How hiring has changed during lockdown

In April 2020 BMS Tech Sales worked with a company to recruit a senior salesperson to help deliver their growth ambitions.  The successful candidate completed the entire process without ever meeting a single person along the way.  Nobody from BMS had met them, nobody from the hiring company and met them.  They were just a face on a screen, a voice on the telephone.  It felt like an important moment.

Now in April 2021, I’ve lost count of the number of vacancies we’ve been fortunate enough to fill in this way, and the number of candidates we’ve been able to help into new roles without leaving their home office.

With an understandable increase in caution on both sides, there have been some key changes to the recruitment process during the lockdown.

Clients

There’s been a trend towards increasing the number of interview stages and involving more people in the decision-making process.  However, companies have also been able to move through the process more quickly as diaries for virtual interviews are far easier to coordinate than in-person when there is a need to be in a certain place and allow for travel time, particularly when recruiting in different markets.

On balance, this has made for a more agile, yet equally robust recruitment process.  There is understandably more caution, but it is not stopping companies from recruiting and driving forward with their growth plans.

Candidates

Selling over video call presents challenges.  So for a candidate to be able to sell themselves via video interview, they are effectively doubling up an interview with a sales demo which requires a number of the same skills

Therefore, perhaps the process is tougher in some ways by being virtual, but it remains a level playing field as all candidates are in the same boat.  And candidates going for sales roles should find themselves at an advantage as they are perhaps more used to selling their wares to a tough crowd than some in other professions.

Top tips for clients

1. Don’t have so many interviewers that it becomes a decision by committee

2. Plan your debrief – if there are a lot of internal stakeholders the more senior ones will dominate the decision 

3. Make the platform a place where people can be open and honest

4. Be swift in the process because other clients are

Top tips for candidates

1. Don’t do too many interviews in one day because you will have video fatigue

2. Rehearse some of your critical answers out loud with your partner or family

3. Make sure your WiFi and tech are good.  At this stage there’s no excuse for not having a good quality camera unless you’re at the beginning of your career and cost is prohibitive

4. Dress for success – A hoodie won’t cut it if you are in the front office!