COVID-19 pandemic has astonishingly impacted the whole world in all walks of life. Undoubtedly, it is the economy and health of people, the two vital areas for human beings, that are most affected.
Some of the large companies are going bankrupt, leave alone the small companies. Individuals are on the fear of losing lives and employment, not seen even during the times of great depression. The heavy impact on job loss was seen due to COVID-19.
According to CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy), 1 India’s unemployment rate rises to 27.11% amid the COVID-19 crisis. About 27 million youth in the age group of 20-30 years lost jobs in April itself. People between the ages of 20 and 44 were the most impacted by the COVID-19. With over 27 million young people losing jobs in April alone, massive disruptions and long-term repercussions were expected for the economy. According to the latest available information, the pandemic has impacted the lives of 555 million workers around the world. About 122 million Indians lost jobs due to COVID-19 (Indian Express, 17 July 2020)2. Temporary furloughs, rescinded job offers, hiring freezes, and layoffs have created a tremendous amount of upheaval across all industries and roles.
Hiring during COVID-19
As a result of the pandemic, more and more companies are putting hard efforts to revive themselves and the economy and the people. In this process, companies are initiating remote work for at least some staff. It has become a challenge for companies to hire in the middle of the pandemic. COVID-19 has hit some industries very hard, yet some industries like e-commerce, delivery, and cyber-security are able to revive slowly.
Work from Home
WFH appeared as an alternative to some organizations and for some others a necessity because their employees tested positive for the virus. Finding the need for new hiring, companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, and others have taken the lead to hiring new recruits using new technology.
Along with WFH came the necessity of hiring too. With stay-at-home as a norm, remote interviewing has become a requirement. Every company made use of technology to conduct interviews or hiring candidates. Tech tools such as Zoom, Skype, and Go-to-Meeting, video-conferencing, and the like came into prominence.
Amazon3 set up virtual interview portals for candidates to connect with recruiters, through Amazon Chime, the company’s video-conferencing software. Google conducted interviews either through its Hangouts or by using video-conferencing through BlueJeans. LinkedIn informed job-seekers that they would conduct interviews virtually via BlueJeans as they are not sure when this pandemic will end to enable face-to-face interviews. For this purpose, they are using Microsoft Teams platform which has provision for chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration.
Tips for Facing Remote Interviews
In an article published in HBR, ‘How to nail a job interview’, some tips are given to candidates for facing a remote interview which is presented here in a hexagon4.
Tips for Virtual Interviewing3
The recruiting consultants began with an initial phone call for screening, followed by interviews and presentations through videos. Some of the tips for virtual interviewing are:
♠ Be prepared: Interviewers should be familiar with the job description, the candidate’s resume, and specific questions to be asked. They should also choose a quiet, well-lit room for interviews and share with candidates how to access the video-conferencing technology and which software needs to be downloaded.
♠ Set expectations: Candidates should be given advance notice about virtual interviews and information regarding what’s expected from the interview.
♠ Checking tech: Technology, including a camera and microphone to be used in the interviews to be double-checked both by the company and candidates.
Limitations of remote interviewing5
Barry Deutsch, a partner at IMPACT Hiring Solutions , lists some limitations of virtual interviewing. and cautions, one should be careful in such interviews.
☢ Sometimes technology fails to work during the interview
☢ Difficult to assess required skill testing
☢ Difficult to conduct written tests, role plays, case studies, and situational examples
☢ Testing attitude, behavior, and cultural fit is difficult in remote interviews
☢ Generally, remote interviews are relatively for a shorter time. Hence, the quality of hires cannot be ascertained.
Mistakes committed by job-seekers and suggestions to rectify6
An article in Forbes outlines the common mistakes committed by job-seekers in their anxiety to get into a job. and also suggests how to rectify those mistakes.
COVID-19 has caused an enormous impact on employees and on job seekers. Remote working and remote hiring came to their rescue. One should learn to live with pandemic and move forward because experts say it is not going to end shortly and it may take one or two years to find a remedy or vaccine to prevent it. Efforts should be made to overcome the limitations of remote interviewing. Job-seekers need to concentrate on the tips given in this byte. Video-conferencing and Google Meet are emerging as very useful tools for this purpose.