The Value of Assessment in a Remote Environment


In the disrupted world of remote working, it has become the norm for teams to connect through technology, recruit remotely and induct new team members virtually.


Whilst working remotely has given people new found flexibility and forced organisations to embrace virtual working, it is not without its challenges from a hiring perspective.



Teams managing the recruitment process, like most other functions in the workplace, have had to make significant changes to ensure they are still hiring the best people for the job. Many conversations we are having with our clients have been around the challenges of remote recruitment, with the some of the challenges being: How do we continue hiring the right staff without personally meeting them? Which candidate will work from home well and who will not? How can we measure the resilience of our new hires and make sure they are a cultural fit to our new way of working?


To help answer some of these questions and to provide support around the challenge involved, we have compiled some information on how to improve the remote recruitment process and some suggestions around choosing the best people for the job.


The recruitment challenges being faced in 2021 revolve around issues such as not meeting the short-list face to face, onboarding staff virtually and getting a 'true feel' for the candidate without relying on the physical cues a face to face interview can provide. Despite these challenges, how do you ensure that you are recruiting the very best person available for the role; and also how do you build confidence in your systems and processes to ensure the new candidate is set up for success?


Video Interviews


There are a few areas to consider to ensure the recruitment process is effective as a remote activity. As great as video conferencing platforms are, they do create barriers in communication. Because the interview is so important in recruiting, its highly recommended to utilise more advanced software. Ensure your software has the ability to clearly identify body language, candidates social cues and other factors to make the experience as close to being in person as possible.


We recommend setting your candidates up for the best possible experience - ensure your recruiters or hiring managers are providing guidance to candidates in advance about the video interview and any guidance on what is involved and required. By managing the expectations and experience upfront, you are setting yourself up for a more productive interview and also getting a more honest representation of the individual, rather than having a candidate who is distracted or rattled by the digital experience.


Appropriate Job Descriptions


If your candidate is likely to be working remotely for a period of time, it is essential that your employment ad accurately reflects the expectations of the role. Give a clear outline to the candidates of your company’s expectations for remote working, the company culture and of course the job requirements. Explain how your employees are engaged with each day and set up for success in a remote environment, and in return clearly outline the expectations that you have from that individual.


Creative recruiters are suggesting the use of video job descriptions and video explanations when outlining these aspects. This provides the candidate a more interactive way of engaging with the company.


The description of company culture is a challenging one - how do you share your intrinsic company culture in a remote way to candidates? It is the role of the hiring manager to try and bring to life the culture of the organisation through the interview and onboarding process. Whilst tricky, it can be done in many ways - by describing the type of people who work for your organisation; how long they have worked with you; the diversity across the teams; the positive things people enjoy when working with your organisation; an introduction to other team members; a social virtual catch up early in the onboarding process; and an open line of communication with your People and Culture team.


A Structured Hiring Process


A structured hiring process allows everyone involved in the recruitment process to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done when and by who. Given quick updates on the process cannot be given in hallway conversations, it is more important than ever to provide a clear structure to everyone involved from the hiring manager right down to the candidate. Detail the steps in the process and the expected timelines so people can manage expectations.


For a positive experience for all candidates, we recommend that you keep honest and transparent lines of dialogue open throughout the experience. Ensure you are providing updates to not only the successful candidates in the process, but those who have missed out. The challenge of job hunting remotely can be a lonely and challenging one - remember the customer experience and also the impression your organisation's brand is leaving on all people involved in the hiring process.


How do we hire the right person?


This is one of the most challenging pieces of the remote working puzzle for recruiters and hiring managers. We cannot underestimate how much we rely on face to face interaction to influence our first impressions. Traditionally, we have used physical and social cues to help us form an impression - was the candidate on time, how did they seem in the interview process, were they sweaty with nerves, how did they interact with front office, their posture and physical presence...


Without these social cues, we are relying on trying to read an individual through a 15inch screen - but this is where strategic and considered questioning, as well as psychometric assessment can play a valuable role in ensuring a successful hire.


Hiring questions and assessments need to be designed in a way that highlight those candidates that are good at communication, are self-motivated and self-disciplined, are consistent and reliable, have good time management skills, are resilient and comfortable working on their own. It is also important to assess hard skills like technological ability, communication and reasoning.


Psychometric testing can bridge the gap of not having a face to face experience, by providing valuable insights into your candidates' personality and working styles. The assessment process can be as light touch or rigorous depending on your role and requirements.


Psychometric assessment can provide an accurate illustration of fundamental personality traits - how well a candidate will integrate into your company’s work environment, their resilience under pressure, their propensity for leadership, their background and historical context, their likelihood to work well with others and their emotional intelligence. With this wealth of data you can further target traits that will be even more useful for a remote workspace like a candidate’s level of conscientiousness, insights into their extroversion, how adaptable and open they are, traits like reliability, independence and self-discipline.


For example, those who score as a highly sociable person tend to get their energy through the buzz of socializing in the office. These types of people also tend to find it difficult sitting at home, working on their own all day. Someone who has low adaptability may find change to routine or a shift back into the office hard and their productivity is likely to suffer because of it.


These are a few examples of how psychometric assessment can provide valuable insight into potential candidates fit to the role, fit to the team and their ability to lead. Sharing psychometric results with your successful candidate is also valuable to show them how they work and areas to be mindful of. This will help them get the most from themselves and the most from their new position. An assessment doesn’t have to be about a pass or fail process. It can be designed as a descriptive personality insight to not only help recruiters improve their hiring process but also help candidates identify their own areas of strength and de-railers for further development.


If you would like to discuss this article further or explore more information about ICP's Psychometric Assessment services, please contact us on (07) 3852 2441 or info@incorporatepsychology.com.au



References


Occupop | https://www.occupop.com/blog/tips-on-recruiting-remotely

Harver | https://harver.com/blog/remote-recruiting/#Tips

The Nigel Wright Group | https://www.nigelwright.com/uk/remote-hiring

Xobin | https://xobin.com/blog/remote-work-culture/

LOCH Associates Group | https://www.lochassociates.co.uk/psychometric-testing-for-remote-workers/

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