The Covid crisis sees candidates bring their whole selves to job interviews
Article 3 minute read

The Covid crisis sees candidates bring their whole selves to job interviews

30 April 2020

The world isn’t standing still for business during the current Covid-19 crisis, which means it doesn’t stand still for our intrepid HR and talent acquisition teams.

We still need people to get the work done, and life carries on for jobseekers and recruiters.

And yet, the usual way of these things - of turning up to job interviews, performing tests and being put through your paces - can’t happen. Much of the world is in lockdown or under social distancing orders. There’s also been an influx of candidates on the market as companies struggle in the downturned market - candidates who can’t control the technology or the environment around them as they get interviewed via Skype. 

The good news is that TMF Group is absolutely still hiring - in fact, says SEE Talent Acquisition Lead Andra Ardeleanu, we’re often looking to fill more global and more complex roles than before.

Naturally, the talent acquisition team has had to adjust the way they work, moving almost exclusively to Microsoft Teams video calling. “Video is more useful since there is no chance to meet the candidate in person at any stage of the process,” says Andra, who believes video calls are useful for getting a sense of the candidate - the only missing piece is seeing body language. They’ve also dropped technical tests which had to be done in the office environment; utilizing the technological infrastructure in place, hiring managers now test technical knowledge through questions during the interview or online testing such as using Microsoft Forms.

“Video calls were always a good option for candidates located remotely, but now everyone understands it is the only way you can get an accurate impression of the candidate,” she says. “We also all understand that you cannot wear an office outfit at the moment, so everyone is more relaxed!”

It’s not just the clothing that’s a bit more relaxed in the hiring process right now - there’s the issue of children chattering in the background, or even Andra’s own cats wanting to have their say. “I can’t isolate the cats in one room because they know how to open doors,” she laughs. “There have been moments when one of them was suddenly in front of my laptop, but at least they didn’t meow. It had a good effect on the candidates, though - they laughed and relaxed instantly.”

Andrea held up a handwritten sign which reads from home

Several weeks into this global crisis, Andra and her team have developed their own ways of working that bring out the best in their candidates. If you find yourself interviewing a potential team member by video, she suggests you double check the candidate can see and hear you well, and make sure you can both at least see a full-face image if one of you is taking the call by mobile phone. 

“I think this situation has shown us we can be more authentic in our interactions and it won’t hurt the communication or the selection process,” says Andra. “Usually people coming to interviews were prepared to mainly show their ‘business’ side, which isn’t possible now, whether that’s in their outfit or their surroundings. 

“We can still talk just as well about the details of their experience and the role they applied for, but we’re also showing more about who we are beyond our professional persona. For me, this is a big plus.”

Looking for a new career role where you can be part of our global business? View our vacancies and apply here.

Written by

Christy Dumpit-Brunel

Former Internal Communications Executive

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