the best possible candidates for the openings you intend to fill. Remember that most of the tactics and processes used in face-to-face interviews also apply to virtual interviews as well.

Identify the Best Process, Share with All Concerned Players

There are going to be major changes in the whole recruitment process. Some members of the team might have used video interview procedures in the past while for others this could be a completely alien area. Make sure you get everyone on the same page and spell out the various steps of the process clearly.  It is equally important to inform the candidates on how to prepare for the virtual interview – there is a good chance that this is their first such experience as well.

Set Up and Test the Technology

With the easy availability of a wide range of videoconferencing tools, making the right choice might seem a bit confusing. Go for the tried and tested tools or the more popular ones. There are free test runs also offered by most of them, so don’t forget to take advantage of it. Other things to check for are signal strengths, microphones, camera angles, and other technical features offered with these tools. It will not be good if you have to fiddle and fumble with things in the middle of the interview.

Share Crucial Details in Advance

Just like in a normal interview, it is important to put your candidates at ease in a virtual interview as well. Communicate the details of the interview process with them well in advance. This must include the technology, the names of the interviewers, the expected time span, and your expectations. It may be a good idea to help the candidate with a help file on how to use the tool and important details such as call in numbers. It is a good idea to share a telephone number so that the interview can be continued over the phone if a technical glitch occurs midway.

Choose the Best Space

Virtual interviews must mimic the real, face-to-face interview in every possible way, which is why choosing the right place to conduct the interview is important. The place should be free from any clutter or jarring designs and colors that can create a distraction. It must be well-lit and pleasant. And yes, choose a quiet place too.

Don’t Ditch That Professional Look

Face-to-face or virtual, every interview must be conducted seriously as it involves choosing the best candidate to work for your august enterprise. Never turn off that professional mode. Dress up just as you would for an in-person discussion so that the message goes out loud and clear to the candidates that this video interview is being taken seriously.

Tone of the voice and facial expression

Pay attention to tone of the voice by keeping voice calm and clear. Wait for few seconds at the end of sentences or after you ask a question to minimize talking over each other. Keep the facial expression like how you would do in person by looking directly at the camera and not at your own image.

Provide Space for Some Flexibility!

Life during the pandemic times can be tough. The candidates might have partners, spouses, roommates all working from home, or kids trying to beat boredom. There is a chance of some unanticipated intrusion despite the best possible precautions. Don’t hold it against the candidate if kids barge in or the pet dog barks in the background. Have a flexible approach and be compassionate.


A virtual interview can send a positive message about your company and establish you as an enterprise that strives to keep the show going despite the global health crisis. An online interview can be pulled off successfully if you follow the above-mentioned tips and use your own sense of empathy and common sense to make fine adjustments during the entire process.

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