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Do interviews need to happen face to face?

 

The current health crisis has forced us to rethink how to conduct interviews with prospective employees but should this be in isolation to what is going on? Or a bigger step change? 

Interview processes for mid to senior level appointments tend to be spread across 2-4+ steps, 80-90% of which are face to face. Historically face to face interactions have been prioritised because that is currently how we spend the majority of our working life; in offices.

But as the world embraces flexibility and the benefits that come with it: increased productivity, greater diversity of workforce, access to international talent, greater happiness etc – will companies still remain 90-100% office based? Overwhelmingly the macro trends suggest not. 

When we started Juggle we opted for video rather than face to face interactions when screening candidates to come onto the platform or matching them for opportunities. Why? Because videos allow for so much more flexibility. People are able to conduct them in lunch breaks without the travel time and we all save time by going straight into the professional interaction. 

The same can be true for interviews now. At some point companies and candidates will want to meet each other but does that need to be the vast majority of the interview interaction? Quite possibly, not. 

Here are our suggested steps:

  1. Work through The Hiring Canvas on our blog and it will become clear which skills / experience need to be assessed face to face and by whom: 
  2. Decide which video conferencing technology you’ll be using: Zoom / Skype / Hangouts
  3. Communicate exactly what the interview process is and ask them to let you know if they or dependents / others around them develop symptoms so you can adjust the process. You will of course do the same.

Things to avoid:

The relationship (general and legal) with your employees is different to that of your prospective employees. In order to be a good employer in this current crisis, it’s important for you to know whether staff fall into the below categories. We’ve written about preparing for remote working here.

With prospective employees however, you can’t be the one who raises this with them and even if the candidate raises it, this can’t affect your decision making as most of these categories have a legally protected status: 

  • Care for elderly parents
  • Look after young children 
  • Have suppressed immune systems themselves
  • At risk of receiving unpleasant treatment from others based on race
  • Travel a long way to reach their place of work
  • Juggle other jobs 

Most of you will have a flexible working policy that works for you. If not, feel free to use our template and adjust it until it works for you. 

Our whitepaper Creating high-performance cultures using flexible working might also be helpful. 

Stay safe and well.

The Juggle Team

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