The impact COVID-19 has made on the world will likely affect the way we interact with one another for the rest of our lives. This holds especially true when it comes to the process of interviewing candidates for new roles. While the world seemingly stands still, companies must still find and hire the talent they require to continue operations. The pharmaceutical industry is a prime example of this. While many industries slowed, life science companies were forced to adapt so that clinical and medical professionals continue the work of developing new treatments to improve patient lives, including therapeutics and vaccines to battle COVID-19. The world has changed, the industry has changed, and finding and hiring candidates has changed.
Interviewing virtually quickly gained steam when the world realized the pandemic was going to be prolonged. While the past emphasis was placed on meeting candidates face to face, shaking their hands, and getting a feel for how they commanded a room, now, candidates must be evaluated through a video feed on a monitor. While this poses several challenges, the new format also created a whole new set of criteria that hiring managers can use to screen candidates.
Virtual interviews can be conducted on multiple platforms, including Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, etc. It is increasingly difficult to find one in which all parties involved are familiar. As a recruiting firm, we encourage everyone to test and practice with the software that will be used to conduct interviews. This will hopefully prevent technical issues at the start of the interview. Using the program beforehand will also allow the candidate to become familiar with the layout so they are able to easily navigate the presentation tools. Just as important, this demonstrates a level of preparedness that Hiring Managers will want to see. Outside of platform problems, there are other variables that can create challenges such as internet outages, dogs barking, poor audio quality, the list goes on. It’s recognized that there are issues that sometimes arise that are out of a participant’s control, but every effort should be made to minimize those.
Next, it is more difficult to get a read on a candidate’s personality or presentation capabilities when they have their information directly in front of them. Despite this, virtual interviews provide many positives.
Interviewers can now evaluate a new skill set, not previously considered. With travel greatly reduced, many internal and external meetings and interactions need to be virtual, a trend that will likely continue once the pandemic subsides. As a result, it is important to hire a candidate who captures the audience’s attention via webcast and is also able to create a sense of connection during the interaction. This skill is now front and center when a candidate interviews and presents their material virtually to the hiring team. As we continue to place emphasis on distance interactions, it is important to hire professionals who excel in remote communication.
The shift to virtually based interviews has affected several other processes. Hiring managers can move candidates through the entire interview process much quicker since travel is not required. Previously, it was not uncommon for weeks to pass before candidate and interviewer schedules, travel arrangements, etc., would align. These challenges have been greatly reduced. Rather than candidates and interviewers spending two days to travel to an interview, they only need to dedicate a few hours to complete the final phases of the interview process. This saves everyone involved time, effort, and money.
Also, now additional interviewers can participate in the process since there is less time dedicated to it, and scheduling has become easier. With a speedier process companies can hire the talent they need much more quickly, limit the amount of competition they face, and reduce the possibility of losing their lead candidate to the competition. On the flip side, candidates can vet and find their next opportunity even quicker, which is increasingly important if they happen to be in between roles.
In today’s environment, video interview technology is a must-have for companies. The benefits of remote interaction have proven to save time, effort, and money. And as the virus diminishes, companies will likely choose to facilitate interviews and presentations online. Hiring Managers can enhance their Medical Affairs or Clinical Operations team quickly, thereby allowing them to address pressing business needs. How well your company has adapted to this evolution is what will differentiate your organization from your competition.
Bryce joined TriNet Pharma in 2018 as a recruiter, and later that year his role expanded; today, he is TriNet Pharma’s Director of Operations and Account Management. Day to day, Bryce ensures the proper management of client relationships, including understanding a customer’s specific requirements, planning how to meet their needs/demands, and leading recruiters to make sure there are seamless staffing transitions for candidates and clients.
Prior to joining TriNet Pharma, Bryce worked in the retail foodservice industry. There too, he managed client relationships and ensured orders were correct and met quality metrics.
Bryce attended Oklahoma State University and Texas State University.
When not working, he enjoys spending time at his family’s farm with his wife, attending Dallas Stars games, traveling, and playing with Scout and Riley, his two dogs.
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