Working from home, the changing nature of interviews and hiring.

By: Together Abroad 14-06-2021 3:01 PM
Categories: * Daily employment news, * Job Interview , ** HR daily news,

Working from home, the changing nature of interviews, and hiring. Interviews taking over from group interview exercises and challenges. it will be harder possibly to hire the people who best ‘fit’ if you cannot see them in person, and pick up on nonverbal communication over video calls.

The alarm goes off. It is time to get up and make your journey to work. You take the walk to work, where you stop for coffee, open up your computer and there you are, ready for your 9 am meeting with the team! This routine will of course now be familiar to millions...

The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it, with large numbers of people working from home and almost all businesses suffering its impact with no clear end in sight.

But what are the biggest changes in work, in particular, recruitment and interviewing? Here we will take a brief look at this and the remedies available, as well as conclude what company’s could to do to keep on top and thrive during this time.

The most significant change for most will be the transition to working from home (‘WFH’ being 2020’s most used acronym). The home has become a permanent office, where work and home life meet, and seemingly do not change.

Perhaps surprisingly, pre-pandemic only approximately 5.5% of the EU’s workforce worked from home. According to a survey from Eurofound, once the pandemic started, this increased to 40% with more than half of respondents from Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands saying they have now switched to WFH.

Indeed, experts have warned that the pandemic’s lasting legacy may well be a permanent shift to WFH and one which workplaces will need to adapt to. But what exactly does this mean?

According to Joana Breidenbach, the author of ‘The Future of Work Needs Inner Work,’ "This old hierarchical model which we have been living for the past century, that really fits the industrial national age, but it's really not suitable for a global digital age which is by itself much more fluid, much more flexible, much more decentralised. This echoes what many in the world of business are saying. Dutch entrepreneur Dean Van Leeuwen, founder of TomorrowToday Global also agrees, seeing the culture today as one which cares less about command and control to one where people are being left to it. Over time, this may lead companies to gradually become less hierarchical.

Not being physically present in the office means it's not so much the time spent in the office, but the value of what you deliver. In this sense, people may end up with higher expectations placed on their shoulders. The shift certainty has the power to increase productivity within firms.

Employees will now be responsible for their own motivation. They will need to be more flexible, more open and more resilient to change.

Interviewing in Covid

It may be that the recruitment of staff will pose the biggest and longest lasting change to a company’s structure and culture.

The limits placed on employers in terms of face-to-face interviews has inevitably seen companies turn to remote recruitment.

This can bring with it a new set of challenges. For instance, observing how a candidate reacts and behaves in real-life is difficult to observe by video. Non-verbal communication, from how a candidate sits in a chair or interacts with other candidates will be missing from the equation. For some roles, this social element is essential and forms the reasoning as to whether to hire someone or not. It can prove hard to build a rapport and get a sense of someone through zoom.

Video interviews also allow recruiters to watch again to confirm or change any inferences made during the interview and to assess and judge candidates. Firms will need to successfully leverage the use of both technology and their interviewers' skills to stay ahead here.

With the advances in artificial intelligence (AI), the use of video interviews to recognise personality traits now has applications in the assessment of potential employees.

Advances in AI means systems can successfully recognise and predict nonverbal cues and attribute them to personality traits, all through using camera.

It has been shown that AI-based interview agents can successfully recognise certain specified personality traits of interviewees to an accuracy of over 97% (compared to that of human testing methods and results). Companies such as Unilever, Vodafone and PwC have used AI assessment methods which use algorithms to judge candidates according to speech patterns, body language, facial expression and tone. As more companies go down this route, the more accessible and more inherent this may become.

Firms will need to adapt and develop comprehensive ways to assess candidates coming through their door for performance assessment and have comprehensive strategic planning in place for this. For video interviews, it may be wise for instance to give as little notice as possible to candidates, so they can assess the candidate in a more natural state. This could help make up for losing the benefits of losing the face-to-face interaction.

For younger generations, this will perhaps not be too hard of an adjustment, and a natural extension of daily life. For those less familiar or adverse to technology, this may become an obstacle at first.

What is possible however, is that even without Covid and in the future, the cost and convenience benefits of doing it this way could be here to stay. Without the recalibration of this strategy, businesses risk being left behind in the hiring of staff. Getting this right is essential and allows companies to survive and thrive in this time.

Written by Neil Neil Hodgson-Coyle for Together Abroad.


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