The Covid pandemic altered the working world as we know it. Remote working came into play over night, as businesses responded to the Government’s work from home messages which has resulted in millions of executives working from home. Businesses know due to the technological advances, they can now access candidates from much further afield, so many are taking advantage and expanding their search across the nation in a bid to find the very best talent.

In Part 3 of a 4-Part Series on SMEs, King Recruit shares our top advice for breaking the geographical challenges when recruiting.

Part 1: Building a Resilient and Effective Management Team

Part 2: Creating a Winning EVP

Part 3: How to Break the Geographical Barrier when Recruiting

Part 4: Is it Time to Replace Yourself?

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In the South West, we have seen many executives accepting positions in Bristol, London and further afield. Businesses know they can now reach candidates who were previously out of the running due to location, so they are expanding their search across the nation in pursuit of the very best talent. And candidates know this is happening so are looking for those companies with an inviting and slick recruitment process.

The Covid pandemic altered the working world as we know it. Remote working had to come into play over night, as businesses responded to the Government’s work from home messages. Technology advanced at a rate never experienced before in order to meet the changing needs and we saw millions of people adjusting to communicating via Microsoft Teams and Zoom in order to stay in touch with colleagues and carry out business.

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With these technological advancements being utilised by so many businesses, limitations previously experienced in hiring people across the country no longer existed. Suddenly, a whole new talent pool could be reached, in locations never thought of before due to geographical barriers.

In order to capitalise on this, businesses now need to think about their hiring processes and ensure they can be seen and heard.

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Have you considered what your recruitment process looks like for those candidates that were previously unattainable?

We have put together a list of our top advice for remote recruitment:

One. Widen your remit

Whether it is your business that is geographically challenged or your candidates’ location, the restrictions that previously existed have changed dramatically. Previously candidates didn’t always know about potential opportunities as roles were advertised as location specific. Candidates filtered out locations they didn’t want to travel to so the talent pool was limited. Due to working from home or a hybrid of remote working and office working becoming the norm, the geographical barriers have been removed. It is important to consider this when advertising your role, make it inclusive, don’t put up obstacles, if someone lives 200 miles away but actually the role is predominantly remote, promote how accessible the role is. If some office attendance is required as part of the role, sell the benefits of working from the office and how easy transport links are.

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Two. Know your candidate profile

It may sound simple but clearly defining what you are hiring for, expectations of the new role, attributes of the position, skills they will require to do the job, personality traits, soft skills and qualifications. All of this should be discussed and outlined and clearly reflected in the job description. It can be a lengthy process fleshing it all out initially but by clarifying this from the outset it can save time further down the line and also help to attract the most suitable candidates.

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Three. Use technology

Whether your business favours Teams or Zoom, interviewing candidates online is now largely expected in many scenarios. You can get a sense of how the candidate presents themselves and how they interact with you. You can perform the interview as you would face to face, with probing questions about experience, fit for the role, strengths etc all being discussed. Online interviews also have the advantage of being flexible, efficient, cost effective and can be a really positive experience for the candidate, giving them an insight into your business. Despite it being online, you still need to sell your business and the role to the candidate as much as they need to sell themselves to you. So ensure you review the job description, set expectations, research the candidate, be prepared, look professional and minimise distractions.

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4. Psychometric testing

We have seen a shift in the requirement of hard skills to soft skills, so like video interviewing, psychometric tests are being used more and more. Psychometric testing can help a company to understand how a candidate will behave at work, asses their intelligence; explore aptitude and logistical skills which can determine a candidate’s problem solving abilities. Tests can provide an illustration of a candidate’s personality and fit within an existing team, as well as their verbal and numerical capabilities, which is a big factor in the decision making process. Ask us about DISC profiling: helen@kingrecruit.com

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5. Consider face to face interviews

If the type of role requires a face to face interview following the online interview, be flexible. Does the candidate need to attend the office, or could a meeting half way be acceptable? We have already said we are seeing a shirt towards soft skills, and a coffee or lunch in a business park or services can still tell you just as much about a person as a formal interview in the office. If hiring for a senior post you may want the candidate to attend the office in person to potentially meet their team and experience the environment. If so, make it a positive encounter. Even if they don’t end up being the right fit for the role, what does it say about your business if they walk away having had an inspiring and engaging experience?

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6. Introduce a trial period

If a face to face interview didn’t take place, establishing a trial period could be advantageous for both parties. Many employment contracts have a probationary period, but by introducing a short trial period this enables you to assess a candidate’s ability to carry out the role, see how they integrate with the existing team, what their management style might be like, whether they are the right fit for the environment. Likewise, it gives the candidate an ideal opportunity to find out what the company culture is like, the people, the office and what is expected of them.

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About Us

If you are looking to recruit top talent that maybe out of your geographical location or if your business has a geographical barrier – King Executive helps businesses to expand by finding game-changing leadership talent. With our partner-led approach and expertise in all aspects of talent strategy and hiring – across the South West.

King joined forces with James Caan CBE and award-winning investment firm Recruitment Entrepreneur in July 2021. Recruitment Entrepreneur is one of the most successful private equity investors in start-up to scale up recruitment businesses.

If you’d like to get in contact with our Founder and Managing Director, Helen Plumridge – you can contact Helen at helen@kingrecruit.com | 07808 537696

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Enjoyed this article? See our whole SME Series below

Building a resilient and effective management team

https://www.kingrecruit.com/building-a-resil…-management-team/

Creating a winning EVP

https://www.kingrecruit.com/creating-a-winning-evp/

How to break the geographical barrier when recruiting

https://www.kingrecruit.com/how-to-break-the…-when-recruiting/

Is it time to replace yourself?

https://www.kingrecruit.com/is-it-time-to-replace-yourself/