Katarzyna Nowak
Recruitment Lead
Reviewed by a tech expert

Online recruitment - how to prepare well for it?

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I find myself thinking a lot these days. I think about the current job market situation and always come to the conclusion that this virus we all have to deal with right now has not only dominated our social and family lives but also—perhaps even more importantly—our work lives. With all the restrictions already in place, I’m curious how companies are dealing with recruitment these days. It’s a known fact that some companies are incurring losses while others are profiting. Some companies have an increased need for personnel while others are reducing their human resources. Employers that still prioritise development and keep boosting their personnel are facing a real challenge. To convince a candidate to join your company, especially in these unusual conditions on the job market, your recruitment process has to be extremely well-prepared and refined. Remember: candidate’s impression of your recruitment process has the biggest impact on their decision.

Recruitment - time for some changes…

When an employer starts the recruitment process for a vacant position, first thing they do is specify all conditions that candidates must meet. Hmm… But how can you fully verify the knowledge and skills of a candidate if your contact is very limited? What are your actual chances of finding an employee and accurately verifying their soft skills and technical skills during this pandemic? Thankfully, we also live in the age of highly-developed technology. We can use apps like Skype, Hangouts or Zoom to recruit online. When you think about it, there are companies out there who have been recruiting their employees online for ages. You can imagine this not being a big issue.

Like most companies, we also had to transition to working remotely in a matter of days without much preparation. The current situation has forced us to move all our processes online, including the recruitment process. It’s worth mentioning that this was a new thing for us. We value direct contact with people, so most of our meetings were held in the office. We treated the transition to working completely remotely as another challenge that we managed to overcome without major problems. This has reinforced my belief that our “where there's a will, there's a way” mentality is the result of our hard work, well-arranged processes, and established relations.

RST Software Masters Online Recruitment

Online recruitment — how should you prepare?

Online recruitment requires preparation — both from the job applicant and the recruiter. So what is this about, exactly?

1. Technicalities and interview location.

The candidate should ensure they have all essential tools, i.a. a laptop with a webcam. If the candidate is contacting their potential future employer via videoconference, they must remember to have appropriate background for their camera and take care of their appearance. Those things are hugely important. While we’re on this subject, I should highlight one more thing. During online recruitment, choosing the right place for the interview is almost just as important as when doing it in the office. If you’re videoconferencing from home, find a quiet place where you can be alone and away from any distractions (which are omnipresent these days). Both the candidate and the employer must prepare for the interview and take care of all the details to ensure both parties will be comfortable during the talk.

2. Pre-interview preparation/information for the candidate.

When you invite a candidate for an online interview, make sure you email them all necessary information. Remember about date and time of the interview, list of all participants, and dress code information. :) I think this is important, so I mention it at the first stage of the talks. :) Not every company has a lenient dress code and not every candidate knows that.

3. Get ready to do some tasks — and not just technical ones!

Remember that your potential employer may want to test your technical skills. For example, they might ask you to complete a small task during your online interview. We use Hangouts to send each candidate a short piece of code that we then discuss in real time with technical experts. And don’t forget soft skills that a recruiter verifies during behavioural interview, based on specific behaviours of the candidate in a given situation.

4. Treat the conversation seriously.

Lastly, don’t forget that a remote job interview is still an official interview. It will be assessed just like any office interview, so it requires both parties to prepare accordingly to ensure it is conducted in accordance with the highest standards and not stressful. :)

Okay, but how am I supposed to know if a company is recruiting or not?

Seems like a simple question, but it’s not that easy to answer in our current situation. We can assume that companies with open positions really want to share that information by e.g. posting vacancy notices. You can easily search for those notices on classifieds sites. Just sort by status -> remote recruitment / online recruitment. You can also go one step further and look for this information on the company’s profile, ask about it during a phone call, or even use a recruitment chat. You can usually find internal HR employees there. From my experience, such initiatives are really appreciated. We see a lot of engagement during the Q&A recruitment chat sessions we hold every Thursday.

To summarise my thoughts on this subject, I have come to the conclusion that, thanks to modern technology, recruitment during this pandemic does not differ significantly from recruitment in normal circumstances. You just have to be well-organised and take care of all the crucial details. Nevertheless, this is still an emergency situation that we didn’t see coming, didn’t want to happen and couldn’t do much about it. It’s a tough new reality that we had to get used to. Day by day, and it’s difficult to predict how it will develop. However, looking at how well employers and employees are dealing with the present circumstances. It’s encouraging to know that we can come together and fight for the greater good in these harsh times.

I wish all future employees and employers many successful recruitment processes!

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