Hiring Someone out of the Box: Skype Interviews
Posted by Pamela S. on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
That box would be the one you stare at for at least 8 hours a day. Should you hire someone you have never met in person? After all, the personal interview is so crucial. Surprisingly, the answer is “yes”.
Many companies are now hiring employees who work remotely, and sometimes they may even live on the other side of the country. You can’t expect people to incur hefty travel costs for an interview, unless it is for an executive level position. If you are a small business, you can’t spend the money to bring in everyone who wants to apply for a position.
I wrote a post a while back about the pros and cons of telecommuting. If you are going to hire someone who will be working at home, how to do you vet this person?
Many recruiters are now asking for online videos from candidates. Read “Looking to Hire Top Talent? Try Recruiting With Video”.
You can read cover letters and resumes, but that doesn’t give you a real feel for the person. A video application allows you to see and hear the person and check out their soft skills, like their ability to communicate. When you have narrowed down the list, a live interview is the next step.
More employers are interviewing prospective employees over Skype, using the video feature. My next door neighbor just obtained a position teaching English in Saudi Arabia. I was there when she had her job interview with a recruiter over Skype. I work from home, and I have never met any of my clients in person.
If you are conducting Skype interviews, you should still follow the same process. You don’t have that real life contact, so your questions are twice as important. Read “Seven warning signs to look for when interviewing candidates” for tips on the employment interview.
In fact, it may be to your advantage as an employer, to see your candidate in their own environment. Telecommuting gigs may be called “pajama jobs” online, but that doesn’t mean a person should be less professional. If someone wants to dress down when they are typing or doing research that is fine. Is the applicant dressed for a job interview? Is there a lot of noise in the background?
If someone is going to be making calls on your company’s behalf and there are children screaming in the background, dogs barking and general mayhem, you might want to think twice.
If you are applying for a position and are going to be interviewing over Skype, you should consider the interview with the same seriousness as if you were there in person. You can put your feet up after you get the job, but hide your bunions during the job interview. Dress appropriately and be prepared. Make sure your Skype is working properly. Do you really want a prospective employer to see that pile of dirty laundry on your bed?
Employers still need to check out an applicant thoroughly. How do you actually know that the person you just spoke with on Skype is the real candidate? I wouldn’t put it past someone who is socially inept to have a friend conduct the interview.
If a candidate makes it past the video interview and you are seriously considering them for a position, hire a private investigator to conduct a pre-employment background screening on the individual. When your employee is representing your company and dealing with your confidential information, you have to feel secure. A private investigator can verify that your work from home employee is who they say they are, that they are reputable, honest and worthy of your trust.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.