5 Tips for Crisis Hiring from An Expert

Published:04/02/2000 | Posted by Mark Viner

5 tips for crisis hiring from an expert

If there’s one thing we know about life and business, it’s going to throw you some curve balls from time to time.  Successful companies are constantly adapting and evolving, and the best organizations do it in any environment.  They not only challenge themselves in the bad times, but also continue to make improvements during the good times. We are definitely in “crisis mode” which has people across the world now working remote.  But even in a crisis, business doesn’t stop.  The world keeps going, and inevitably people need things, services, etc. to function.

Prior to March 2020, many companies we work with already utilized remote employees and hired people remotely using videoconferencing software to make connections with potential candidates when across the U.S. and abroad.  So during this current crisis, I find myself wondering…

Why are so many companies and hiring executives so intimidated by remote hiring and on-boarding now, when so many companies I support have been doing it for years?

I think it just comes down to a lack of knowledge and experience, as well as the expertise to know what works and what doesn’t when hiring in a remote environment.  Not only do we hire many remote professionals at StevenDouglas, but we also place people all over the US and Internationally across our Executive and Professional Search, Interim Resources and IT Staffing and Consulting divisions.

Based on my experience, I want to discuss some key lessons from the virtual work landscape that many companies have been operating in for years, and share some strategies that our current clients are using in our new reality.  Companies are still hiring in this market, and when you find a top-tier candidate that fits your needs, here are some ideas to run a successful process.

1. Have the technology to allow effective interviewing & communication.

This could be a video conferencing service such as Zoom, buying laptops, expanding servers and capacity if needed, network security, etc.  You can’t compete in a remote landscape without the proper tools.

2. Most effective hires are those that fit the culture the best and you can assess this with video. 

Yes, it is more difficult to establish chemistry via zoom, but chemistry is chemistry, and when you have the right person in front of you, it’s pretty easy to know if someone is a fit.  A way to overcome distance is by asking great questions that open-up the conversation, such as examples of innovation, failures and what was learned, or ROI and the results achieved.  These type of conversation starters allow you to build rapport, and get a better understanding of the person you’re interviewing.   You can still read body language and assess the candidate’s energy level and passion through a video interview.

3. Keep your standard interview cycle – and make it more efficient. 

You still need to get to know the candidate, and they want and need to get to know you and your people just as much – so don’t take shortcuts here.  It’s easier right now than ever to make sure everyone is available for remote group interviews, or to schedule a potential hire to interview with multiple people on the same day.  You can take advantage of the current conditions and actually interview more efficiently, and move quickly on key roles to fill.

4. Keep the process moving. 

We all have heard the adage, “time kills all deals”, and that is true regardless if we are doing business remote or in-person, in a crisis or not.  So, don’t allow paralysis by analysis to overcome you.  That reaction will slow your progress, and possibly have you miss out on a great hire that may bring a huge, positive impact to your business.  You must keep moving forward regardless of the challenges, or risk being surpassed by your competitors.

5. Some of the best talent acquisition happens during a crisis.

We all know this crisis will end, and we will go back to business as usual.  A “crisis” is the perfect opportunity to find some of the best talent that may have been adversely affected because of the industry they are in.  In the blink of an eye, the candidate-driven market we’ve been in for years is gone, and you have some great hiring options right now.
The bottom line is that companies across the United States, and the world for that matter, continue to move forward despite the global crisis we are in.  The most successful of these companies are transitioning operations in the short-term to adapt, but are preparing for when the world is “open for business” again.  When life gets back to normal in a month, or two months or 6 months, what state will your business be in?  Will it be ready to hit the ground running, or will your company be scrambling to catch up? Help Me Hire Leaders.


mark viner steven douglasArticle written by StevenDouglas’ President of Interim Resources, Mark Viner.

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