Aut­hor: Mar­tha Scheidt, Assi­stant Con­sul­tant

13th of Mai 2020

The­re are vacan­ci­es in the Home Office? New talents are nee­ded, also — or espe­cial­ly — in times of cri­ses. But how do you recruit them when the con­ta­ct ban is ongo­ing? Ins­tead of the detail­ed on-site inter­views, digi­tal pro­ces­sing is now requi­red to remo­ve the working con­di­ti­ons. We at SOICON have also faced this chal­len­ge and dar­ed to switch to digi­tal recrui­t­ing.

We would like to share our impres­si­ons, tips and tricks with you and dis­cuss whe­ther this type of con­tract manage­ment is an opti­on for us also in the long term.

Before you start: Preliminary check

First thing to noti­ce — and this is cer­tain­ly not a sur­pri­se — pre­pa­ra­ti­on is the be-all and end-all! Anyo­ne who moves the hiring pro­cess from a clas­sic per­so­nal inter­view to digi­tal should be awa­re of the fact that this can­not be imple­men­ted one-to-one. Time plan­ning is an important fac­tor in pre­pa­ring for a digi­tal job inter­view. In gene­ral, more time should be plan­ned for pro­ces­sing any tasks and assess­ment cen­ters than for the same tasks in an ana­lo­gue con­ver­sa­ti­on. In addi­ti­on, the­se tasks must be pre­cise­ly defi­ned. The inter­view­er should ask hims­elf: “What does the spe­ci­fic task look like? What do I expect from the app­li­cant? And what would be the opti­mal ans­wers to my ques­ti­ons? ”. But it is far from enough to know for yourself how the tasks and ques­ti­ons are meant. It is important how the app­li­cant under­stands the tasks. In order to clear up misun­derstan­dings and uncer­tain­ties, the tasks. The­re­fo­re, the inst­ruc­tions should be for­mu­la­ted as pre­cise­ly as pos­si­ble. In gene­ral, it should be bor­ne in mind that it is often an unusu­al type of inter­view, also for the app­li­cant. The clea­rer the struc­tu­re of the inter­view, expec­ta­ti­ons, tasks, ect. are defi­ned and com­mu­ni­ca­ted, the smoot­her the inter­view will be, for both par­ties. Gene­ral dis­rup­ti­ve fac­tors, such as a poor inter­net con­nec­tion or com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on dif­fi­cul­ties, must also be con­si­de­red befo­re­hand, so that nobo­dy gets into time pres­su­re. It is advi­s­able to car­ry out a test run befo­re the first inter­view, for examp­le with one of your own employees. In this way, the app­li­cant per­spec­ti­ve can be simu­la­ted and bet­ter unders­tood. In addi­ti­on, an app­li­cant must be suf­fi­ci­ent­ly infor­med in advan­ce of the (tech­ni­cal) requi­re­ments for the inter­view to be car­ri­ed out. Even in this times it is not a mat­ter of cour­se that ever­yo­ne has a lap­top with a came­ra and micro­pho­ne at home. The­re­fo­re, this should be dis­cus­sed befo­re the inter­view starts. If you are well pre­pa­red and all tech­ni­cal mea­su­res are ful­fil­led, then not­hing stands in the way of a suc­cess­ful inter­view.

The conversation: An online etiquette is needed

Now, the online job inter­view can start and holds some advan­ta­ges — if a few rules of con­duct are fol­lo­wed! Things that are often not even noti­ce­ab­le in a per­so­nal job inter­view can be very annoy­ing online. Sud­den loud noi­ses, such as the rust­ling of paper or put­ting down the cof­fee cup right next to the lap­top can be very dis­trac­ting for some peop­le. The­se unex­pec­ted tones are uncom­for­ta­ble for ever­yo­ne. That is why the online eti­quet­te app­lies: The micro­pho­ne should be mut­ed by anyo­ne who is not spea­king. It should also be bor­ne in mind that what is said, some­ti­mes arri­ves a litt­le later. The other par­ty will be gra­te­ful if you wait a few seconds extra for respon­se. So nobo­dy inter­rupts the other. When sharing the screen, all rele­vant tabs should alrea­dy be open. Also, your own video chat should be mini­mi­zed, other­wi­se it can hap­pen that the app­li­cant sees hims­elf, which can be qui­te con­fu­sing. It is impe­ra­ti­ve to note: Clo­se docu­ments that an app­li­cant is not allo­wed to see. This app­lies to con­fi­den­ti­al docu­ments as well as to the beach pho­tos from your last vaca­ti­on.

The advantages

The pre­re­qui­si­tes for a suc­cess­ful online inter­view are ful­fil­led, so let us come to the advan­ta­ges men­tio­ned abo­ve. If you use an inter­view via web­cam ins­tead of a tele­pho­ne inter­view for examp­le, you will find that it can be bet­ter asses­sed whe­ther the app­li­cant fits the com­pa­ny or not. A person’s facial expres­si­ons pro­vi­de a lot of infor­ma­ti­on about their per­so­na­li­ty, and reac­tions to ques­ti­ons and tasks can be inter­pre­ted bet­ter than on the pho­ne. The sur­pri­se from a first per­so­nal mee­ting is taken away, but ins­tead both par­ties are well pre­pa­red, as they have alrea­dy been able to get an idea of ​​the other per­son. This sup­ports an effec­ti­ve pre-selec­tion and thus saves resour­ces in your own com­pa­ny.

The form of digi­tal recrui­t­ing offers employees and employ­ers fle­xi­bi­li­ty in terms of time and loca­ti­on. This not only saves the tra­vel cos­ts for the app­li­cant, but also enab­les the employ­er to car­ry out the recrui­t­ing pro­cess in any situa­ti­on (such as during a pan­de­mic) and to estab­lish per­so­nal con­ta­ct with poten­ti­al employees. Ano­t­her, not negli­gi­ble advan­ta­ge is the appearan­ce of the com­pa­ny. A digi­tal — or at least par­ti­al­ly digi­tal — app­li­ca­ti­on pro­cess signals that you are a modern employ­er. Digi­tiz­a­ti­on is making gre­at stri­des in the eco­no­my. The­re­fo­re, it might be bene­fi­cial to pre­sent to the out­side that your work­place is adap­ta­ble and based on modern con­cepts. Simp­le: Who does­n’t want to be modern?

The final question: How do we handle digital recruiting in the end?

Digi­tal recrui­t­ing holds oppor­tu­nities. Final­ly, the only ques­ti­on that ari­ses is: Should one only rely on this method in the future, or is online recrui­t­ing not sui­ta­ble as a per­ma­nent con­di­ti­on? Digi­tal recrui­t­ing pro­ces­ses can work as the only form of employee recruit­ment. The per­so­na­li­ty of the app­li­cant can be obser­ved and know-how and cor­po­ra­te fit can be che­cked. Howe­ver, it can hard­ly be denied that digi­tal recrui­t­ing also has limits. The cur­rent con­se­quen­ces of per­ma­nent home office employ­ment show that online is not the same as in per­son. The­re­fo­re, the tri­al peri­od is par­ti­cu­lar­ly important when doing digi­tal recruit­ment. Both, employ­ers and employees, should use this time to get to know each other and to weigh up the future poten­ti­al for col­la­bo­ra­ti­on

We at SOICON ask our­sel­ves every day what oppor­tu­nities we can explo­it in the con­text of digi­tiz­a­ti­on. The cur­rent situa­ti­on also for­ces us to chan­ge our usu­al pro­ces­ses. We found that this adjus­t­ment can be inte­gra­ted very well into our regu­la­ted work­flow. That is why digi­tal recrui­t­ing is a model that we will main­tain in the future.

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