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5 Secrets  to Attract and Engage Candidates Virtually during Covid-19
Blog / Recruiting Salespeople / Jun 3, 2020 / Posted by Ann Zaslow-Rethaber / 2716

5 Secrets to Attract and Engage Candidates Virtually during Covid-19

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In these unprecedented times, one thing is for certain. Companies will be emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic for better or for worse, but none will be the same.

Times like these offer unparalleled opportunities for companies that are able to adapt to gain significant market share. One of the key indicators of adaptability that we are seeing is the ability to continue on with hiring and on-boarding during ‘stay at home’ directives.

While many of our clients have put hiring on hold, there are still companies out there, perhaps some of your direct competitors, that are taking advantage of this unique opportunity to aggressively go after top talent and to gain a foothold as a market leader.

Top performers are seeing their leadership react to this crisis, and some have been pleasantly surprised by their management’s reaction, while others have been less than impressed. It is, therefore, an optimal time to go after peak performers that may not have previously be open to making a change.

There are clearly key differences in interviewing and hiring virtually, and it becomes critically important to engage with candidates in ways you would not necessarily have in the past.

To help companies navigate these unchartered waters, ISC’s team of Executive Recruiters has put together 5 key points to help companies procure top talent during these turbulent times.

Read on to learn how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity to entice highly skilled candidates to join your team.

1. More than ever, candidates are looking at the long-term viability of the opportunity, as well as the stability of an organization.

It’s important to discuss early in the interview process the overall stability of the organization and succession planning, as well as reassuring the candidate this is a viable, long- term position with a clear career path. Prior to Covid-19, companies were accustomed to outlining strategic plans in the final interview and reviewing long-term opportunities. However, it’s now important to review the necessity of the role you’re looking to fill, as well as talking about clear expectations and goals for the immediate future as well as the following year and 5 years out. It is now imperative to address these topics at the very beginning of the interview process, as opposed to the end.

2. Be open to describing your culture, atmosphere, office, and ‘vibe’.

The candidate may never physically step into your office before an offer is presented, and there’s so much to be gained by being in the office. From meeting your receptionist to seeing how other employees interact with each other and the general energy and feeling the space gives. Discuss what an average day is like within the office including small things like whether you celebrate birthdays, have team gatherings or group lunches together, appropriate attire, or really anything specific to your team/culture. Paint the candidate a picture of the general appearance of the office space, as well as whether they’ll have their own office and smaller details that aren’t necessarily game-changers in terms of whether candidates interested, but will help them understand the office when they’re not able to get in and see it.

3. Be conscious on how you format of a group video interview.

While this may sound self-explanatory, it’s important to mention since you may not regularly conduct group interviews virtually. Have one person take the lead, directing the conversation, introducing the candidate, and the others on the call.  This provides structure to the interview and allows an opportunity for each person on the video to speak and ask questions. It is smart to share a list of the people your candidate will be interviewing with prior to the meeting, so he or she can do their due diligence and look them up on LinkedIn, etc.

4. Build on 30 minutes after the interview to de-brief

There is no better time than immediately after the interview to debrief.  Be sure to schedule an extra 30 minutes after the meeting to de-brief with the other people on the call.  Have everyone share their thoughts and discuss any questions or concerns that may have come up. Take note of anything that you want to investigate further during additional interviews, in order to get the best possible insights into your candidate and his or her capabilities.

5. Consider creating a video of employees within your organization that talk about ‘a day in the life’, showcasing their work environment, etc.

There is tremendous benefit in creating a video to use as a recruiting tool, that showcases various members of your team. They can share snippets of their day to day jobs, showing the work environment, etc. By showing the team celebrating a birthday or conversely showing a very formal work environment, you can share with the applicant insights into the opportunity to help both them and you make an informed hiring decision.

Adversity brings opportunities for people and organizations that are the most adaptable, and for those companies that are willing to be flexible and adapt to the quickly changing landscape, this is an unprecedented opportunity to rise to the top.

This is an amazing fortuity to think outside the box, and to try new methods of interviewing. Take advantage of this flash in time to be creative, be brave, and work on achieving your business objectives in ways never considered before. Once this current epidemic is over, there will be a new ‘normal’. Companies will be open to considering vendors that make presentations via Zoom as opposed to investing in a day or two of traveling. Social distancing will become more commonplace, even without a worldwide pandemic. And there will be a select group of companies that establish themselves as leaders within their individual market segments, that rose to the occasion and charged ahead with vigor and confidence. And of course, there will be others, those companies that fail to adapt, and that suffer grave consequences as the world changes in ways that they are unable to adapt to. Which group will your company fall into?

As Winston Churchill so famously said, ‘Never let a Good Crisis go to Waste’.

About Author

A recruiter since 1996, president of International Search Consultants, a global executive recruiting firm launched in 1999. ISC has become one of the country’s most reputable search firms, earning more recommendations on Linked In than any other 3rd party recruiting agency in the entire country.

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