In January I had the chance to join ParkBee, a scale-up, and help them with their steep hiring goals in Q1. The recruitment machine was up and running full speed and we made hires almost every week for several months resulting in 13 happy hires. 

However, the pace dropped when we started working from home. Due to the uncertainty of the situation with COVID-19, we had to prioritize some roles above others and adjust our hiring plan. What is surprising is that we had more applicants than ever. Therefore, we had to adjust our recruitment process due to the working from home (WFH)  situation as we were used to having candidates on site. 

What we didn’t anticipate is that it actually helped us improve our speed, quality, and team involvement! 

Here’s what we did: 


1. Getting hiring managers more involved

It was already the case before, but setting-up a weekly catch-up time with the hiring manager can do wonders. When having these catch-ups remotely via video it became even more productive as there were fewer distractions or time pressure compared to what we had at the office. Now everyone had time to properly discuss all candidates and the recruitment process. 

We asked all hiring managers to review the selected resumes in our ATS and leave comments. They were all super fast with it too which helped us speed up the process quite a bit. Hiring managers started to use our ATS more for CV screens and submitting their feedback (without reminders!).


2. Making the interviewing process shorter & more efficient

It was clear that the interview process has to change. As everyone is WFH, of course, it had to be video calls instead of face to face meetings. This was strange in the beginning as we were so used to having candidates over. We already invited them after the first recruitment screen. But having video calls instead turned out to be easier to schedule with all: the hiring managers, teammates involved, and candidates.

  • First of all, it takes less time than having candidates on-site; 

  • Second, it is more convenient to do it from home or any other place. 

Having to do it remotely via video instead of on-site meetings also ended up, in some cases, to shorten the recruitment process from 4 to approx. 2 weeks from application to hire.


3. Creating a case study

Next to video calls, we included a case study for every role to make the further video calls non-repetitive and to test the candidates’ abilities more in-depth. The response from candidates was very positive as the cases were interesting to work on (realistic problem-solving questions). Also, everyone had more time to work on it while being at home. It helped us to make the second video call more interactive, see how motivated the applicant is to put some work into the case and check whether their approach matches ours.