Keep Your Framework. Re-architect Your Processes.
Your overall hiring framework likely hasn’t changed; your focus on skill set and cultural fit remains the same. But while the general outline of the interview process may look similar to your pre-pandemic approach, the remote environment requires more creativity to effectively connect with and evaluate new talent.
Amanda Richardson, CEO of Summit-backed CoderPad, a leading platform for candidates to demonstrate their technical skills, notes the effectiveness of using technology to help rethink and improve how you identify, evaluate and hire candidates. “The COVID pandemic has accelerated a shift away from the traditional interview. We’re seeing more and more organizations leverage technology earlier in their hiring processes; some are even posting open assignments to their careers pages to attract a broader set of candidates and create a more welcoming experience.”
Tools like CoderPad can also help reduce the bias inherent in many in-person processes. “Using online assessment tools can open the door to a much wider and more diverse pool of candidates and help you to improve your outcomes in the process,” adds Richardson. “A realistic work sample helps candidates truly shine no matter their background – and helps organizations to see beyond the logos or schools on a resume.”
Remote relationship building presents another – perhaps the most significant – challenge of a remote process. After the initial phone screens and one-on-one video interviews, we’re seeing organizations dig deeper to get to know candidates, including holding group ‘lunches’ over Zoom or curating virtual roundtable discussions with team members across the organization. The key is to create more opportunities for interaction than in your typical in-person process, offering your best candidates a chance to “interview the company.” We believe facilitating more conversations creates trust with candidates – which is more important than ever in a remote environment.
Summit-backed Klaviyo, a SaaS data and marketing platform, has added more than 60 new team members since mid-March, including additions to its executive leadership team. CEO Andrew Bialecki emphasizes the importance of thinking outside the box for new ways to get to know each other. “We’ve met candidates outside for walking interviews and created outdoor experiences with key internal stakeholders – a conversation at a park or at a picnic table. In some ways, these experiences feel more intimate and are more revealing than your standard interview across a table in a conference room,” notes Bialecki.
Reference checking is often thought of as a final or near-final step in the candidate evaluation process. But we believe it is more important than ever to take the time to conduct detailed references – and to do this early and often in your process. Including a broad and diverse set of references can help to reduce unconscious bias in your hiring process by offering invaluable insight into your prospective team member and helping you understand areas for development and ways to unlock potential.