Author: Claire Jarvis
Jobseekers and biotech hiring managers are in agreement: virtual interviews are here to stay. From the company perspective, virtual interviews are a cheaper and more efficient way of screening candidates than in-person interviews. They widen the available talent pool by making interviews accessible to remote/hybrid candidates further afield, and are quick to schedule. Job candidates also prefer virtual interviews because it gives them more control over interview scheduling, and causes less disruption to their day if they’re currently employed.
However, many hiring managers feel in-person interviews offer them a better view of the candidate, providing more helpful insights into the candidate’s suitability. To combat the drawbacks, here are a few best practices to ensure you hire the best candidates and get the most insights from the virtual hiring process.
Deliver all information to the candidate in advance
To minimize delays, email the log-in information to the candidate ahead of time. Provide an email or phone number for the candidate to use if they experience any last-minute technical issues. This reduces confusion and last-minute delays because the candidate needs to download unfamiliar meeting software, for instance. It also reduces the stress to candidates and interviewers alike, enabling everyone to begin the interview in a calm state of mind.
Plan your interview time and structure in advance
The hiring team should prepare a list of topics to cover in order, or questions to ask, with time allocated for each point on the list. Make sure everyone on the interview panel has access to the proposed interview structure/workflow ahead of time. This will ensure the interview flows smoothly, without running too long.
Give candidates enough time to answer your questions during the interview itself, accounting for connectivity lags or difficulty reading body cues.
Remember that candidate recruitment experience is an important factor in their decision making process, and perceived disorganization during the interview may present your company in an unfavorable light.
Give candidates a taste of company culture
One notable disadvantage of virtual interviews is that the candidate gets less insight into company culture and work environment than if they were invited on-site. A way to work around this issue is to arrange a less structured informational interview with existing employees, which will give the candidate an overview of the company from someone at their job level. Hiring managers can also offer videos or virtual tours of the company office or campus during the interview process. These extra steps can help job candidates visualize themselves working for your company, giving them a clearer idea of the benefits of joining your company and their suitability for the role.
Invest in software for online recruitment
Since virtual interviews will remain an important recruitment tool in the years to come, consider investing in dedicated recruitment software or upgrading your existing programs. For instance, analytics and AI tools can assess candidate suitability and sort through job applications. Chatbots on your company’s career homepage can address any basic questions jobseekers have and free up hiring team resources. Consider incorporating online aptitude or personality tests into the hiring software or portals to provide another level of insight into potential candidates.
Whether you’re hiring for remote, in-person or hybrid biotech roles, Sci.bio talent experts are here to help. Reach out and schedule a conversation with us today.