Tips for Employers Conducting Interviews while Social Distancing


COVID-19 has forever changed the way companies conduct business. Arguably, the interviewing process and working conditions of employees took the biggest hit. With constant amendments to federal and provincial COVID-19 safety guidelines, it’s been hard for a lot of businesses to pin down a safe and effective way of acquiring and keeping new talent.

Given the uncertainty of the situation, your top priority right now should be to establish a safe hiring process—one that incorporates social distancing—for yourself, your hiring managers, and your candidates.

How Does Social Distancing Affect the Interviewing Process?

Recruiting new hires is a difficult enough task without adding the pressures and stress of a global pandemic into the mix. First, you need to make sure that you’re creating effective job postings that are attracting the right skilled and talented candidates to the position.

Then, you need to go through the process of vetting those candidates to verify that all of the information they’ve provided you with is completely accurate.

Next, you need to thoroughly check all of their references to ascertain that their experience level makes them a good fit for the position you’re offering.

Lastly, there’s the interviewing process. In the past, hiring managers had the advantage of meeting candidates face-to-face to gauge their employability and eligibility. Much like online dating, there are certain social cues that are easier to read in person than through text, emails, phone call, or computer screen.

Social distancing demands that hiring managers work remotely and that includes conducting digital interviews, which makes their jobs a lot more challenging. Aside from conducting interviews, there are other aspects of the hiring process that are also made significantly more challenging by strict social distancing guidelines. This includes conducting in-depth training sessions and job shadowing, which is required by most skill-based industries.

How to Effectively Use a Remote Hiring Team while Social Distancing

Moving from the conventional in-person interviewing format to a remote hiring process isn’t an entirely new concept. In fact, it’s something that many large corporations with international employees or outsourced services have been doing for decades. To expand your business and gain a strong foothold in your industry, it’s important to make use of modern technology as much as possible.

And a big part of that includes using remote working applications and digital platforms. Traditionally, companies would conduct teleconferenced or individual and group phone interviews with candidates they couldn’t meet with in person. Nowadays, companies have the option of using digital videoconferencing platforms so that they can both see and hear the candidates they’re speaking with as if they’re in the same room.

The key to the success of these types of interviews is to maintain a certain sense of decorum, professionalism, and structure. Hiring managers don’t necessarily have to take on an entirely and overwhelmingly serious tone, but they should harness all control of the interview while still allowing candidates to respond to questions as they would in a traditional interview.

What Steps Should You Take when Hiring Talent while Social Distancing?

Social distancing guidelines seem to be changing almost on a daily or weekly basis, making it incredibly difficult for many businesses to keep up. But it’s still up to businesses that are looking to hire new talent to navigate these guidelines and adjust their socially distanced hiring processes accordingly. The following tips can help you fine tune your hiring process while complying with government guidelines.

Adapt Your Hiring Process as Needed

Businesses and hiring managers should always take the time to review and make adjustments to interviewing and hiring procedures, even when there isn’t a pandemic. The fact is that business landscapes across various industries are always changing and it’s important and beneficial to stay on top of emerging trends to the best of your ability. This is especially true amidst a global pandemic.

Learn all of the latest hiring trends and how to use state-of-the-art applications, software, and technology, so that you can actively expand your talent pool through more extensive pipelines.

Understand How Your Candidate Pools Are Changing

It’s not just social distancing guidelines that are undergoing massive changes. Candidate pools are also changing as well. More and more candidates expect remote working opportunities, especially for traditional desk jobs that only require minimal tools like strong Wi-Fi access, a work computer, and certain types of software.

Providing greater flexibility to your employees isn’t a totally unreasonable expectation given the current state of the world and business landscapes across all industries. It’s important to understand what candidates are looking for to help them feel safe and increase productivity at work and provide those needs as much as possible.

Conduct Digital Interviews

The technology for conducting digital or virtual remote interviews has existed for quite some time now. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google have made it possible for hiring managers to virtually conduct interviews and interact with prospective candidates on integrated platforms with easy-to-use interfaces. There really isn’t an excuse to not conduct virtually face-to-face interviews these days. It’s as simple as inviting candidates into a meeting scheduled at a specific time.

Best of all, they can accept the invitation, confirm their attendance, and enter the meeting anytime and anywhere using their mobile devices or tablets.

Communicate Clearly with All Candidates

It’s important to make sure you’re on the same page with all of your candidates to avoid miscommunication or misunderstandings. Communicate clearly and concisely so that all candidates understand when, where, and how they’re to join virtual meetings. To give them peace of mind, explain your health and safety guidelines in detail during the interviewing process.

Hire a Recruitment Firm in Mississauga for Hiring Expertise during the Pandemic

For over 20 years, Resolve Recruit Inc. has been the go-to recruiting agency in Toronto and the GTA for both employers and jobseekers alike. We provide expert virtual and in-person hiring strategies to ensure that the employers we represent only hire qualified and experienced candidates. Contact us to learn how we can help you lower your turnaround rates and fine tune your virtual hiring process at a low cost.