As we approached the end of the second quarter of 2020, the world turned upside down. COVID-19 stretched its infectious arm around the globe and brought “business as usual” to a near halt. Now, a few weeks later, people and businesses have adapted to the new routine and it feels as if the wheels have resumed turning at a more normal speed. (That is, unless you have kids at home and are home schooling, which feels anything but normal.)
Chaloner is in the business of helping clients find top communications talent. We partner with organizations and companies to fill roles that enable optimum communications and marketing functionality. At this moment in time, employees are being classified as either essential or non-essential. Regardless of any government classification, organizations of all shapes and sizes, public, private, non-profit and government, now view communications as “essential”, to the health of their business and, on a larger scale, to the health of the economy.
So at this time, is it smart to sit back and wait to fill open roles or hold on hiring needed expertise? Our clients don’t think so and we are pleased to be busy facilitating searches and supporting our partners through careful navigation of the recruiting and talent acquisition process in this changing environment. The market is active. Even in the last few weeks, the Chaloner team has begun new searches with clients, made offers and completed searches.
The questions we are being asked – almost daily – include “Can we make an offer without ever meeting face-to-face?” and “Will we really know s/he/they is the right person if we don’t ever sit together in the same room?” and “Is it possible to assess cultural fit without really talking to the candidate in person?” A solid number of our clients over the years are fully remote organizations. Those teams have traditionally made hires using a fully remote recruiting process and they have proven that the answer to all of the above is “yes.” Modern technology allows for visual connections as well as real-life discussion and dialogue that connects people around the world seamlessly.
But what about the candidates? How do they feel about conducting the interview process in a fully virtual manner? Last week, Chaloner conducted an online pulse survey of our expansive network asking:
“Would you accept an offer without meeting the team in person or ever going into the office?”
Nearly 70 percent of respondents said yes. We found this result fascinating as most communications professionals are considered extroverts who thrive off the energy that comes from being with others. What this affirms for us is that the fully remote hiring process is not only possible as a construct, but that candidates are comfortable with the method as well.
Since the timing on a complete return to (what we previously accepted as) normal is TBD, we are excited to continue working with clients and candidates to fill necessary and essential communications and marketing roles using a thoughtful and carefully managed remote hiring process. In the coming weeks, we will share more perspectives and real-world insights. We will continue to pulse our network for their answers to the questions of the day.
Chaloner has success stories to share and our team is available to brainstorm with you on the best way to make this work for your organization and management. Stay safe and be well.
Beth Kitzinger, Vice President – Chaloner
Beth has nearly 25 years as a practitioner, strategist, operations/HR head and agency leader in the communications industry, managing national searches in all industries with a focus on mission-driven and philanthropic organizations.