Can You Hire Someone You Haven’t Met?
We are at a point of genesis in the world of hiring. Technology has made finding qualified candidates easier than ever. It has also made cinching the final hiring choice a little bit harder.
We live in an age where you find talent from half way across the world, and communicate extensively through email and other digital communication. But do you know that person? How do you hire for personality when dealing with someone that you have never met?
What exactly happens when technology completely takes the humanity out of hiring? These are the questions that we explore to day as we analyze the state of hiring in the 21st century.
Though the mechanics of hiring have changed over time the objective never will. Hiring professionals are tasked with finding the right person for the right job.
Algorithms are very good at weening out the people who plainly don’t satisfy the needs of a position. There are plenty of artificial intelligence programs that can provide HR with a cherry picked list of candidates to choose from.
But can technology make the final decision? About 93% of hiring professionals believe that it cannot.
But even when software isn’t doing the choosing, there are still problems with relying on technology for the interview process.
Here are a few problems that crop up when using technology to interview a candidate remotely.
For a candidate to be successfully interviewed remotely, there are a few factors outside of your control that need to work in your favor.
Namely? More technology. How is the person’s internet connection? How is your connection? How are their speakers? How are your speakers?
Even a high quality video chat program is prone to cutting in and out. Usually, misfires still allow for a general idea to be communicated.
However, when interviewing someone, you don’t only want to send and receive ideas. You want to get a read on who they are as an individual. Are they good with people? It’s hard to tell when the video freezes every thirty seconds.
Are they comfortable under pressure? You can’t see above their shoulders. You haven’t even shaken their hand. Who could say for sure?
You Can’t Make the Case For Yourself
Remember that interviews are about more than just being impressed. In the best case scenario you are also being impressive. You want to make a good case for your company. Hopefully, by the end of the interview the candidate will want to work with you for more than just the reason that they need a paycheck to survive.
Can you sell your company over skype? It is possible, but it is also going to be harder. You will ultimately be subject to the same factors that hinder the interviewee. The challenge of navigating the impersonal nature of technology.
Again we face the same issue: are we communicating an idea, or having a meaningful human encounter? Chances are, the interviewee already has their ideas about your company. It is time now to make an impression.
Remote Interviews Makes it Easier for Bad Candidates to Skate By
Even if the line of communication is perfect, you still miss out on many of the important sensory details when interviewing remotely.
Cliched though it might be, isn’t it nice to know whether or not a person has a firm handshake? Whether they make eye contact? Whether they squirm in their seat?
You just don’t get that information when you aren’t face to face. You can still find the right person, but it means relying on something that no one ever wants to be dependent on: luck.
So, what are we saying?
So, what exactly is it that we are saying here? Never use remote workers? If that were our advice it would mean that a lot of major companies are in some serious trouble. Remote and freelance work is significantly on the rise.
Many companies are using remote workers and seeing significant benefits from it. For example, American Express has enjoyed an annual savings of over ten million dollars a year by relying on remote workers.
Why the big cost saving benefit? Remote workers don’t require a lot of overhead.
The benefit extends to employees as well. Over eighty percent of remote workers say that they have low levels of work related stress. The employees are doing well, and so is the company. What is the problem then?
The problem is not remote workers themselves. It is how to hire them. If you aren’t going to be working with someone face to face, the natural instinct may be to hire them remotely as well.
However, it does seem that doing this is done at the company’s own peril. Finding a way to facilitate a face to face interview with an employee that is destined to be a remote worker is well worth the effort and the expense.
Even if it means flying a candidate out, the investment can be well worth it. The cost of a bad hire is staggering: at least 30% of the position’s annual salary.
There are also numerous other expenses that are incurred once a position has been vacated. You don’t want those expenses, and a face to face interview can help you to avoid them.
The good news is that, if the candidate is to ultimately work remotely, the cost of setting up a remote interview does not go down the drain. You recoup it with the savings that you get on overhead.
Is it impossible to hire the right person if you haven’t met them? No, but it is less probable. There are no certainties when it comes to making a hiring decision. But in a world where that is the case, don’t you want to make sure that you are giving yourself the very best chances of success that you can?
Technology will get you far when it comes to hiring. The programs that can shrink your candidate pool to a slim number are extremely effective and impressive. However, when it comes to pulling the trigger on a hire, it seems like it is best to stick to the old fashioned way.