Responding to COVID-19: Tips on Hiring Remotely

March 19, 2020 by Verified First

Responding to COVID-19_ Three Tips on Hiring Remotely

As the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to bring unforeseen change across the globe, hiring organizations are forced to reconsider their recruitment and hiring processes to better protect their employees, candidates, and communities. Instead of postponing job interviews and hitting ‘pause’ on your hiring process, consider hiring remotely. To help you prepare your hiring process for remote hiring, here are our three tips to get you going. 

Enhance your hiring process with texting

Texting candidates throughout the hiring process, such as in the screening stage, will not only protect your candidates, your employees, and your workplace during this current pandemic, but there are significant advantages to sending text messages, including:

  • A better open rate: Candidates are much better at responding to texts instead of emails. According to Campaign Monitor, people open 98% of their texts. Meanwhile, they only open 20% of their emails. 
  • Ease of use: Texting is a win-win for the candidate and the recruiter. Recruiters get faster responses, and it turns out, candidates prefer texting anyway! About 90% of job seekers said that getting texts during the hiring process would be more beneficial to them.
  • Speed: A candidate takes 90 minutes to respond to an email. Whereas, candidates will generally respond to texts in just 90 seconds. Hmm, 90 minutes versus 90 seconds? We know what we’d pick!

So, r u ready? Get texting implemented in your hiring process with Verified First. Our texting feature is now available for all Verified First clients with no extra charge! Learn more about this feature here.

Quick Tip: You can also learn more about implementing text messaging in your hiring process here!

Go remote with virtual interviews

All across the globe, organizations are making adjustments to prioritize the health and well-being of their employees and communities. Tech giants, including Google and Amazon, are putting the safety of their employees and candidates first by implementing virtual job interviews. Instead of postponing job interviews entirely, keep your hiring process going with virtual interviews. 

Consider some of SHRM’s best practices for conducting virtual interviews:

  • Be prepared: Even though they’re conducted through a screen, treat virtual interviews the same as in-person interviews. Review the candidate’s resume, and develop questions to ask. 
  • Location, location, location: Just like in-person interviews, conduct virtual interviews in a professional location. Make sure you select a quiet, well-lit room for proper video conferencing, as well. 
  • Plan ahead: Make sure all parties not only have the date and time, but be sure to also provide specific instructions on accessing the video conferencing technology prior to the interview. 
  • Set expectations: Don’t just send your candidates a link to a video interview platform—give them a heads-up! Like some of you, your candidates may not be used to virtual interviews, so be considerate and remind them that it’s no different (for the most part!) than an in-person interview.
  • Check your tech: Double and triple-check your tech! As much as we love technology these days, even high-tech solutions can have their moments. So, be sure to test the camera and microphone prior to the interview.

Quick Tip: Find an ATS that offers video conferencing features for you and your candidates, or take advantage of video conferencing solutions like WeChat Work, Zoom, and Slack. Microsoft is currently offering a 6-month trial of its premium version of its ‘Team’ for organizations going remote. 

Look Past COVID-19 & Communicate Openly

Although the long-term impact of COVID-19 continues to be uncertain, it’s important that we look forward—especially when hiring. Be sure to still let your candidates know how your organization works, what your culture is like, and where they would fit into the equation. It’s especially important to show them how they will be valued in the present and in the future of your organization. 

Be sure to also give them an honest update on how your organization is approaching and handling COVID-19. Are employees working remotely? Are you providing solutions to keep employees virtually connected? What are the time-off and sick-leave options available to them? These are the questions your candidates will want (and need) answers to, so just be honest and real with them. 

Looking Forward

Through all the change, look forward. While COVID-19 is altering traditional hiring practices, it’s effect is only temporary. It’s important to recognize that remote hiring may be a long-term solution for hiring organizations—even once the coronavirus disappears. So, take this as a great learning opportunity, and be sure to always look forward. 

While things may be uncertain around the world today, Verified First will continue to be here to help you continue to do the awesome stuff you do for your organization.

About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

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