Working online during the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging at times. Despite that, benefits revealed themselves as folks adjusted.
Working at home is good for some people’s mental health. It saves money on childcare for parents who can manage work and parenting at the same time. For businesses, transitioning to remote work cuts rent and utility bills.
Looking at the pros and cons of online interviews, the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks. That’s true no matter whether your employees do remote work or report to the office. Take a look at these key benefits of online interviews vs in-person interviews.
1. Accommodate Remote Workers
Remote work is great for many employees and employers alike. It gives you access to employees you wouldn’t otherwise be able to hire because they live far away. You can grow your workforce without worrying about having enough space for all the desks.
The interview process is the biggest hurdle for some companies switching to remote work. Before online interviews, phone interviews were unreliable and you couldn’t see prospects’ faces. Holding in-person interviews for remote workers poses other problems.
You either have to limit your labor pool to hires in your immediate area or accept the challenges of onboarding workers from elsewhere. You’ll invest in transportation and sometimes lodging costs or accept that you’ll miss out on far-away candidates who can’t or don’t want to pay travel costs. Apart from the expense, the effort and time invested in traveling to an interview for a remote job will also turn away some potential hires.
2. Hold More Online Interviews in One Day
If you interview multiple candidates in person within one day, the chances are high that you’ll spend half your time doing everything except for interviewing. You’ll have to do things like refreshing the interview room, replenishing any food or water you might offer the candidates, getting your notes together, and waiting for your hiring committee to return from snack and bathroom breaks.
Online interviews are much snappier. Rather than having a long pause in-between each session, you can do many interviews, one right after another. You don’t have to spend time ushering each candidate in and out, and the lower turnaround time offers fewer opportunities for your committee to check out.
You don’t need lots of breaks that fill hours of your valuable time when doing online interviews. You could have one break separating a block of online interviews from the time your committee spends reviewing them. You can record the sessions and play them back for accurate comparisons of potential hires.
3. Don’t Spend All Day Interviewing
A day stuffed with interviews is one strategy afforded to you by an online interview process. If you don’t want to devote a whole day to interviewing, you can fit online interviews into gaps in your regular schedule.
Due to the unwritten time-wasters detailed above, a 15-minute in-person interview could take 30, 45, even 60 minutes. If you don’t spend a full day doing interviews, you’ll have to block out part of your workday for them. You might have to skip part of your routine and will only be able to do a few interviews along with your usual work.
When you do online interviews, on the other hand, you can have the best of both worlds. You can slip several interviews into breaks throughout the day, at once stuffing your day with productive work and continuing the hiring process. Completing both hiring work and business as usual doesn’t have to mean rushing one or the other if you interview online.
4. Meet Employees in Their Element
One of the biggest advantages of online interviews vs in-person interviews is the insight you get into employees’ comfort zone. The awkward formality of the typical interview room isn’t a natural environment for most candidates. It’s not a natural environment for most hiring committee members, for that matter!
If you review a remote onboarding best practices list, you’ll see that much of the onboarding process involves meeting employees where they’re at. Employers who aren’t in tune with their remote workers’ comfort and needs face high employee turnover. Workers are happier and employers spend less time onboarding when they get to know each other and communicate well.
There’s no better way to get to know your employees than to learn a bit about their natural habits. Whether candidates interview from home or a coffee shop, they’ll be more comfortable than they would be in an interview space. You can discuss their surroundings to break the ice and pick up some personal trivia.
Where they interview and how they address surprises such as little ones busting into their office unannounced shows their professionalism. It gives you a better idea of their character and motivations than you’d get from an in-person interview. Gathering this information clarifies how well candidates fit with your organization from the get-go.
5. Don’t Pay for an Interview Room
Online interviews save money for workplaces in a diverse range of situations. For example, consider employers with remote offices, hiring committees traveling to meet workers in distant areas, and those looking for neutral out-of-office interview sites.
As different as those circumstances are, they all have one thing in common when it comes to the hiring process: they have to pay for interview space.
Those expenses add up fast when interviewing many candidates, whether you’re renting a conference room or paying for meals with prospective employees. You can avoid the costs if you conduct interviews online.
Hiring might be less fun when classy hotels and lunchtime cocktails aren’t involved. Still, you’ll focus resources on what’s best for business.
The Advice You Need for Your Business and Lifestyle
These benefits of online interviews over in-person sessions save time, money, and produce better hires. If you want more hot business tips and tricks, you can find what you need here. We also have great lifestyle advice to help you make the most of your downtime.
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