Collector - November 2020 - 24

said. "When this happens during the hiring
process, you get a chance to see what
happens when the candidate is having
technical issues: what problem solving are
they doing, are they patient and so on. It
gives you a glimpse into how candidates
might work through problems in a real-life
setting. Rather than us asking them to
tell us about a time they've encountered a
difficulty and how they responded, we can
see it firsthand."
If your area has a high level of
unemployment, you might also be
contending with a huge influx of applicants.
Howell said ERC has gotten more than
twice as many applications as they did prepandemic-so much so that they've made
the first interview a group video call.
"That way we only have to give our 'Let
me tell you about ERC' speech once, plus
we get to see the different dynamics of
applicants that you wouldn't have gotten
when you talk to them one-on-one," Howell

"When you are onboarding someone
you've never talked to face to face,
it's fun to see what is in their space.
It gives you an opportunity to make
a connection: 'Hey, you have a cat! I
have a cat too.'"

said. "You can see how collaborative they
are, if they are going to raise their hand to
ask questions or hang back in the shadows.
Depending on the role you are interviewing
for, that information is good to know."
On one of these calls, someone asked
about the company's time-off policy. When
Howell answered, she noticed one of the
applicants rolling their eyes. "OK," Howell

24

thought, "now I know that person is an
attrition risk."
When you are hiring remote workers,
your interview questions will need to
change too. It's not just an assessment of the
person's skills and attitude, but also of their
home resources.
At ERC, some positions require employees
to supply their own computers to connect to
the company's Virtual Private Network from
their home, while for other positions ERC
has deployed company laptops. Either way,
ERC requires applicants to take an internet
speed test to ensure their home network can
support the company's applications.
Privacy is also a big concern when
employees work from home with
confidential information. Will you require
the person's home office to have a door that
can lock? Fleming asks the candidates to get
on a video call so she can see their space.
"This also gives us a chance to get to know
the person better," Fleming said. "When you
are onboarding someone you've never talked
to face to face, it's fun to see what is in their
space. It gives you an opportunity to make
a connection: 'Hey, you have a cat! I have a
cat too.'"
Working from home can be isolating. You
might want to craft some questions to suss
out the person's emotional state: Will they
be able to handle working eight hours a day
by themselves? If the person will be in the
office, you'll want to explain your company's
safety policies and requirements.
At press time, Indiana was almost fully
open for business; Gross, whose company
is based in Warsaw, Indiana, has been
interviewing applicants in the office. They
practice social distancing and keep plenty of
hand sanitizer around. Everyone must wear a
mask, which Gross said only interferes with
the interview occasionally if the person is
soft-spoken.
"If the mask muffles what they are saying,
I just ask them to repeat themselves or ask
a slightly different question later in the
conversation to get the information I need,"
he said. "We don't shake hands, which is
awkward, but people seem to be getting used
to it."

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector - November 2020

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