How has COVID-19 impacted recruitment?

‘Interviews and the selection process are much more involved than they used to be’

How has COVID-19 impacted recruitment?

The COVID-19 crisis has changed how companies approach recruitment. While some businesses have put a halt to all hiring, other industries are opening their doors.

As a software development company that had a few team members already working remotely prior to 2020, we’ve been lucky to feel minimal impact on our recruitment and hiring processes during COVID-19, explained Julia Poloai, Head of Culture and Talent at video creation platform, Clipchamp.

“With Clipchamp’s candidates having previous technology and digital collaboration tool experience, and most of our recruitment processes already not relying on in-person connections, we were able to focus our attention on adapting the few stages of our hiring process that usually take place in-person and on-site,” Poloai told HRD.

“Moving to fully remote recruitment and hiring has allowed us to process more candidates in shorter periods of time, as we streamlined our selection processes.”

Poloai explained that this used to involve interview stages that assured candidates - to the best of our ability - their time wouldn’t be wasted if taking a morning off work to visit our physical office for interviews.

”It was important to us that we get a strong technical-skill reading from candidates prior to requesting they make that time commitment to us. Since COVID-19, that step is now eliminated as all interview stages can be mapped during the workday, or between other life needs, from the familiarity of candidates’ homes.”

Poloai added that viewing remotely has also allowed for higher instances of real-time feedback, as candidates and our team are more easily connected through multiple digital channels.

Read more: Should employers rely on COVID-19 home test kits?

“We’ve become another Zoom meeting or familiar phone call in their current list of scheduled remote conferencing,” she said.

"Interviews and the selection process are much more involved than they used to be. Since many positions will be working amongst distributed teams, the ability to collaborate and communicate effectively during the remote interview process has also become part of the assessment.”

Poloai explained that these conversations are no longer a means to an end, focused solely on getting to know an individual’s experience, but also a testing ground and realistic job preview of what remote collaboration might feel like.

“From communication of which channels we’ll be connecting through, to selecting the right collaboration tools for skill assessment interview stages; we’re inspecting the value and need for every interaction we’re recommending our teams and candidates walk through,” she said.

"The challenges for us aren’t the recruitment and hiring processes during COVID-19; our challenge will be ensuring we meet the new needs of employees, and adapting company culture to the remote environment due to candidates’ experiences. Through these past few months, we’re learning how candidate interests are changing.”

Read more: 3 critical skills to master while working from home

Candidates are asking more questions regarding ways of working within the company, and we’re having deeper engagements on both parties’ expectations for feeling connected and engaged from a distance.

“We’re seeing a stronger interest in benefits that create career stability and skill relevancy into the future,” said Poloai.

“We’re seeing more candidates attracted to us as an environment that can both respect their desire for work-life balance, and cultivate their ability to adapt and innovate through change. Alongside flexibility, our candidates want to know that they’ll be encouraged to learn and supported in doing so.

"Our remote approach to recruitment and hiring is here to stay. Even roles that revert back to an element of in-person business post-COVID will desire modern forms of flexibility in maintaining a need to effectively collaborate remotely within a team.”

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