• Lindi Engelbrecht

Shifting to Digital Interviewing in response to Coronavirus

Many of the companies Digger works with are not fully prepared for remote work. One of the good things that will come from this situation is that it will encourage employers to leverage their remote-work technology or invest in it in the first place. It has definitely brought the digital and HR Tech conversation to the forefront much earlier than most organisations planned. The age old comment, "why should we change, when this is how we've been doing things for years?, has quickly become so last month...

Shifting to Digital Interviewing in the era of WFH

In the last few weeks, teams that we work with have been transitioning to remote work to keep their teams safe and do what they can to limit the spread of coronavirus. We’ve seen the most proactive among them quickly shift their interview processes to include more remote options.


Many of the companies Digger works with are not fully prepared for remote work. One of the good things that will come from this situation is that it will encourage employers to leverage their remote-work technology or invest in it in the first place. It has definitely brought the digital and #HRTech conversation to the forefront much earlier than most organisations planned. The age old comment, "why should we change, when this is how we've been doing things for years?, has quickly become so last month....


Hopefully, people will get more comfortable with these practices, and it will expand the opportunity for flexibility in the workplace—that's one of the top things we see candidates get excited about.

Remote work is not a passing phase, and virtual recruiting solutions are critical for the future of work. Current events give us an opportunity to build out best practices and stress-test remote capabilities and the way we connect with candidates. There's a strong sense of candidate appreciation when you show concern for their health, schedule or family situation.


According to @HireVue - There’s lots of talk – and quite frankly a lot of confusion – about video and digital interviewing in the recruiting marketplace. They guide us on the difference as stated below :


1. Video interviewing– is generally better than antiquated phone screens or premature in-person interviews. Video brings a voice to life and reduces travel time and costs. But just like when you Skype with Grandma or distant friends, you still need to arrange a time to mutually Skype with candidates, you can’t record and share that interview with other HR executives or managers, and there’s no way to rate and compare candidates. What’s worse, if you know in the first 5 minutes of the interview that they’re not a good fit, you still need to spend courtesy time with candidates.


2. Digital interviewing is a form of interviewing where questions, responses, ratings, feedback, and insights are securely socialized, tracked and stored in a digital – as opposed to analog, form.  Digital interviews constitute the convergence of social, mobile, video and broader cloud computing principals – to improve interview quality, speed, efficiency and consistency – while making the experience easier and more personalized for everyone involved. 


Results from a survey conducted by Talent Board show that 22% of organizations believe Coronavirus measures will disrupt or impact in-person interviews and subsequently, 37% will look to digital interviews as a solution.


Two ways to incorporate digital interviewing into your existing hiring process in order to accommodate an increasingly remote workforce, according to @Entelo is:


  • Replace Phone Screens With On-Demand Digital Interviews

While phone screens are already a remote task, they require a large amount of manual work upfront and continuous meetings to vet and review candidates. On-demand/pre-screening interviews bring all of this work online. Rather than emailing back and forth to schedule a call, candidates receive a link to record their interview answers at their convenience. Once submitted, the entire hiring team can leave live feedback, assessments, and ratings for later review – eliminating the need for multiple meetings and bringing top candidates into focus early on in the hiring process.


  • Swap out On-sites for Live Digital Interviews 

Live interviews differ from on-demand interviews in that candidates talk to interviewers in real-time and can meet with multiple interviewers. Therefore, it’s a great option to use in place of your traditional in-person interviews as it allows the hiring team to meet and interact with candidates "face-to-face".


I was part of a live webinar, discussing the topic : Going Remote: Best Practices for HR & Recruitment, herewith 2 takeaways :


  • Embrace your new WFH environment - It shouldn't mimic an office. When you're a remote worker the pressure to be seen at your desk is gone and the focus is more on the work that you get done. When you onboard new employees introduce them to your culture, connect them virtually to the team as soon as possible (Virtual Buddy system) - be part of the office, and not in the office.


  • Pay Attention to the non-verbal cues - Be cognisance to maintain relationships and force regular conversations with new and existing employees. Productivity is key, but do not neglect building relationships with customers, employees and candidates. - Make time for small talk.


Taking the necessary precautions for the well-being of your employees shouldn’t translate into a loss of productivity and slow down in hiring. By taking a few (virtual) adaptations to your hiring process, you can continue achieving hiring goals throughout 2020 and beyond.