Improving Your Virtual Interviews and Background Checks
Posted: August 12, 2020
We’ve had several recent conversations with HR professionals who want to resume hiring again in our new normal of virtual working environments. We have discussed ways for HR departments to improve their virtual hiring processes during these unique and challenging times, including how to conduct interviews safely and process background checks remotely.
Conducting Virtual Interviews
While job postings haven’t changed much during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing many changes to the interview process itself. To come up with a shortlist of candidates, companies are still conducting phone interviews to filter out candidates. The big change is when they’ve selected candidates for more in-depth interviews, they are now using tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Microsoft Teams in place of in-person interviews.
Regardless if you are the interviewer or the applicant, here are a few tips on participating in virtual interviews:
- Arrive early to the meeting. This is obvious but critical for many reasons.
- Test out the virtual meeting technology. Make sure that all of the meeting technology is working correctly. There are different settings on the meeting apps that allow you to determine if you’re going to use a headset, your laptop, or your cell phone. It is critical to make sure you can hear yourself clearly on your chosen device.
- Dress the part. Make sure you are dressed for the part, at least from the waist up! And if you’re not going to wear pants, please do not stand up.
- Turn on your web camera in advance. Once you turn the camera on, check the lighting and examine how you look on the camera.
- Declutter your space. Of course, you want to look organized during the meeting so get rid of any clutter that may be in the camera’s view.
Unfortunately, not every industry or job type is going to be able to conduct virtual interviewing at this time, including many essential workers who may not have the luxury of a remote interview situation. In this case, be sure to follow CDC guidelines when conducting in-person interviews so your candidates are comfortable, and you are showing them that your workplace is safe and secure.
For in-person interviews, many companies have their candidates wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, including spacing candidates and interviewers six feet apart at a large conference table. Job fairs and mass hiring events are on hold as companies are breaking up into smaller groups of fewer than ten people in order to stay compliant with their local, state and county regulations.
Conducting Virtual Background Checks
Once you find your ideal candidate, it’s time to get his or her background check initiated. If you have conducted the interview virtually, it obviously isn’t appropriate to have the candidate stop by the office to pick up hard copies of the background check paperwork. It’s absolutely critical right now to use a paperless mobile-friendly solution, such as Info Cubic’s Applicant Portal, to avoid spreading the virus. Once the background check request is received, the applicant is able to fill in their personal information and electronically sign the disclosure and authorization form and acknowledge receiving all applicable FCRA and any state specific disclosures from any mobile or desktop device.
In today’s environment most HR employees are having to do more with less resources. It’s more critical than ever to have a very streamlined screening process. Many HR recruiters become the middleman between the background check company and the candidate. They have to play phone tag if there is missing information, causing delays in the background check process. At Info Cubic, we have a program called Applicant Connect where we reach out to your candidate directly via e-mail or text message to alert them of any missing information. We also review the background report to check for any missing information, which promotes full transparency and visibility throughout the process. Applicant Connect keeps clients out of the process, so they no longer have to be the middleman, removing the burden from employer and improving the turnaround time on the reports.
If you would like to discuss more tips on conducting virtual interviews and background checks, feel free to reach out to our Info Cubic team.