Texas has lifted mask mandates and business restrictions. COVID infection rates are dropping, and an increasing number of people have received vaccinations. Travel and traffic are picking up.
As people return to in-person instead of virtual interactions, will Zoom meetings and online interviews become a thing of the past? We don’t think so for a number of reasons.
Employers Have Invested Heavily in Remote Interviewing
Remote interviewing technology existed before COVID but most companies weren’t using it because it was just more comfortable to stick to the status quo. Evaluating candidates through phone and video interviews wasn’t necessarily harder, but it was definitely different. Since before the pandemic the bulk of the work would be accomplished in person at the workplace, it made sense to conduct interviews there too.
Then, employers everywhere found themselves forced to shift. Conducting live interviews suddenly presented unnecessary health risks. When the CDC, the state and your local government recommends as few in-person interactions as possible, it doesn’t seem wise to have face to face interviews.
Organizations invested in technology and training to make remote work possible, and the same principles and tools were also useful for remote interviews. They had to overcome these major challenges:
- Troubleshooting technical difficulties – Interviewers and job candidates struggled with technical aspects like audio, Wi-Fi and video conferencing apps.
- Communicating company culture – Brands had to find ways to convey what they had to offer despite the fact hiring and onboarding were virtual.
- Weeding through large numbers of applicants – Because geographic barriers were removed, job openings became available to a much larger pool of candidates.
- Managing scheduling conflicts – Before 2020 we all felt like if we didn’t have to commute, we would have so much more time. But with remote work, lines blurred and business hours became less concrete.
The businesses that were ultimately successful in terms of staffing and recruiting were the ones who invested in tools and processes to overcome those challenges. Now they’ve made it through the growing pains, many won’t want to switch back.
Good Workers are Harder than Ever to Find – Geographic Flexibility Helps
Hiring managers from almost every industry we work with have expressed frustration with the difficulty of finding people who are qualified and willing to give 100 percent. What’s coming through the talent pipeline seems more like a sporadic trickle than a flood.
One of the main reasons we expect employers to keep using remote interviews is that they become able to evaluate interested candidates from anywhere in the world. Around two-thirds of the businesses that switched to remote work because of COVID-19 say they will keep work-from-home policies in place in some measure for the long term. That means new hires can come from anywhere.
Comfort Levels Have Changed
It’s already hard to remember what it felt like to interact with people before the pandemic. Now it feels more normal to talk through plexiglass or via computer. We stand far apart and think twice about shaking hands. Health officials caution even vaccinated individuals of the continuing danger.
Americans feel less comfortable walking into strange environments and interacting with others. Interviewers worry about taking germs home to their families. Hiring managers could catch something from a candidate and spread it around the office.
Even if COVID-19 disappeared tomorrow, that mindset has unfortunately become part of our culture. Remote interviewing is more cost-effective, it can save time, and it feels safer.
Simplify Your Interview Process
If the talent pool looks to you more like a mud hole and the thought of giving more interviews gives you a headache, we can help. We’ll perform background and reference checks, use state-of-the-art skills assessment and testing tools to verify skills and present you with qualified, pre-screened candidates. Contact us for more information.