The “recruiter” in me has always been opposed to the idea of “distance interviews” – interviews with candidates by way of a webcam. I always thought that there was something “difficult” about them – you need to see the applicant in person to make a decision. Is the person a fit for our firm? Do they have the design sensibility that we are looking for? Are they presenting their portfolio in a compelling way? These were questions that we couldn’t possibly get an answer to unless the candidate was sitting across the table from us – right?
Recently I was involved in recruiting for two 3D visualization positions at Payette. The hiring managers and I discovered many talented people applied for the positions – just not many from the area. Talent was streaming in from all over the country (and world, in some instances). Instead of throwing up our hands and complaining about the lack of local candidates, we slowly started to wade into the “distance interview” waters.
The first attempt at this was slightly awkward, but for the most part, the process improved with each new candidate we spoke with via Skype. With these 3D positions specifically, we were able to “share screens” with candidates, review their work samples in real time and talk through the rendered images. This was extremely helpful – it made the hiring managers and me feel like the person was actually in the room.
In addition to the technological capabilities of this type of interview, the candidates who we spoke with all seemed very comfortable on the other side of the table (or in this case, computer monitor). Candidates were speaking to us from a location that was known to them, most likely their home, and for that reason, their comfort level was heightened and any unease or stress that a candidate would normally feel during an interview was lessened.
Payette is most likely a late-adopter of conducting interviews via Skye but it is definitely a real option for our recruiting needs going forward (I’ve started to mention this as a possibility for other open positions). The idea of connecting with talented candidates from across the country with a few clicks of a mouse is a novel one for me but one that I am now fully on-board with.
When is a conference room not a conference room?