By Eric Waldowski
In the current hiring market, adapting to new technologies and processes is commonplace for all of us. Over the last two years, many have adapted to remote or flexible work, integrated new systems to work more efficiently, invested in better communication with our candidates, hired candidates from different backgrounds than we used to, and much more.
Keeping up with the technology and the needs of our prospective employees can give us a massive advantage over our competition, but it requires always trying new and innovative tools and ideas. Today, I want to talk about Asynchronous Interviewing, a process that can help us connect with candidates who may not be as responsive to other methods, perhaps for several great reasons.
Simply put, asynchronous interviewing involves setting up an interview where the candidates can engage in the process and address questions on their own time. There are a number of ways that this can be done, all with varying results depending on what you are hoping to achieve. Let’s talk about the available options:
Written Pre-Screening Questions
This is a basic type of asynchronous interview because the employer gets to present questions to the candidate for them to answer at their convenience. While this is a great way to get someone “in the door” for the interview process, it lacks in some areas, such as being able to hear the tone, pitch, and word choice when someone is asked a question on the spot or asked to “act out” a situation. Pre-screening questions should certainly be used, but earlier in the hiring process. Personally, I prefer to use 3-5 of them as “Knock Out” questions, along with the assessment that the candidate completed prior to our first contacting them. This can be done via your IdealTraits account, or by emailing your candidates directly.
Give a Pitch and Record It
Another method of the asynchronous interview that has been in common use is having the candidate record themselves completing a task, either with video or a simple audio recording. With this method, you may prompt the candidate to give a pitch based on the info you provided about what they will be selling, or address a service concern based on outlined criteria. This is certainly a step up from the written answers, as we can hear the tone, see body language (when applicable), and get a feel for how they will carry themselves on the phone. This is traditionally done by asking the candidate to record themselves, either with their own phone or via a link sent by the employer. While this falls squarely in the “better” category when it comes to asynchronous options, it still lacks in that the candidate has more control over the time they take, the number of attempts, and being able to study the information they will be pitching on before completing their response. This may not seem super important, but in a face-to-face interview, there is a degree of pressure that is created by having to think on your feet. The lack of urgency with this pressure is one disadvantage of having the candidate record a pitch on their own.
One-Way Interview Tool
One of the most effective ways to streamline your hiring process, these tools allow the user to pre-set questions that the candidate will need to address, either by voice recording or video recording via an app or online resource. By pre-loading interview questions into the tool based on the role you are interviewing for, the candidate will be invited to complete a “One-Way Interview.” With the next question in the series only becoming visible after the previous question was answered, the candidate can only prepare so much; very similar to an in-person interview. However, these tools give you the ability to level the playing field by controlling how many attempts a candidate gets to record their answer, setting minimum and maximum answer length parameters for the recordings, and being able to customize the questions you use when setting the interviews up. You can nearly fully automate the pre-screening process with one-way interviewing. Check out our new Idealinterviews Tool for more information on how to integrate asynchronous interviewing into your Hiring Plan.
To wrap up, many of the best candidates that we are all looking for are working for someone right now. It would be a shame to limit our communication and interview opportunities to those that can only connect during regular office hours. Asynchronous interviewing with video and pre-set questions can move a candidate naturally from the application stage to the point where you may either extend the invite to a final interview or decline it, with almost no action on your part (besides staying engaged!).
More completed interviews and more information on your candidates before you meet them in person for the first time; just another simple step to make sure you make the right hire, the first time. What’s not to love?