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April 16, 2020

Remote Hiring in the Time of COVID-19

Hiring with Blinders On

Every small, medium and enterprise-sized business develops a process for hiring and onboarding employees. Most processes are multi-layered and typically involve several rounds of face-to-face interviews and in-person coffee conversations to get to know a candidate. Additionally, conducting in-person interviews on site give the prospective employee an opportunity to meet other members of the team and get a feel for the energy, the corporate culture and the people within an organization.

Now imagine having to execute all of those steps above remotely without ever physically meeting the interviewee face-to-face, without the candidate ever being able to see the brick and mortar or experience the interactions and energy of the establishment as a whole.

This is where we are today during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the economic downturn happening today, Shift3 is still aggressively hiring, so we’ve had to pivot our hiring practices to evolve with today’s new normal of remote working. Maybe some insight into our new processes will shed some light on how your business can also effectively hire remotely without disrupting business as usual.

Hiring Before Pandemic (or BP for short)

Before the pandemic or BP, we would conduct our interview process as follows:

  • In-person coffee chat
  • In-person, one-on-one interview with team leader (at times with a practical task submitted via email)
  • In-person team interview
  • Telephone follow-up with team leader
  • In-person final interview with top leadership

Just about every step of our interview process involves physical face time for obvious reasons. When evaluating a candidate BP, sitting across from them was (and kinda still is) one of the most effective ways to evaluate someone’s personality, interactions, eye contact and how they carry themselves in public. All of these characteristics are crucial when considering a candidate for your team. In-person interviews also give the candidate an opportunity to assess the physical location of the establishment, the interviewer, the team dynamics and the overall feel of the workplace. This was our normal BP, just one month ago. Now we factor in the pandemic and new social distancing standards.

Hiring During Pandemic (or DP for short)

Our new candidate interview process is very similar to our old process, except now, every in-person interaction has pivoted to video conferences.

  • Virtual coffee chat via Google Meet (with cup of joe in hand of course)
  • Virtual one-on-one interview via Google Meet (at times with a practical task submitted via email)
  • Virtual team interview via Google Meet
  • Telephone follow-up with team leader
  • Virtual final interview with top leadership

As you can see, every in-person meeting is now completed via some form of video conferencing tool. Thankfully, apps like Google Meet, UberConference, or Lifesize exist to help us maintain a life-like interaction while still maintaining physical distance set in motion DP.  Additionally, using a digital signing platform like HelloSign makes sending offer letters and other documents that require secure signatures super easy. We can’t forget that all onboarding has to happen remotely, as well; our HR team utilizes Google Meet to onboard all new hires with digital ease.

Of course, the disadvantages of this virtual new process still include missing the nuances of gauging face-to-face communication and in-person interaction with the team within their brick and mortar. (And let’s not forget that there’s a good chance neither party in a video conference is wearing pants.)

Diversifying our Process and New Hires

On top of our new remote, virtual interview processes, we must also factor in diversity hiring. Thankfully, it’s Shift3’s policy to aggressively attract and hire the prime demographics that make up our community.

Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything Shift3 does. Our company makeup is > 50% female, > 50% minority and about 20% first-generation American. Truly, this part of the process hasn’t had to change due to today’s pandemic; now we’re just hiring diverse talent remotely. This process has also given us the experience to know that qualified candidates don’t necessarily have to be sitting in one of our markets to be part of our team and do excellent work. Moreover, we’ve learned that if we find the right person who happens to be located outside of one of our markets, we’re confident we can absolutely operate efficiently as a remote workforce.

Are You Remotely Interested in Working with Shift3?

Interested in joining or working with Shift3 Technologies? Give us a call at 559 560 3300 or email [email protected] for more information. Learn more about our corporate culture here. We’re staying busy remotely during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis and we won’t be stopping anytime soon!

This post was written by Celeste A. Barron, Content Development Manager. She’s from a small ag town with corn bushes, but she’s a city girl at heart.