As someone who has been evangelising remote hiring and video recruitment for years, the year 2020 is where things changed for good. Nobody is asking whether or not video could play a role in hiring. With (almost all or at least preferably as much as possible) hiring gone remote, all questions on relevance of video are gone. It actually reminded me of a study we had commissioned in the early days of Cammio, where we found that 90 percent of hiring managers only used traditional job interviews. For someone who wanted to build a business this blue ocean was obviously a great prospect for growth. And in 2020 the market went mature overnight.
The reply on the question: “Why should I take a day off for a 1-hour job interview?” has clearly been answered in 2020. There is absolutely no need. The COVID-19 pandemic, with all of its awful impact on personal lives, health and livelihoods around the world, is helping us find another perspective on some other work-related questions too. “Why do I sit in traffic every day and pollute the air with my car?” or “What’s actually the purpose of an office“.
I personally have had some new revelations on working from home and actually felt pretty stupid that I did not realise this years’ before. In our team at Cammio we always had the opportunity to work from home as often and whenever you want. (…We actually apply the same to holidays with our unlimited vacation policy). And still there I often was earlier this year, at the office, trying to get stuff done, being in calls and at the same time hiding from interruptions in a corner somewhere. Why didn’t I just spend these focus days at home and spend time in the office when I was open to meet colleagues, interact and co-create?
My educated guess is that if you are a recruiter or hiring manager, you probably feel the same when it comes to job interviews. Why meet every candidate in person? Why not have some interviews done in 10 minutes? Why meet a limited number of candidates when you could meet more talents without spending more time in total? Why not do it remote & online? We are all victims of behavioural patterns created over longer periods of time and it requires a longer period of time to change these patterns. Now that for most people the pandemic unfortunately has been part of their lives for over 6 months now, new patters are able to settle in.
Funnily enough, in 2013, when we were just incorporated as a company, the question that I got asked in almost every meeting with potential clients, investors or colleagues, was “What’s the difference with Skype?” These days that question has returned with Skype being replaced by Zoom and Teams. The answer however remains unchanged and is centered around fit-for-purpose. My colleague Annie just published a blog on this topic that I can recommend.
What happens after everyone has heard the gospel and after we have been learned to live with new patterns for a prolonged period of time, is that we can reflect and rebuild. We can redesign our recruitment process, leaving behind the stuff we carried with us for far too long. We can embrace the new world of recruitment where we value time and talent over history and being bound to a physical location. Our hiring scope will expand dramatically. Why not hire a remote colleague? Our team will disperse with colleagues leaving the city in exchange for living space. We will get together when we want to, but we won’t feel the need for being present in the same office all the time. All of this will facilitate both remote work and remote hiring.
Having spread the gospel of remote hiring for years, I wish I would have been open to break with some work patterns sooner. The pandemic, with all of its dire consequences, also holds some valuable lessons for us. We should take care of each other in order to get through this pandemic together in solidarity and embrace the lessons learned to create a view of new opportunities before us.