How to hire employees remotely: Twitter, Dropbox or Zoom

Remote work has become the norm due to the pandemic and has forced companies to review their hiring practices.

Business Insider He has spoken with various CEOs and chiefs of staff at Twitter, Dropbox, Zoom, Skillshare, and Trivago about how their hiring structure has changed after going fully virtual.

Companies are adopting different strategies. For example, the videoconferencing provider Zoom and the social network Twitter have contracted recruiting coordinators to prepare candidates for virtual interviews.

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Meanwhile, the online learning platform Skillshare gives more importance to references and will allow candidates to reschedule interviews if they don’t feel like doing so.

However, all the companies we spoke to had a common priority: making applicants comfortable in front of a screenEven when the WiFi connection drops or some distraction appears on the screen like a pet.

“Interviews are not the same anymore,” says Lynne Oldham, Zoom’s chief of staff.

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He recounts an interview he had with a senior candidate in the run-up to Thanksgiving. “I met his son during the process. He came because he had doubts about homework, and his mother was busy … we are much more forgiving because we understand that life is not what it was 9 months ago,” he explains.

Here’s how hiring has changed, according to hiring executives and leaders:

Ensuring candidates are comfortable

Speak through a screen It can be unusual and stressful for many, especially if there is someone on the other end who is evaluating you.

Now, companies have begun training staff and recruiters to candidates feel comfortable and allow them to show their best selves and ultimately make it easier for interviewers to choose the most suitable person for the position.

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In the German travel comparison company Trivago, what has hired 65 new employees remotely since April, recruiters are trained to recognize the challenges that candidates may face in the current setup, but also to give detailed answers on new onboarding measures and job setup.

“Human resources staff may have to work a little harder to build a relationship or ease a candidate’s nerves,” says Trivago’s chief of staff Anja Honnefelder. Asking questions such as ‘Where are you calling us from?’, ‘Is your current job telemarketing?’, ‘What challenges have you had working from home?’, Can help the candidate feel comfortable, especially if the interviewers share their experience .

Meanwhile, Twitter and Zoom hired a hiring coordinator to virtually greet candidates prior to interviews: “They meet with candidates online to make sure they can address any technical issues they may have and provide the kind of warm welcome they would have received if they had visited our offices,” explains Twitter Director of Personnel Jennifer Christie.

Spend more time checking the candidate’s culture

One of the hardest things to virtually recreate is corporate values. Candidates do not get the flavor of the office environment that they would have had during a face-to-face interview, meanwhile, interviewers have a harder time understanding candidates’ traits and culture.

“I have found it difficult to create a connection through a screen … I have learned a lot about a candidate from their non-verbal gestures during in-person interviews. While some of those signals are present in video interviews, many others have been lost. It has been more difficult to measure, “says Sabrina Kieffer, COO of the online learning platform. Skillshare, what It has hired 20% of its current workforce remotely since the offices were closed in March.

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Skillshare had to introduce interview panels to ensure candidates meet different people within the company and have an idea of ​​what it would be like to work with them.

However, there are also tricks that HR staff can try. For example, Trivago hiring managers are encouraged to use an office image as the background in the video call, “giving candidates a little glimpse inside campus”, dice Honnefelder.

Zoom, on the other hand, provides guidelines to interviewers on how to determine if a candidate would fit in with the company’s values. They receive a series of questions and a spectrum of responses that they should hear from applicants.

“When it comes to evaluating values, we think about bringing happiness to the customer, the company, the community, the team, and ourselves,” says Lynne Oldham, Zoom’s chief people officer. “Thus, To evaluate a candidate, we ask you to tell us about a time when you did everything you could to surprise and delight a customer, and how you felt at that moment“he added.

Hire candidates for their skills, not their level of experience

Contracting remotely also means expand the talent poolaccording to Dropbox company’s director of international human resources Laura Ryan.

In the case of this company, for example, its clients are all over the world, yet its employee base is not. To reflect on its customer base and create better products, Dropbox needs to diversify its talent, which has made telecommuting and recruiting easier, according to Ryan.

But to do it, have needed to change the focus of their hiring practicesas candidates who live outside of cities or in remote areas often do not have the same work experience as candidates who live in more urban areas.

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“We need change our philosophy around looking for potential and evaluating if someone can do something instead of sticking to their experience… This is a critical change for us in terms of how we approached the hiring processes, “explains Ryan.

Find candidates with excellent communication skills

Distance recruiting has also caused companies to consider different types of candidates.

While many of the requirements of the position remain the same, all the companies that you have spoken with Business Insider they agreed that emphasize more the importance of communication and the ability to work in a team“We recognized that our teams could not bond in the traditional sense in person, so we had to make sure we created a successful environment for the candidate to thrive in remote work as well,” says Trivago’s Honnefelder.

For example, at Skillshare, HR staff. H H. now tends to ask for examples of how they have collaborated with teammates in the past or how they would describe their communication style, Kieffer explains.

However, communication is not the only skill that companies look for in candidates. The pandemic has meant that companies had to quickly adapt to new situations and find solutions to problems very quickly, prompting them to search for candidates who can clearly demonstrate how to overcome obstacles and come out stronger, or have learned something, either at work or in your personal life, as Kieffer says.

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