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How Can You Effectively Onboard New Candidates Remotely?

Bringing new blood into an organisation is essential for growth but can be a risk at the same time. A bad recruit at the very least could be a bad culture fit, at worst, your organisation could fall victim to employment fraud, costing you both time and money. For many, an interview is a key way to sound out a candidates potential.  

According to Business Insider, it only takes seven seconds for our first impressions to be formed. Body language is a big part of this; the strength of your handshake, whether you make eye contact, even the way someone wears makeup can contribute to our impression of a candidate.  

Personnel Checks were born out of our sister company, Cummins Mellor, who specialise in recruitment. Our history and experience mean we’re pretty confident about our interview skills. However, the standards we have set for traditional interviews don't always translate to remote recruitment.  

Throughout the pandemic, we have been fortunate enough to hire a new CMO and CTO. Below we share our tips for a successful remote interview process:  

The Interview 

Remote interviews are anything but traditional, but there are still things you can look out for to aid your decisions. By knowing what to look out for you can adjust your expectations of the interview process. We recommend taking notice of the three aspects below: 

Location:  An interview carried out remotely is still an interview. As such, we would expect a candidate to find a quiet place where they are unlikely to be disturbed. Where possible, the visible background should be neutral or plain with good lighting and minimal clutter.  

The background of a video call can be very distracting. Whether this is loud wallpaper or lots of movement and noise, the effect is the same. It casts doubt on how seriously a candidate has approached the interview and their level of initiative.  

Some things cannot be helped. We’ve all seen heart-warming videos of children interrupting their parents in meetings. But, it’s how people react to obstacles that can be revealing.  

Technical Difficulties: Internet problems, audio issues and frozen screens are part and parcel of video calling. While almost inevitable, how people react to these things can provide useful insights for hiring managers.  

If a call dropped, we would expect to see a candidate contact the interviewer via another medium to try and correct the issue. Even if the problem can’t be solved, a candidate making efforts to get around the issue, either by calling, or emailing is admirable. Their efforts would highlight their interest in the interview itself and the potential career they could have with your company.  

Most of the time these issues are minor but they are still frustrating. After a year of video calls, most have become adept at brushing off these interruptions with good humour. A bit more frustration is to be expected in an interview setting but if your candidate is getting overly annoyed it could be a sign they don’t perform well under pressure.  

Maintaining focus: In a remote interview, both parties need to make more of an effort to show they are interested. Hand gestures and body language are key to this, just as they are in a normal interview.  

In lieu of a handshake, we would expect to see a candidate greet us with a smile and even a wave. Using body language shows that they are ready and focussed.  

Eye contact is a clear indicator that someone is engaged in what you are discussing. Research by Monster (the job search, not the energy drink) shows that 82% of recruiters rank maintaining eye contact in the top five criteria for a good first impression. This is even more important in a video call. If a candidate is constantly drifting off, or, fiddling with something it’s a bad sign.  

Remember, a candidates impression of the interviewer is a huge factor in their perception of your organisation. All of these things apply both ways.  

But an interview is just one part of recruitment. You need all the available information on a candidate to be able to make a safe and effective recruitment decision.  


Getting Your Personnel Checked 

We believe in what we do. Which is why all new recruits at Personnel Checks have a thorough background check carried out before their employment can begin. Having not technically met our new CMO and CTO yet, our background screening was key to our decision making.  

There are three types of check that we carry out on all senior hires:  

Basic DBS Check - A Basic DBS Check is your standard criminal record check. It searches an individual’s criminal history, showing any unspent convictions or conditional cautions the applicant may have.  

Occupational History Checks - These checks reveal a complete history of an applicant's work history, including all periods of employment, self-employment, unemployment etc. These checks are essential for any senior hires and cover up to six or ten year’s worth of occupational history.  

Media Checks - These checks provide selected results based on a search using an online search engine and media feeds against the candidate's full name. This will reveal any negative information that has been publicly reported on the individual. Particularly useful for positions in the public eye.  

You may be concerned about a lack of information when recruiting remotely. But there is far more information available to you as an employer than you may first realise. In such a strange recruitment landscape, the more information you have, the better your chances of making a successful hire.    

This list is not comprehensive and if you are considering background screening for your business there are many others that might be relevant. Anything from adverse financial checks, through to, international criminal record checks. 

For more information about anything in this article, or, how our screening solutions can help you, get in touch! You can give us a call on 01254 355688 or drop us an email at [email protected] 



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