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How to hire online: The not-so basic tips

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​As lockdown laws are reintroduced, recruiters and hiring managers are forced to adapt back to a life online and adopt virtual practices. Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Skype are some of the most popular platforms for professionals to execute virtual interviews, but how does the content of the interview differ from an in-person experience?

As the property industry shows no sign of slowing down with agencies reporting record numbers in sales since the announcement of the stamp duty holiday and real estate sectors remaining open during lockdown 2.0, building an effective and successful team is more critical than ever.

This article will talk you through the not-so basic tips for virtual interviews to ensure your attracting the right talent and positioning your business as market leading.

Take it just as seriously

Make sure you have booked enough time for the virtual interview, stay professional and reflect your businesses tone of voice. Virtual interviews can be overlooked due to (what feels likes) a less formal setting but demonstrating professionalism at the interview process will attract and retain the right employees. Digital hiring options also opens your talent pool wider, as you have the option of interviewing talent across the globe.

Talk about culture

What is your company culture? It’s common for a business to talk about having a unique culture and according to Workplace Insight, 62% of millennials think culture is more important than salary and 52% of professionals over 55 agree, so it’s important to showcase this online. This might be more challenging than if you were holding interviews in the office (without the bean bags, dynamic workspace or corporate boardroom) but it can still be achieved. When describing your culture or values give real life and tangible examples for the interviewee to envision the environment. If your business culture prides itself for its trustworthiness or casual approach, how has an individual or the company demonstrated this?


According to Docebo, 95% of millennials note a healthy work-life balance as a top priority when searching for a new job. To attract high quality talent, employee benefits and employment models should reflect the needs and values of individuals you are trying to attract. What measures do you put in place to prioritise your employee wellbeing? Does your business prioritise work-life balance? Share experiences as well as short testimonials which you can quote within the interview.

Poor mental health costs employers between £33bn and £42bn a year, according to the Thriving at Work report, with low productivity, absenteeism, and staff turnover all affected by employee wellbeing. Business success starts with the health and wellbeing of your people!

Explain how your business has responded to the crisis

Transparency, honesty and integrity all come into play when discussing how your company has responded to COVID-19. Has your business had to make staff redundancies? If so, this shouldn’t be dismissed as clarity is key especially in the early stages. What good actions can you take from the pandemic? Your business might have donated to the NHS or volunteered to help those at risk. This is also the time to also ask the interviewee how they managed to tackle the challenges the pandemic threw at them. After all, it is the reason for the virtual interview!

Extra time

It’s normal to question ‘the right hire’ when you and your fellow hiring managers have not met the candidate in person. Requiring additional stages or including more current employees in the process can assist and support your decision making. If the candidate will be managing, introduce them to some of their team and if the candidate is working an autonomous job role, include other leaders who are respected in your business to join a virtual call and meet them. Diary management shouldn’t be impacted as time is saved travelling to and from meetings and interviews.

Demonstrate leadership engagement

According to Business Insider, lack of engagement is one of the top reasons why employees quit their job. It could also be a reason for talent not to join a business. To ensure this is avoided, demonstrate ways in which you, your business and the leadership team keep staff engaged. Simple ways to do this is by offering flexible schedules, learning and development programmes and offering the opportunity to make a difference in the business and for their voice to be heard.

If your business is making 2021 a focus for hiring, deverellsmith offer an array of services to ensure you are business ready. From salary and compensation benchmarking to competitor research projects, speak with our Client Solutions Director to learn more.


For more information on how to hire and onboard remotely, contact deverellsmith’s team of experts who can offer market intel and analysis on the market.

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