Remote Recruiting During a Pandemic

Hiring the right staff is one of the most influential decisions a small business owner can make. To customers, they are the face of your business. That’s why it’s important to get a good look before hiring. But what if that first look has to be virtual? Don’t panic, remote recruiting can help you narrow your search so you meet with only the most promising candidates. Here are some tips to get the most from remote recruiting.

Use A Targeted Approach

Let people know you have an opening by posting it online. Start with a targeted approach by promoting it on your website, email newsletter and social media channels. Each has existing followers who are already familiar with your business. Even if they aren’t interested, followers may know of someone who is. Those referrals typically yield the best candidates.

In addition, many cities have their own local websites. For example, the Chamber of Commerce, civic organizations, churches and government offices will let you post openings on their website. It’s an opportunity to stay local in your search.

A broader option uses aggregate websites which post jobs from many businesses. That includes sites like Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Many offer free job postings. You may compete with other businesses for a similar position but these websites have large numbers of potential applicants. You also have the ability to search for potential candidates.

Regardless of where you post it, an important targeting tool is how you write your job posting. It’s more than a job description. It’s part sales too. You want to give them a reason to apply. During a pandemic, that might include the flexibility to work remotely. For help in writing a compelling job post, take a look at this resource from Betterteam. It includes some templates.

Screen Potential Applicants Remotely

Recruiting is as much a process of deselection as selection. You want to screen out applicants who don’t have the needed skills. That lets you focus on the most promising ones. There are several ways to do that virtually.

Many job websites have a feature called screener questions. This is a series of questions applicants must answer as part of the application process. Typically, they confirm whether the individual has the necessary requirements, like training or experience. You can then filter the applications based on their response.

Another remote option is to screen by phone. That may require more time but you have the chance to ask follow-up questions to get more information. You can avoid the time-consuming telephone tag by prearranging the date and time in advance. Here’s a helpful list of questions you can ask during the prescreening call.

Video Interview

Now that you’ve narrowed your search, video interviews let you have an in-depth conversation. And because you’re using video, you can take advantage of non-verbal communication. There are a number of free platforms. Here’s a review of six top video conferencing platforms to help you select one for your business.

Internet speed. An important part of video interviews is having a high-speed internet connection. The optimal speed will depend on how many people are on the video, whether you are sharing your screen and which audio format you choose. Zoom, for example, suggests bandwidths of 1-3 Mbps. You can check your current speed here.

Email invitation. One of the keys to a successful video interview is your email invitation. It should confirm details like time/place, a link to join the video (along with any requirements), and expected length. Some business owners set the stage by identifying topics to be discussed. Here’s a template to help you get started.

Virtual recruiting lets you promote job openings, screen applicants and interview promising candidates without having to meet face-to-face. Whether the current health environment requires it or you want to take advantage of its unique features, remote recruiting offers another way to find the most promising candidates.