How do you complete a Recruitment Process without having a “face-to-face” meeting?

So what have we come to realise over the last number of weeks?

The first is a greater (and growing) appreciation for our own health, our families welfare, that of our friends and work colleagues, our healthcare sector, our teachers/childcare assistants and even, dare I say it, our Politicians?

The second, from a Recruitment perspective, is that Recruitment Processes in the near future might change dramatically due to the requirements of physical distancing and travel restrictions.

While our Economy is under severe pressure, there are still a number of companies recruiting to fill open vacancies (even though not at the same numbers as previously). One of the biggest challenges that both Hiring Managers and potential applicants are facing is, given the physical distancing restrictions in place, “how do you complete a Recruitment Process and extend a Job Offer without having a face-to-face meeting”?

The reason that we have traditionally relied on the “face to face” part of a Recruitment Process is to establish if there is “Chemistry” between the Applicant and the Hiring Manager / Team.

Remove this “face to face” meeting and what can you do to replace it?

  • Skype/FaceTime/Zoom Video Calls? Yes .. these have become pervasive methods of speaking with each other, in a business context, over the last number of weeks, but, it’s just not the same as a face to face meeting.
  • Psychometric Testing? Yes .. it has been shown that this definitely improves the selection process but is predominately utilised as part of an Interview Process.
  • More detailed Reference Checks? Again yes .. but as many will say, you cannot always be sure that you are receiving an honest assessment/answer.

One suggestion that I would put forward, in the short term at least to overcome this restriction on face-to-face meetings, is that in addition to one or all of the 3 points above – both Hiring Managers and Applicants should have an open and honest conversation about placing a far higher focus on a clause that is currently in almost every Employment Contract – the probationary period.

If both the Hiring Manager and Applicant are genuinely committed to moving forward with a Job Offer, then it stands to reason that being quite specific about the expectations (both tangible & intangible) that both have of each other during the probationary period could assist dramatically in overcoming the “Chemistry” test that most “face to face meetings” seek to address prior to taking up a Job Offer ?





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