The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has lead businesses to cut hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of employees. And for those who find themselves out of a job in a time when most businesses remain physically closed, remote work can be the solution. But the truth is, finding a remote job comes with its own set of unique challenges: You not only have to demonstrate that you’re the best applicant for the job – you have to demonstrate you’re the best remote applicant!
To better understand this shift and what it means for remote talent acquisition and interviewing, we sat down for a Q&A with Lindsey Ivie, Co-Founder of the #GetHired Summit. #GetHired is a two-day virtual conference to combat the rise in unemployment in the United States, featuring prominent keynotes, virtual information sessions, online recruiter Q&As, virtual concerts, and unmatched job search resources. It brings leaders, companies, and talent together to create a world-class experience.
As Co-Founder of the summit with a background in telecommunications, Lindsey is an established subject-matter expert in the world of remote talent acquisition and hiring. Here’s what she had to say about how candidates can successfully navigate today’s job market!
Q: What advice would you give to job seekers right now?
A: The biggest thing I can think of is having a presence on LinkedIn. With millions of positions being eliminated, that’s where everyone is right now. Whether you’re looking for a job or just trying to make new connections, your audience is probably bigger and more engaged than ever. Plus, there are so many people out there wanting to help those who have been affected by the pandemic. As I’ve seen with so many posts already, being vulnerable encourages an honest, transparent discussion. There’s no longer this negative connotation around, “I was let go.”
So for those navigating this new landscape, I’d say be vulnerable. Put yourself out there with something as simple as a post or video showing your personality and what you’re looking for – it can go a long way in uncovering new opportunities.
Q: Specific to remote work, what skills or competencies are the most important for candidates to have?
A: Whether the position calls for full-time remote work or something more flexible, brush up on your soft skills. While a technological skillset (like knowledge of video conferencing and chat applications) is undoubtedly advantageous, organizations are primarily looking for candidates who can adapt.
A flexible work model takes the stress out of managing the rigidity of a nine-to-five. Working from home means we’re often dealing with distractions that can pull us away from work in the morning or afternoon. Before panicking about balancing deadlines and child care, candidates should talk to prospective employers about how they successfully manage their time – at the end of the day, most managers just want to be assured they have a team that’s willing to fill in the gaps when necessary.
Q: As an interviewer, what are some advantages video has over traditional phone screenings?
A: The great thing about video is that it allows you to get creative, ultimately giving you more control over how personalized you want the hiring process to be. I remember I was interviewing for a position a while ago, and the company (who was definitely ahead of the curve at the time) requested I send a video of myself discussing my background and what I liked to do – kind of like a one-minute promo. I think encouraging something like that, even before the formal interview process begins, is a nice treat that puts a name, a face and a story behind each candidate.
Q: Say a candidate has booked an interview for a position they really want. How should they prepare to impress in a remote environment?
A: I would prioritize finding a quiet place to settle down to do some prep. Figure out where you’re going to take the interview, and inspect the environment accordingly. Test your audio and video, eliminate background distractions and make sure your backdrop is appropriate. Don’t forget to bring your own questions – and be prepared to engage right from the start. It’s easy to tell when someone’s caught off-guard with video, so demonstrating you understand how these features work will really “wow” the interviewer.
Q: Any other hot tips you can think of?
A: I think the biggest thing is your network. If you’re a job seeker, reach out to your network. I’ve had a ton of people reach out to me, and I’ve even shared resumes. LinkedIn references are a great way to highlight the key competencies of people you’ve worked with. That way, if they ever find themselves out of a job, they have references right on their profile that speak to their work ethic and strengths. Plus, people are likely to return the favor, so it’s a win/win!
Catch up on #GetHired’s HR panel with LogMeIn’s own Jo Deal
In the first panel session of this year’s #GetHired Summit, LogMeIn’s VP of Human Resources, Jo Deal, joined the #GetHired team for an engaging discussion on how to navigate this new frontier for both human resources professionals and job seekers.
More best practices and strategies for embracing remote work
For more information on building a remote-friendly culture and welcoming new, fully-remote hires, check out our remote work resource center by clicking on the image below.