Q : I’m a CTO at a start-up trying to make sense of the ‘new normal’ that Covid-19 has brought. I’ve read a number of different blog posts and columns by employment and business experts that encourage companies like ours to keep hiring. This seems doubly true for tech hiring. I realise there are tough times ahead, but is it worth sticking our neck out and trying to hire right now?
Nick Caley, Client Server’s Head of Accounts says:
The market is still active, but much less so. With that in mind, a hiring business with a strong grasp of what they’re looking for and a process in place to manage recruitment, is in a strong position. At least 50% of (normally) actively hiring businesses in financial services, for example, are on hold, so anyone who still requires staff and has the ability to hire will have a real advantage.
There are definitely fewer candidates (in volume) available. Unfortunately in some cases, people have been forced to look for work, but there are still good candidates out there - with strong motivations to move - that hasn’t changed. So while they will have a good idea of what they want/are looking for, and will expect clarity with Coronavirus in mind, they will move to a new role should they secure it.
Remote interviewing and on boarding has become essential – you will need to have a process for executing this with the same degree of efficiency as you would interviewing and on boarding someone in person.
Most hiring businesses are employing a two, sometimes three-stage interview process, with an initial telephone call, take home tech test/challenge (or video pairing session), and final video interview, with the candidate ‘meeting’ a minimum of three team members.
In terms of remote on boarding itself, companies have realised that early engagement (before start dates) with Team Leads and team members is important, with video drinks/meet and greet sessions common. Businesses are couriering equipment to employees where necessary, running a shortened induction process (all over video and a day or so) and then buddying new starters with an existing team member to support the new colleague while everyone is working remotely.
But Covid-19 hangs over everything. We are finding businesses that tackle the virus upfront, and make candidates aware of their business’ plan, runway, funding and client base during the interview process, have a much better ratio when it comes to measuring CV – Interview – Offer – Hire %’s.
So, ensure your interview process is robust and efficient, that you involve your team in the on boarding process, and be up front about company life under Covid-19. This will leave you in good stead for finding and managing new talent.