Companies have been adapting to remote or hybrid work environments since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, recognising the benefits and rate of employee productivity. However, how you continue to select candidates who are aligned to this 'new' way of working will have long-term implications for your organisation's success.
When assessing a candidate for hybrid or remote work, the most important steps are ensuring that onboarding will go smoothly, that new employees will be able to fit into the existing culture, and that they will be able to deliver effectively in an environment with less supervision.
In an ever-changing world, there are a few things you should consider during the candidate assessment process to ensure your next hire is set up for success.
1. Implement a balanced scorecard
A balanced scorecard provides a structured model for assessing your candidates. But how does it work? Utilise the findings from your interview to compare the applicants based on four to five of the core competencies you are seeking in an ideal candidate.
You should use these competencies as the key categories for assessing the essential skills. Then, using the candidate's CV and interview to identify skills, experiences, working examples, and personal characteristics that they possess, select where their skills fall within each of those categories.
2. Use a star method when accessing candidates
STAR is a recognised method of structuring interview questions. Candidates use it to prepare for interview questions, but employers can also use it to shape the interview.
The STAR model is comprised of four key elements that focus on behavioural and situational interview questions. These elements are called Situation, Task, Action, and Result. You can use this method to identify how people adapt, take charge, influence outcomes, and learn from the challenges they face - which is especially important when searching for candidates to fit in a hybrid or remote working model.
Situation - As this indicates, the first element requires a candidate to present a scenario that demonstrates a specific skill or ability.
Task - In summarising the task, the candidate should emphasise the outcome required in response to the situation.
Action - It demonstrates the candidate's ability to follow through with the required tasks, highlighting the key skills they used, and demonstrating their behaviour and personal qualities in the workplace.
Result - Two parts can be found in this section. First, what happened once corrective action was taken, and secondly, what the candidate learned from the experience.
3. Assess and identify the soft skills needed for success
Any recruitment process should include assessing a candidate's soft skills or transferable skills - especially for a hybrid or remote working model. It determines how effectively they will work with others, how much influence they will have when dealing with stakeholders internally and externally, and their ability to overcome challenges. Here are some of the soft skills you should be looking for:
Ability to build relationships - In hybrid or remote work, your new hire will be away from their team and other stakeholders more frequently than usual. As they may have fewer opportunities for in-person interaction or engagement, their abilities to build relationships with formal and informal collaborators will be extremely important.
Strong organisational skills - Working from home blurs the line between work and life, making it increasingly important for your new starter to supervise their time effectively and set goals. Those who are more organised and well-planned will be able to communicate their plans and work more effectively as a team, and most of all, be trusted to work on their own.
Ability to maintain self-motivation - Your new hire may need to motivate themselves and combat feelings of loneliness due to being away from their team and manager. This will ensure that they remain focused on the goal at hand. Make sure to ask your candidate about scenarios where they had to be self-motivated to succeed.
A capacity to identify and solve problems - When you're new to an organisation, being physically separated from the team and other departments makes asking for advice more difficult. Thus, the ability to solve problems independently becomes even more valuable, and it will play a significant role in determining your productivity.
These tips will allow you to better identify the candidates who have the skills and ability to perform well and, more importantly, onboard effectively when you incorporate them into your recruiting program.