April 15 this year, a panel discussion of a group of experts was held, devoted to the challenges faced by the recruitment process during the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting, in which WObit was represented by Katarzyna Ober-Degórska - Quality, HR and Organization Director, was organized as part of the Czas Zawodowców BIS – zawodowa Wielkopolska project.
In the debate led by Małgrzorzata Spychała and Marek Goliński from the Institute of Safety and Quality Engineering at the Faculty of Management Engineering at the Poznań University of Technology, apart from Director Katarzyna Ober-Degórska, the following persons took part:
- Olga Grabowska - Senior Manager HR Poland w WS Audiology
- Klaudia Malisz – HR Manager in Job Impulse Polska Sp. z o.o.
- Dagmara Marcinkowska – TA Associate EMEA LA CA in WS Audiology
The ongoing Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus epidemic in Poland and worldwide has affected many areas of our lives, including work and communication. In recent months, many companies have changed the way they work, and face-to-face meetings have replaced videoconferencing. The change in the principles of maintaining social relations forced a reorganization in the functioning of enterprises and the development of new rules of conduct and methods of communication. When asked about how their organizations dealt with it, the participants of the meeting emphasized that a significant role in adapting to the new reality was played by flexible and empathetic, and at the same time decisive adaptation activities of companies.
Tools for online meetings and remote communication helped in the quick adaptation of recruitment processes to the required social distance. They have become one of the standard methods of communication, although they have not entirely replaced face-to-face meetings at company headquarters.
On what competencies employers pay attention?
All experts unanimously emphasized the growing role of soft skills, communication skills, flexibility and adaptation to changes, ability to work in a team, and organization of independent work.
The participants of the meeting also heard about the advantages of remote recruitment. Among them, they mainly mentioned time savings, both the candidate who does not have to spend time traveling to the company's headquarters and the recruiter who, thanks to this time saving, can give a chance to interview a larger number of candidates at different hours during the day and from different parts of Poland and even the world. An online recruitment interview is also an initial test of communication skills, which will be important in later work, during online project meetings with clients often scattered in many locations.
Experts, preferring hybrid recruitment, were also unanimous about the disadvantages of recruitment conducted only online. They drew attention to the fact that the candidate, coming personally to the company's headquarters for a meeting, feels the atmosphere in the company from the very first moment, sees the office, people, talking to each other, which makes it easier for him to feel if he would like to work here and how he feels in such an atmosphere. Manual competencies are also easier to check for a recruiter at the company's headquarters, and the candidate has the opportunity to see the machinery and work organization. We are social creatures, we like direct relationships. During the conversation, it is easier for us to catch non-verbal communication.
How to prepare for online recruitment?
The experts pointed out that the most important difference between a recruitment meeting at the company's headquarters and a video interview via the online application is its form, as the course of the interview itself remains largely unchanged. Candidates must pay attention to technical issues, such as checking the operation of the application, ensuring a suitable, quiet place without distractions, and taking care of the dress code. However, substantive preparation is still of key importance, such as the candidates' reflection on the motivation to work in a given company and a given position, awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, or preparation of questions that they want to ask the future supervisor or recruiter.
During questions from participants, a question arose as to whether recruiters pay attention to the background during the online interview. Director Katarzyna Ober-Degórska, smiling, confirmed that if she noticed an interesting book on the shelf in the background, she would certainly ask about it to relieve the candidate's emotions. Often, such background elements can be the beginning of the small talk that will reassure the candidate and ensure the recruiter's partnership approach.
Katarzyna Ober-Degórska emphasized the importance of good preparation for both candidates and recruiters. She also indicated that in WObit, recruitment meetings are a partner conversation in which mutual respect is important. It is one of the values that WObit adheres to in everyday operations. It is worth noting that the company promotes the principles of friendly recruitment, caring for good relations, and a friendly atmosphere.
The panel was concluded with the presentation of the system.zawodowcy.org platform, prepared to support recruitment processes and combine the needs of the labor market with the potential of vocational education.
About the project
The project Czas zawodowców BIS – zawodowa Wielkopolska s launched as part of the Wielkopolska Regional Operational Program 2014+ and will be implemented by the end of 2022 by the Self-Government of the Wielkopolska Region (Department of Education and Science of the Marshal's Office of the Wielkopolska Region) and the Poznań University of Technology in cooperation with interested local governments, employers and schools vocational educators from the Wielkopolskie voivodeship.