How to attract the best talent in the next era of work

The questions to be considered for interview

The current pandemic has brought sweeping change to many aspects of our lives, how to recruit being one of them.  With remote interviewing looking set to continue, how can you continue to secure the best talent.  Once you have understood what your immediate and future workspace requirements are likely to be, act now, as you have a golden window of opportunity.  With the increase in remote and hybrid working, means new talent pools could open in different, more accessible places, giving more access to sought after skills. The pandemic has given many people the opportunity to reflect on their working lives, re-evaluating what they want to achieve in their chosen profession, or indeed opting for an entirely different one.  Many may reflect on how they have been treated by their current employer during the crisis, as well as their long term career prospects – some deciding that now could be a good time to consider searching for a new opportunity, or more open about hearing about them.

Think about how best to assess a candidate

Once roles and skill set have been defined, in addition to reviewing their CV, consider what type of assessment works best.  Assessing candidates remotely, via email, video, or phone call, is here to stay and has become the new norm.  However, there are a still a variety of options for how best to assess the specific skills needed for a role:

Technical test

Should the role require a lot of technical skills; it may be worthwhile for the candidates to take a test. Consider providing a test in advance and setting a deadline for the answer to be returned.  Alternatively, if the role requires working to tight deadlines, consider setting a test during the virtual interview and see how they work under pressure.  As this could be off-putting and distracting, it would be a good idea to turn off microphones and cameras – on both the interviewer and candidate’s computer.

Virtual presentation

Should the role require regular presentations, consider asking the candidate to prepare a virtual presentation. This can offer a positive way to assess their knowledge and approach to a particular topic. Providing a topic in advance and setting a realistic time frame, along with: format of the presentation and whether to send it in advance

Duration of presentation

Who they are presenting to?

What the assessment will be based on?

Will there be a question and answer session?

It is also important that everyone assessing a virtual presentation is grading the candidate work, to the same criteria.  Clarifying ahead of time, what they should look out for and how to feedback assessments.

Virtual panel or group interview

This is particularly important should the role require strong communication skills or work with multiple teams. Clarification, with the candidate beforehand, with who will be interviewing, and their background will help engagement.

Behind the scenes, agreeing expectations with the other interviewers, such as the order they will speak; number of questions to ask and on what; the order of questions to be asked, will all help to aid a seamless virtual interview process for both parties.

Virtual one to one interview

The most likely assessment to be given. Before a one to one interview, ensure the candidate is aware of the choice of video call technology and have a standardised set of questions to ask all the candidates, so that comparisons can be made more readily.

Psychometric tools

Such as personality questionnaires, leadership judgement and ability tests to assess key behaviors or aptitudes needed in the role, are one of the most reliable methods to predicting future job success. We have an in house psychologist who can design assessment tools for you to use (such as tailored interview questions and presentation exercises with marking guidelines), as well as provide interpretation and feedback on psychometric tests.

The interview questions to ask to secure the best talent

Asking the right questions, is of course an incredibly important part of finding the right person for the job.  But you are now hiring in a different world, for a different world.  So, it is important to consider whether the questions you would typically ask, need to be changed too.  Questions to consider do not only help the organisation to survive, but to thrive in the new era of work.

“Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team?”

Still set to be one of the most common questions, but the answer given in the post Covid world, has more meaning and importance, especially as it is becoming increasingly likely that a hybrid way of working will be the new norm. This hybrid proposition, of office or home working, will be an entirely new way of functioning for most organisations. So, this question, helps to assess where the candidate would prefer to spend most of their time and in which setting, they would deliver the most value for the business.

 “How do you work productively remotely, ensuring motivation remains high?”

Remote working is now no longer seen as a perk and candidates are demanding more flexibility.  Fortunately, the sudden remote working, has for many has had a positive effect on levels of productivity.  Attesting to the fact, that much of this has been down to allowing employees the freedom to form their own new habits and schedules, helping them to work in a way that they personally find most effective.

Moving forward into the next era of work, where remote working is the norm, and pressure on teams to perform will be at all-time high, it is extremely important that you hire candidates who are productive, engaged and motivated whilst working remotely.

“How do you practice lifelong learning and continuous upskilling?”

The pandemic has emphasised the need for organisations to ensure employees are agile and have the necessary skills to adapt to the challenges and opportunities that have come with sudden home working transition and these are very much in the forefront as we enter a new era of work.

Alongside employers delivering personalised and digitalised training and embedding a culture of lifelong learning into their organisations.  Employees need to continue to play their part and commit to their own learning.  Allowing continuous upskilling to become a habit, that they enjoy and get fulfillment from.

Asking this question, allows understanding to the candidate’s commitment to their lifelong learning and how they practice it.

 “Discuss a time you have failed?”

The future holds many unknowns. Organisations are adapting, changing direction, seeking out new markets and potentially new customers.  All this change and uncertainty will undoubtedly mean bumps in the road as you start to re-align both the organisation and employees.  To be successful in the future, the next era of work will demand an increased aptitude for learning and being comfortable with the uncomfortable of being out of one’s comfort zone.  So, by asking the candidate to explain a time of failure, will allow assessment of whether they do feel comfortable with failure and if they see it as an opportunity of growth and learning.