Embracing the New Reality of Talent Assessment

How to Assess Talent in a Remote World

In the business world, change is one of the few constants. Outside forces are always causing disturbances in the marketplace and it is the responsibility of leadership to manage and mitigate these variables in order to keep their company afloat –– and this year has proven that to be especially true. 

Given the current events, businesses have been forced to reevaluate many of their processes and procedures and adapt to confront the challenges and restrictions the world is facing. One of the most daunting tasks for many organizations during this time has been talent assessment. 

Identifying the ideal candidate to fill a vacant position is difficult enough, but now businesses must do so without in-person interaction. So, how can you embrace this new reality of talent assessment? Let’s discover what you can do to create a smooth hiring experience in a remote world.

1. Welcome Change With Open Arms 

For any business to stay relevant, they must stay on top of the changing landscape and embrace new practices and technologies with open arms. If not, the likelihood of missed opportunities increases, and the risk of becoming obsolete is multiplied. The examples of companies that refused to adapt, or didn’t see the initial value of change, are endless. Where are they now? Either replaced by the competition or irrelevant, struggling to make ends meet. 

During the last few months, we have all heard the phrase “the new normal” repeated time and again. The adjustments we have had to make in our lives have altered the way we do many of our everyday tasks. While it is hard to predict what will actually come of this experience, the quicker your company is able to adjust and implement any new talent assessment practices, the easier it will be for everyone to adapt and familiarize themselves with the protocol. If you are not willing to challenge and change your existing programs and processes, especially during times like these, one thing is for certain: you will endanger the future of your business.

2. Improve Digital Capabilities 

The call for social distancing and the massive shift toward remote work has caused a disruption in the way talent is assessed. While typically a hybrid process of both digital and face-to-face meetings were used, there has been a shift toward completely virtual talent assessment. Even after the hiring process, virtual onboarding and training have become necessary due to restrictions, shutdowns, and additional safety protocols.

While not a common practice before the pandemic, virtual interviewing has proved beneficial by those who have experimented with the process. This one way video provides a set of pre-screening questions for the applicants to answer, which is then reviewed by the hiring team to decide who to move on to the next step –– a live meeting. While a face-to-face meeting may not be an option, the increase in quality of video technology from Zoom, Apple, Microsoft and others is almost as good. The added bottom line benefit is that video interviewing reduces the costs associated with the hiring process, such as travel costs of candidates to your office, while also being less time-consuming and allows for a more flexible schedule for all parties involved –– especially for passive candidates who may not have had the versatility before. 

Video interviewing should enhance the experience for both parties. If not, it can reflect poorly on the hiring company. To safeguard against any potential technical issues, test your equipment before the scheduled time. You may want to keep the candidate’s phone number readily available in the event of a glitch to continue to communicate offline. Remember that while video calls have their benefits, don’t rely on them for each and every interaction with the prospect. 

Don’t already have a video-interviewing software? There are hundreds of recruiting software options to choose from, each providing a particular set of capabilities that streamline the process and match your individual needs. Click here to find a list of tools that may help you assess talent remotely.

3. Establish Clear Communication 

For those looking to fill a position during this time, this new way of interviewing and assessing a candidate's skills and abilities can be difficult to navigate. Your HR department will need to establish a consistent process for conducting virtual interviews that clearly conveys the expectations of the position, as well as your workplace culture.

While getting to know your candidates on a deeper level over a screen does have its constraints, these barriers can be overcome by implementing creative approaches. When you first begin to connect with potential hires, keep the communication frequent to show interest, and keep the momentum of the hiring process flowing. Do your best to avoid the simple question and answer set up. Use your time in the interview to openly discuss the position and company in a conversational tone, as it leads to more natural and authentic dialogue. 

Take the time to determine the experiences and competencies most critical for the position and incorporate them in your Candidate Profile. Throughout the talent assessment process, focus on these to assess fit and gain a better sense of your potential candidate’s aptitude to lead, even in the most trying times. 

Tip: Ask them for clear examples of their experience leading their teams during the rapid shift to remote work so you can gauge their leadership, willingness to change, and communications.

You certainly want to give them a feel for your company culture, even if expressing exactly what it's like to interact in the office environment isn’t possible at this time. We recommend taking a video of what a normal day in the office may entail, or showing them a recording of an internal meeting so that they can evaluate the team’s dynamic for themselves. In addition, share what your company has done since it has gone virtual to support and communicate with employees.  It is imperative that you are open and honest with employees — the fit is equally as critical as the find for success and continued engagement.

During video interviews, it is more important than ever before to build rapport with the prospect. We believe that sharing the positive and challenging aspects of the company will build trust and strengthen the relationship as it progresses. To do this, consider asking a recent hire to sit down and share their experience, as it provides a real example and demonstrates your willingness to be honest and transparent. 

4. Assess and Develop Leadership

It is during times of volatility that true leadership shines –– and the current situation has highlighted the key competencies that good leaders embody. Leading through uncertainty requires clear communication, quick decision-making skills, and the ability to hold others accountable. During the onboarding process, a leader that exudes empathy and patience can help your whole team feel valued, thus improving their chances of success in this new environment. If dysfunctional leadership is present, it will be easy to identify the signs. 

Now is the opportunity for the leadership within the organization to connect with their directors and peers on a deeper level. In doing so, you foster a workplace culture that engages employees, vital to reducing employee turnover. By taking the time to invest in and develop your existing talent’s skill set, you secure a pool of talent that feels valued and has a powerful connection to your business –– driving the organization to grow and look toward the future.

Let Kinsley Sarn Help You Redefine The “New Normal”

At Kinsley Sarn, it has always been our mission to break barriers, forego tradition, and move beyond what’s expected to find key talent. Now, likely more than ever, this continues to reign true. 

Our team is no stranger to the challenges that businesses face when assessing new talent. Virtual talent assessment has been a part of our process for many years, and we have not only found a way to harness its capabilities, but also use it to our client’s advantage. 

Finding the right fit — for your position, culture, and company — has its obstacles. Highlighting your company’s culture and future vision does as well, especially through a video screen. Let us help you bridge the gap.

As former corporate executives with diverse experiences across multiple industries and cultures, we understand the importance of being a trusted advisor in order to deliver outstanding results for every client. We invest the time to get to know your company and culture, and understand the factors that designate high performing and high potential employees, the role itself, key deliverables and required experiences. Using this information, we then can create a compelling Candidate Profile from which we can quickly and accurately evaluate candidates –– accelerating your time to hire.

If you need assistance navigating the new reality of talent assessment, let Kinsley Sarn handle your hiring and onboarding process and ensure a smooth transition for both you and the newest members of your team. 

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