Remote HR

Remote HR: IT Company Experience During COVID 19

Remote HR: When the world found itself in isolation, the classic question arose: what to do? And first of all, they asked HR specialists who had not previously encountered the specifics of hiring on a remote site. How the regional IT company solved the problem

Due to the fact that we develop complex software products, all employees worked from the office, and the recruitment process was fairly standard:

  • The applicant’s response to a vacancy or an address invitation of a potential candidate to a meeting at the office;
  • Initial interview, which consists of:

– HR story about the vacancy and the company;

– interviewing the applicant about professional skills and completed projects;

– questions from the applicant regarding the issues of interest to him;

  • Test;
  • Feedback
  • Final decision

We do not engage in the mass selection, so we do not practice group interviews.

At the moment when the start of self-isolation and the “non-working days” period was announced, it was immediately decided that all the work of Infomaximum was transferred to the online format, including the recruitment process. For us it was a challenge – never before had we worked on a remote site as a whole team.

At first, we did not open new vacancies, doing existing ones, and working with test tasks. They emphasized the search for programmers, working on the texts of future vacancies, as there were tasks:

  • modify competitive advantages;
  • clearly outline the format of work – remote now, but the office in the future. About 40% of applicants were eliminated immediately, but the remaining ones – an exact hit in the target audience

Since correspondence and phone calls are too uninformative for a full assessment of a potential employee, it was decided to use video communication, because I did not want to lose the feeling of personal contact. We used the most common and affordable tools – Skype and Zoom, however, we always went forward if the candidate wanted to use another service.

The first discovery was that the remote interview in its structure was not very different from the usual one: the same applicant, the same questions, the same test. However, for those candidates who have never undergone a remote interview, the Infomaximum team can advise the following:

  • Check the stability of the Internet and for general convenience use the desktop application, it will be more convenient. Use a mobile phone only as a last resort, if there are no alternatives. We had a case when a candidate talked using a smartphone from the street, and the noise of the wind greatly distracted both the applicant and the HR specialist;
  • Make test calls, check picture and sound;
  • Look neatly. A remote interview is, first of all, an interview, despite all the kilometers that separate you and the recruiter;
  • Provide a relaxed atmosphere where no one will bother you. As a rule, the employer makes an appointment in advance, so you have a lot of time to organize a comfortable environment. Children playing in the background, a neighbor’s puncher, or a running cat will distract HR and put you in an awkward situation;
  • Think of overall questions for the employer in advance. So you will feel more confident and do not forget to clarify anything important

Second discovery: remote interviews are a significant time-saver. If full-time communication can be delayed, then remotely, as a rule, everything goes much more concisely. Pre-agreed frames and a timer on the screen will not allow violating the time limit. We set up interviews in the corporate calendar along with a link to a video conference, therefore, specialized specialists invited to chat with, just one click to participate.

The third discovery is the emphasis on self-organization. According to the NAFI study, 18% of the employees according to the results of the survey noted that they cannot organize themselves outside the office. For the existing team, the tool of self-control and motivation was our own development, a system for monitoring workload and time tracking. The applicants had a harder time – we suggested setting the time to complete the test task on our own. Litmus test – whether a person can set himself deadlines and, most importantly, stick to them.

The fourth discovery – remote onboarding and adaptation is no less important than full-time, but with its own specifics. The option when “they gave a fishing rod, and catch the fish yourself” is unacceptable to us. Representing the employee even in social networks and instant messengers to the new team, we try not only to say that “This is Ivan Ivanov – our new programmer”, but also to organize a full page for him on the corporate portal.

We offer to fill out a short profile on interests, talk about interesting newcomer projects at past workplaces, share the main chips and traditions in the team. 

Mandatory – we are collecting a video conference of a department or team that an employee will be joining. Necessarily with the video – “in-person” correspondence is very important when there is no opportunity to communicate personally. We talk about the project, the competencies, and responsibilities of each, we give the opportunity to immediately ask a lot of questions. At first, the beginner oversees the mentor and helps him figure out, for example, who exactly to turn to in a particular situation. It’s important not to write to a person with general questions like “How are you?” Any problems? ”, And ask in detail and try to get as much as possible into current affairs and, if necessary, direct them. The team should not be a picture on the screen or a voice without an image. 

HR on the remote – possible, it was known before the pandemic. But the transfer of work online and a significant “reprofiling” of recruiting for those who did not have such experience was not easy. But our experience proves that everything is possible, you only need to take a broader look at the situation.