Before we look if and how recruiting has changed, we should start with the definition “What is recruitment?”. Cambridge Dictionary explains that recruitment is the process of finding people to work for a company or become a new member of an organization. While it is absolutely true, it doesn’t show the actual magnitude of it.

Candidates see only a small part of the recruitment process starting from the point they either apply or are contacted by someone from the organization.

The actual process begins when the company needs to fill a position. The initial point is defining the expected tasks and goals for the job. From there, we can start creating the list with expectations towards potential candidates. Finally, we can clarify who should be involved besides the Recruiter and define the overall process.

Adjustments we have made in recruitment this year

We, recruiters, used to have candidates in the same physical space with us. Picking up small cues of behavior during small-talk helped us to get a better sense of the candidate. That changed overnight as all the interaction went fully virtual in March 2020.

We have felt that it is challenging to get the same information through the screen as it is limiting our perception of the candidate in full. We are putting more effort into creating the initial atmosphere making the candidate and ourselves feel at ease. There is a bit more chit-chat, at the beginning of the interviews, to get all participants into the same comfortable rhythm.

Differences in recruiting before and after COVID-19

birkle IT was an early adopter of 100% work from home policy when the news hit about the pandemic affecting Europe. To understand these new complexities better and to adapt quickly, we needed to provide some extra time for our HR Managers. Taking the recruiting task off their table and hiring a full-time Senior Recruiter for our Munich and Tallinn office, gave us a chance to create a smooth virtual hiring process.

To give a better understanding, we are listing some of the changes that we implemented:

  • Redesigning the recruitment process. Instead of giving home-tasks for all levels, we started using live coding exercises for most Mid and Senior Developer candidates.

  • Choosing the right tools. After researching and testing different tools for interviews, we decided in favor of Teams and Zoom. Zoom has proven to be the best for the live task where the candidate takes over the machine of one of our Developers’ to code and run tests in their IntelliJ directly.

  • Time management. We learned that virtual meetings tend to take a bit more time due to potential technical hick-ups, so we needed to adjust our plans.

  • Flexibility. Though we are primarily recruiting virtually, we can see that visiting the actual office, before accepting the offer, is important to some of our candidates. This is one of the exceptions we have made to our COVID-19 office rules. For the future, we are playing with the idea of creating a new virtual tour of our offices.
Live coding during recruitment

Main focus in recruiting remains the same

Though recruiting is more virtual than ever, the basic focus remains the same. Honesty, sincere interest, and aspiration for self-development are some of the key elements we are hoping to see in our candidates.

Fortunately, our clients have not been negatively impacted by the current economic situation. This has brought us new and exciting projects supporting our further growth. Having seasoned Recruiters on board has helped us to cope with the rising demand for talented experts.