Sujin Choi (Class of 2020)
Facing new normal in Job Market - What we need to be aware of and prepare
Global companies are scrambling to cope with sprawling COVID-19 cases across the globe, dealing a blow to our traditional ways of doing businesses for more than half a year now.
Drastic shifts have also become inevitable in the overall recruitment process amid the virus woes. As a talent acquisition specialist, I would like to share my views on how job seekers can embrace the current situation and excel when facing these unprecedented challenges.
What has changed?
As the virus spreads across the globe, the whole recruitment process is shifting from offline to online. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, virtual interactions are taking over from in-person interviews, to help stem the virus spread.
Amazon has boosted the utilisation of its video conferencing software and virtual platform, Amazon Chime, for candidates to connect with recruiters whilst cancelling most of its in-person interviews. Google has also informed its candidates that interviews are to be conducted through video conferencing services, such as Google Hangouts and BlueJeans. On the other hand, LinkedIn has offered the option of both virtual and in-person interviews, yet the latter must be postponed until it becomes possible. (SHRM, 2020)
With tightening social distancing rules from governments, both recruiters and candidates have to adapt to the digitalisation of the recruitment process.
With my abundant experience in conducting video interviews as a recruiter, even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, I have collated the following tips to enable candidates to fully fulfill their potential under this new norm.
- Familiarise Yourself with Virtual Video Technologies
Interviewees may want to be familiar with video conferencing technologies and do testing prior to the interview. As a talent acquisition specialist, I always provide candidates with guidelines and allow them to test the tools in advance. This will make the interview more efficient and seamless. Feel free to request support from your talent acquisition specialist if you are facing technical glitches.
Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams and Webex (Cisco) are typical teleconferencing platforms for virtual interviews, and the usage of these has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 era.
Make sure that the software is properly installed and updated, as some software will require updates. Forbes mentioned that Zoom upgraded its most recent version in order to overhaul security and protect itself from ‘Zoombombing.’ The company also made it mandatory to upgrade the app to its latest version (Forbes, 2020).
- Check Your Interview Environment
Check your surroundings for the interview and make sure that you are in a quiet place. Also, check the quality of video and sound prior to the virtual interview. The virtual interview can create some voice overlaps and echoes that may interrupt your communication. I personally spend around 10 minutes with candidates before the interview reminding them of the interview process and checking their surroundings are adequate for communication.
- Be Professional
Both sides need to follow interview etiquette as if you were in an in-person interview, regardless of it being conducted virtually.
Dressing professionally and joining the virtual meeting in advance are both important for your first impression.
During the interview try to make eye contact with your interviewer by looking at the webcam, not the interviewer’s face, and maintain a proper tone of voice and speed to deliver your thoughts clearly. This has become more important as both sides’ body language are obscured.
Also, be sure to ask the interviewer to repeat themself if you’ve missed a question.
Businesses are having better visibility in the second half of this year and some should see recovery as their virus woes diminish, creating more opportunities for candidates. Yet, the new digital and virtual interview processes are likely to stay in place even after the virus is contained, as candidates are generally satisfied with the online recruitment journey, according to surveys. With improvements being made through our significant amount of time and efforts in making the virtual recruitment process seamless, this new way of conducting interviews will benefit both sides in terms of efficiency.
Company: LINE Friends
Job Title: Global HR Manager