Recruiting at a Social Distance

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The global pandemic and subsequent lockdown has brought about many changes to the way we work. Here at Hutch we’ve been working through our hiring process entirely remotely; trying to find and interview candidates without ever meeting them face to face. It’s been challenging, and we wanted to share some of our tips today, courtesy of our Head of Social, Chris…

1. Take enough time to get to know people

It’s been weird not actually meeting candidates face to face. It takes a little longer to get a feel for how somebody interacts over video conference versus real life. Give yourself and your candidate enough time to settle into an interview - ask some relaxed and friendly questions to get a feel for who the person actually is. Be mindful that everything is a little different on a video call; there’s not much body language to look for, there’s no ‘real’ eye contact, and there are many opportunities for awkward pauses and misunderstandings. Don’t let this cloud your judgement - forget the noise and focus in on what the person is telling you. And remember, they’re also experiencing all of the above challenges.

2. Avoid too many people in one interview

Not everybody likes being on video conferences. Try to keep this in mind when setting up second or third round interviews; not only will having more people increase the likelihood of awkward pauses, misunderstandings and technical issues, but it might prevent you from getting the best out of your candidate.

3. Be cognisant of your candidate’s current situation

We’re all living through the same pandemic, but we’re experiencing it in different ways. Some are struggling more than others, people are losing jobs or even loved ones. Bring compassion to your interview and talk openly about the difficulties you’re facing both professionally and personally.

4. Cultural fit is super important

At Hutch, our final interview round has always been focused on ‘does this person fit Hutch’s culture?’. We invite team members from across the business to sit down and get to know the candidate a little better. It’s informal, relaxed and friendly (and often features donuts) - it gives us and the candidate confidence in making a decision that will see us spending a lot of time together. This has been an invaluable round during lockdown - having the opportunity to find out more about somebody without the added pressure of competence questions has given us the confidence we need to proceed to an offer, even when we've not actually met face to face.

We’ve made several new offers to candidates who’ve been interviewed entirely virtually - the next step will be to onboard and integrate them with the studio remotely. We’re looking forward to the challenge!

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