As global organisations moved en masse to a remote working environment in 2020 how has the shift affected the hiring of senior staff?
Prior to 2020 some organisations had already migrated a portion of their senior level recruitment interviews to online video platforms and the environment created by the global pandemic has accelerated that move.
For most organisations the hiring process remains unchanged: interviews with HR, heads of department, and C-suite executives, a white board presentation, followed by psychometric tests. As an executive search partner with over 20 years’ experience I’ve been conducting video interviews successfully for several years. For me, it’s less about the medium and more about the ability to recognise top talent. Experienced interviewers will pivot easily to the virtual format, using their experience and expertise to build the necessary rapport, analyse and assess the candidate fit in terms of competencies and culture.
Video platforms a sustainable alternative to in-person interviews
It is important to remember that the move to an all-virtual interview process was borne out of necessity. Despite the fact that businesses were left with little choice but to adopt video, it is proving to be a viable alternative to face-to-face meetings and certainly my clients don’t feel like they’re struggling to build a personal connection with the interviewee. The tools we’re using today, like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx, are far removed from the early days of video conferencing, which suffered from buffering, freezing and unreliable platforms. Today’s platforms are bolstered by high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity that deliver a high-definition, glitch-free experience.
So what’s the rub?
Well, it can be intense to participate in video call after video call, and white boarding sessions can lack a little of that in-person energy and immediate feedback from the room. However, the technology has served to speed up the interview process. Travelling times and scheduling issues are a distant memory, as even interviews with several participants all in different locations can take place easily. Now that organisations have become familiar with the tools and the format, it’s about optimising the video channel and adapting to the “new normal”.
Access to international senior talent
The current global situation and the move towards remote hiring have no doubt created new opportunities for companies when it comes to senior talent acquisition. It has increased the available talent pool for companies who can hire overseas, further opening up the world of senior hiring. As we look into the future it will be interesting to observe which companies will return to the traditional ways of hiring senior talent and which will adopt a hybrid hiring model – a mix of online and face-to-face. Will one or the other provide that competitive edge in the ever-present battleground for top talent?