Hiring in 2020

Recruiting and interviewing during the COVID-19 crisis with the stay-at-home order, remote interviewing has become a requirement, not a luxury. Tech tools for hiring such as Zoom, Skype and Go-to-Meeting, have been a boon to remote job interviews. Seeing the candidate is so much better than just interviewing them by phone. However, remote interviews can be more troublesome than in-person interviews.

We had the opportunity to tap into our network of professionals on both the corporate side (looking to hire the talent) and candidate side (the talent for new opportunities) to get their input and thoughts around new issues and processes that they have encountered – and how to improve the remote interview experience.

From the corporate side:

  • You want to show all potential candidates that just because the interview is remote, it is no less professional than if you were to meet face-to-face.
  • Introduce your company culture; your candidates might not have the opportunity to see your office and meet your team. Or maybe you don’t even have an office. So make sure candidates don’t miss out on finding out all about you.
  • Communicate the interview details when remote interviewing.  It is better to over-communicate: this may be your hundredth remote interview, but for the candidate it might be their first and the tools you’re using might be new to them.

From the candidate side:

  • Get to know your video platform beforehand. These days, a lot of different video platforms require a myriad of account sign-ups, app downloads, or permissions on your device.
  • Don’t just dress for where the camera can see. Professional dress codes are expected in video interviews. The best way to guarantee your confidence and seriousness in the conversation is to dress the part.
  • Hiring managers are drawn to candidates that show up curious, so come prepared with a list of questions that will prove you’ve done your research.
  • Control your environment. In addition to properly preparing for your job interview, you have the added challenge of preparing the right space within your home for this important meeting. Find a spot in your home that’s quiet, clutter-free, and well-lit. Download any necessary software or updates ahead of time and test the equipment with a friend to ensure your lighting, audio volume, and the positioning of your camera is just right.

 

 

Navigating Office Politics When There Is No Office

by  Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Dorie Clark

How to Manage a Hybrid Team

Your employees’ needs are always varied. But right now, as many companies navigate returning to an office in some shape or form, your team members are likely contending with vastly different situations. Some have limited or no childcare or are managing their kids’ online school; some have health issues that preclude them from returning to in-person work; and some are eager and excited to get out of the house and head back to their cubicles. As the leader, how do you manage these various circumstances while treating everyone fairly? What protocols can you put in place to ensure that the employees in the office are in sync with those working from home? How do you remain flexible given that plans may change at any moment? And how do you help your employees manage their stress levels through this transition?

What the Experts Say

Having a team in which some employees are co-located in an office and others are doing their jobs remotely presents a number of challenges for managers, says Liane Davey, cofounder of 3COze Inc. and author of You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Stuff Done. Some of these challenges might feel familiar. For instance, there could be an “us versus them” undercurrent among colleagues “similar to the phenomenon of having a head office and a satellite office,” she says. There could also be the same kind of communication, team engagement, and coordination issues that are common with geographically distributed teams. But other challenges are new, according to Linda Hill, professor at Harvard Business School and the coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. For example, working under the shadow of a global pandemic adds another layer of stress and complexity. That’s why it’s critical to lead with compassion during this time. Hill suggests you start by asking: “What is the experience my employees are having at work, and how can I empower them to do the best they can?” Here are some tips.

Offer support

First things first: your primary role as a manager, pandemic or no, is to support your employees. And do they ever need it. Amidst a global health crisis, economic uncertainty, and ongoing social unrest, it’s been a harrowing year. “Employees are under immense stress” and some of them “may be in shock,” says Davey. It’s incumbent on you to reach out. Have socially distant conversations with colleagues at the office and one-on-one video calls with your remote workers. Ask them about their individual circumstances; find out about their worries. You may have done a lot of this when the pandemic first started but continue to check in, as circumstances have likely changed. Continue reading

Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Rethink Talent and Leadership

Startups and scaleups worldwide are facing a make-or-break moment with coronavirus, a health crisis with vast and unprecedented economic consequences. Each entrepreneur is in a unique situation, whether they’re well-funded, planning their next funding round or struggling through the uncertainty.

As a result, founders are turning to their VCs and mentors for support and conversations are, unsurprisingly, centred around cash. In the UK, while £81m has gone to startups that haven’t received investment previously, there’s been a 31 percent decrease in deal numbers compared to the same period last year—so it’s a pressing issue.

But cash alone only presents half the story. As startups seek advice on how to weather the storm and find positives in the situation, the conversation broadens. To survive this period of instability, growing businesses should look toward the key cornerstones of success: talent and leadership. After all, the best founders never waste a crisis and now is a good time for them to refocus.

The vision could be great, the founders innovative and cash readily available, but without strong leadership and world-class talent, businesses can’t continue to thrive in this climate. How to look after and manage teams during this time, as well as understanding what staff cuts to make and how, are important considerations that startups are looking to VCs for support and advice on.

A conservative approach. 

Any business plans that organisations had in place ahead of the pandemic are now likely to be irrelevant. Businesses need to start from scratch with a clear view of their burn rate and shouldn’t be afraid to rip up the rule book and abandon existing plans. Startups already doing this have looked to renegotiate their office rents, contracts with providers and suspended online advertising, for example.

Reducing such costs is sensible in a challenging fundraising environment. Deals have slowed down and the Pitchbook European VC Valuation Report points toward a decrease in early seed rounds. New investments certainly have stopped and great companies always get funding, but many investors are focusing on how to support their existing portfolio. The crisis isn’t over yet and, with further outbreaks still possible, now is the time to be conservative. Continue reading

The Real Leadership Challenge Of 2020? Creating Cultures Where Everyone Feels They Belong

We’re midway through 2020, and suffice to say, the year hasn’t gotten off to a great start. But as we look ahead to the next two quarters, leaders across every sector know that while the immediate crises may have abated, the tough work remains to be done.

Now, leaders are not only tasked with trying to stabilize their operations and drive growth, but they also know that in whatever form they seek to rebuild their organization’s culture, it must be with a committed effort toward diversity, inclusion and equality.

It shouldn’t take social movements like #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter to awaken a collective consciousness around long and justly held grievances or systemic biases, and reactionary responses or promises that pay lip service to the problem as opposed to doing the hard work to forge sustainable and systemic solutions don’t help.

Let’s face it: Despite millions of dollars and years of effort to address diversity and inclusion, most organizations haven’t moved the dial far or fast enough. What’s needed is a different approach. So, as we head back to the drawing board, we’d be well served to change course on a few fronts:

1.   Stop Framing The Issue As A Problem

For too long, we have framed the issue of diversity and inclusion as an intractable problem, debating whether quotas are right or targets are fair. Instead, we need to reframe it as a catalytic, powerful solution, focusing on the competitive advantage our organizations stand to gain if they were made up of truly diverse workforces.

Continue reading