With COVID-19 crisis hitting the globe and the attendant social distancing norms that are being followed, recruitment is turning into a non-contact activity. Organizations are looking at remote recruiting mechanisms.
Remote or non-contact recruiting in the virtual space could be cost-effective as it avoids travel, but it does pose some serious questions with regard to the mechanism to evaluate the right candidate and drive malpractice-free recruitment.
It is important to ensure that the evaluation process offers adequate confidence to the recruiter / technical panelists regarding the technical skills of the candidate. This could involve evaluating the coding competence of the candidate using appropriate coding assessments. The recruiter / technical panel has to also ensure that the candidate is not resorting to any malpractice during the interview process.
We have drawn up some guidelines for panelists who conduct remote evaluation to help in identifying the right candidate.
- The technical evaluation of the candidate should be done using good collaboration tools that allow audio, video and screen sharing features [Ex. MS Teams, Cisco Web-Ex etc.].
- At the start, the recruiter or technical panelist could politely ask the candidate to show an identification proof with photograph where the candidate can be clearly seen along with his/her name. The recruiter / panelist should endeavor to validate if the candidate is the same individual as seen in the identification photo.
- At the start of the interview, the panelist should ask the candidate to ensure that his/her audio, video is in the active mode.
- The panelist should ensure that the audio and video quality (on both sides) is good. The panelist should ensure that the candidate can be clearly seen and heard.
- There should be no distractions / people moving in and out of the frame during the interview. Ask the candidate to choose a location where there are no distractions.
- The panelist should ask the candidate to “zoom-out” the camera to ensure the candidate’s face is clearly visible along with the table with the laptop or other devices.
- The panelist should observe the eye movement of the candidate to gauge any inappropriate eye movement. Lip movements of the candidate should also be observed to ensure it is in synch with the audio. If there is a lag / distortion, the recruiter should ask the candidate to connect over a better network connectivity.
- The panelist should observe the candidate through the course of the interview, and make sure the candidate is not using a mobile or other device for assistance during the interview.
- For any coding assessment – the panelist should ask the candidate to share his/her computer or laptop. The panelist should closely monitor for any external help that the candidate tries to take – using coding sites and to copy code.
- During the course of the coding assessment, the panelist should observe the candidate to see if he is seeking help from any person in the room – by observing his face-eye movement.
While these checks are required to prevent malpractices, they should in no way give the candidate a feeling that he/she is being subjected to unnecessary checks / snooping. The recruiter / panelist should follow the above guidelines in a very non-intrusive manner and make sure that the candidate feels at ease. The recruiter should ensure the overall interview experience stays positive.
Recruiting in the new normal
While remote recruiting brings its own challenges – it has given rise to multiple benefits that make remote recruiting a phenomenon that will stay on.
Some of the key benefits that remote recruiting has brought in include:
- Cost savings due to avoidance of travel for interviews (both panel and candidate)
- Flexibility in interview scheduling
- Multiple tools and innovative solutions like auto-authentication, audio/video / browser monitoring, AI powered auto-proctoring - which help address hiring malpractices
- Strengthened quality of evaluation as panels across the globe can participate in evaluation.
- Recorded video evaluations – helps retrieve and validate interview feedback for audit and learning purposes.
Hiring in the COVID times will follow the guidelines discussed as well as leverage tools that help in preventing malpractices. These guidelines and tools could continue beyond and become a part of the recruitment world.