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How to get the most out of recruiting remotely

Recruitment is an area massively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Being unable to interview someone in person has made remote recruiting essential for the continued success of businesses. Whilst it may have started due to pandemic restrictions, with increasing calls for flexible work models, remote recruitment is a fixture that is here to stay.

According to Business Insider, it only takes seven seconds for our first impressions to be formed. Body language is a big part of this; the strength of your handshake, whether you make eye contact, even the way someone wears makeup can contribute to our impression of a candidate. Obviously, many of these indicators go out of the window if you’re recruiting via a video call!

That’s why we’ve put together this article with our top tips on how to recruit remotely. A bad recruit at the very least could be a bad culture fit, at worst, your organisation could fall victim to employment fraud, costing you both time and money. Using these tips should help you on your way to remote recruitment success.


The Interview


Just because you aren’t meeting someone in the flesh, doesn’t mean there aren’t indicators to help you make your decisions. Knowing what to look out for is vital so that you don’t miss any red flags.

We suggest focusing on these three areas:


Location: An interview carried out remotely is still an interview. With this in mind, we would expect a candidate to find a quiet, suitable place where they won’t be interrupted.

The background of a video call is also important, as it can be a distraction. Whether this is loud wallpaper or lots of movement and noise, the effect is the same. It casts doubt on how seriously a candidate has approached the interview and their level of initiative. Where possible, the visible background should be neutral or plain with good lighting and minimal clutter.

Some things cannot be helped. We’ve all seen heart-warming videos of children interrupting their parents in meetings. But how people adapt to their situation and communicate can be just as useful for an interviewer


Technical Difficulties: Internet problems, audio issues and frozen screens are something we’ve all become familiar with over the past year. While almost inevitable, how people react to these things can provide useful insights for recruiters

If a call drops, we would expect to see a candidate contact the interviewer via other means to try and sort the issue. Even if the problem can’t be solved, a candidate making an effort to resolve the issue is admirable. Their willingness to persevere would highlight their interest in the interview itself and the career they aspire to have.

Most of the time these issues are minor, but that doesn't stop them from being annoying. After a year of video calls, most have become adept at brushing off these interruptions with good humour. A bit of frustration is to be expected when things go wrong but if your candidate is getting overly annoyed it could mean that they don't perform well under pressure.


Maintaining focus: When you're interviewing someone fact-to-face, it is quite clear whether someone is focused. In a remote setting, it can be more difficult to tell. Anyone involved in the interview needs to make more of an effort to show they are interested. Hand gestures and body language are key to this, just as they are in a normal interview.

In lieu of a handshake, we would expect to see a candidate greet us with a smile and even a wave. Using body language shows that they are ready and focused. Eye contact is another clear indicator of whether someone is engaged. Research shows that 82% of recruiters rank maintaining eye contact in the top five criteria for a good first impression. This is even more important in a video call. If a candidate is constantly drifting off, or, fiddling with something it’s a bad sign.

Remember, a candidate's impression of the interviewer is a huge factor in their perception of your organisation. All of these things apply both ways. But an interview is just one part of recruitment. You need all the available information on a candidate to be able to make a safe and effective recruitment decision.


Background Check your Recruits


Even if a candidate interviews well remotely, there can still be concerns about their integrity. Carrying out background checks can be a good way to give yourself peace of mind about your prospective employee. While this isn’t a universal practice in the UK, in the US around 95% of employers background check their staff.

We’ve looked at the top 3 background checks that could be useful for remote recruitment.

Basic DBS Check - A Basic DBS Check is your standard criminal record check. It searches an individual’s criminal history, showing any unspent convictions or conditional cautions the applicant may have.

Occupational History Checks - These checks reveal a complete history of an applicant's work history, including all periods of employment, self-employment, unemployment etc. These checks are essential for any senior hires and cover up to six- or ten years' worth of occupational history.

Media Checks - These checks provide selected results based on a search using an online search engine and media feeds against the candidate's full name. This will reveal any negative information that has been publicly reported on the individual. Particularly useful for positions in the public eye.

You may be concerned about a lack of information when recruiting remotely. But there is far more information available to you as an employer than you may first realise. In such a strange recruitment landscape, the more information you have, the better your chances of making a successful hire.



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