View over shoulder of employer conducting a remote interview using video conferencing technology.
Image: © fizkes/

Recruitment advice for companies learning to hire remotely

1 Apr 2020

Modern Hire president Brian Stern discusses the things to keep in mind as recruiters change their hiring strategies.

Brian Stern is president of Modern Hire, which has developed an online recruitment platform. Stern, who was founder and CEO of Shaker International, has experience in large-scale talent analytics, client relations and organisational consulting.

Here, he explains how recruitment teams should refocus their efforts now that more businesses have shifted to remote working.

‘As we navigate this uncertain time, HR teams will need to place an even larger focus on elevating their employer brand’

Why will recruiters need to rethink their strategies now?

Because the current workforce is working from home indefinitely due to Covid-19, HR teams are shifting their strategies to ensure they’re able to complete tasks that would typically take place in person, like interviews, remotely.

While the outbreak is impacting the way companies are working, in many cases it’s not impacting business needs. As a result, HR teams are still tasked with filling open positions to continue providing strong business outcomes and value.

As we navigate this uncertain time, HR teams will need to place an even larger focus on elevating their employer brand to give candidates an accurate representation of their open job positions, culture and a feel for their company remotely.

Brian Stern is smiling into the camera with his arms folded.

Brian Stern. Image: Modern Hire

What’s your advice for recruiters having to rethink their strategies?

For recruiters and HR teams now relying on virtual interviewing technology to fulfil hiring needs in a remote work environment, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, in order to complete successful virtual interviews and hire qualified candidates, recruiters should adopt tools that are purpose-built for interviewing.

While [Google] Hangouts, Zoom or GoToMeeting are convenient, they’re not designed to fit interviewing needs, which can impact the quality of the interview and, ultimately, the quality of candidates being hired.

The best technology will differ between specific HR teams and companies due to varying needs. However, if it’s purpose-built, it will meet the goals of both the task at hand and the specific company and industry in which the HR team operates.

Secondly, to avoid troubleshooting any potential technology difficulties, recruiters and hiring managers should familiarise themselves with the technology in advance so that they can provide the candidate with a seamless experience.

Are there any major pitfalls to try to avoid?

As HR teams work quickly to adopt technology tools, they should conduct diligent research to make sure they’re partnering with vendors who are providing them with the technology tools and resources that are specific to their needs and pain points.

With the rise in AI technology in hiring, it’s important for HR leaders to partner with companies that are transparent and capable of explaining how their AI algorithms are being used within their products.

If HR teams find that they’re unable to explain why or how AI is being used in their tools, they should avoid these products.

How quickly will companies be able to transform their processes and get recruitment running (relatively) smoothly again?

Because there’s a plethora of video-conferencing tools available, utilising video interviewing may not seem like a large shift that would throw hiring teams.

That said, for HR teams who are actively searching to adopt purpose-built technology designed specifically for interviewing, it may take some time to find the right partners and implement the tools.

While it’s a different process for HR teams depending on their specific needs and industries, the best solutions are purpose-built to adopt and scale, easily and quickly – especially in response to the increased hiring demands that many enterprises are currently experiencing.

What else do recruiters need to consider right now?

We believe that retention is a crucial consideration within the hiring process. In that, when looking for qualified candidates, it’s important to ensure a mutual fit on both the recruiters’ and candidates’ ends.

At Modern Hire, our virtual interviewing technology provides candidates with the opportunity to ‘try out’ the job they’re applying for through a virtual job simulation.

This provides candidates with a realistic view of exactly what the position and responsibilities would require of them and allows both recruiters and candidates to evaluate mutual fit for the role.

As companies look to maintain their recruiting efforts, especially as HR teams are forced to work remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important now, more than ever, to make sure that recruiters are giving job offers to candidates who are genuinely interested, willing to work hard and in it for the long haul.

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