How social distancing changed the recruitment process – the HR’s perspective

It’s been almost six years since I joined the Zitec team. My first interview here also happened to be my first interaction with the IT industry. When I saw the time my colleagues took to explain their projects to me, I was truly impressed. It was the passion, drive and enthusiasm that got me hooked to this place. 

Six years later, I am happy to say that these exact same things still unite us, even in times of social distancing. Going 100% remote managed to get us even closer.

How the current situation changed things

Since the coronavirus situation came up, we switched to online interviews and remote work, maintaining our people-first approach in recruiting and onboarding activities. In these 6 months we never stopped recruiting, so more than 20 colleagues joined us during this period. And we are still searching for new ones. We are always excited to meet new people, who apart from technical knowledge, have energy and passion. 

Recruiting during the pandemic can be challenging, but with an Agile approach, the switch was pretty easy for us. 

Our key learnings from remote recruitment:

> a more flexible mindset towards fully remote colleagues. The whole situation made us rethink some parts of our recruitment and onboarding processes. Now we have colleagues that aren’t from Bucharest or Brasov (the cities where we have offices in), but from Cluj, for instance. 

> find alternative solutions to substitute for our physical presence during the entire recruitment process. Since we couldn’t hold interviews at our offices, we invited the candidates to a 360-degree virtual tour of our headquarters.

> focus even more on the importance of feedback from candidates and colleagues, so as to better understand what we can improve and what we are doing well regarding the fully remote processes, because communication is now even more important than before.

Also, I can add that remote recruitment has its perks. The candidates are sometimes more comfortable from their homes, as the conversations can be more meaningful and more fun in some cases. 

From the top of my mind, I remember a couple interviews that stuck with me: when a candidate opened his camera he was upside down for a few minutes, before he figured out how to switch it (it was a very funny and unintended icebreaker) and of course a lot of times, the pets made an appearance and stayed during the interview (probably to support their “parents”).

How the new normal was adopted throughout Zitec

We already had a work-from-home policy implemented in the company, so we were used to this style of work. We knew that, from an activity point of view, everything would be ok. So, we managed to move online seamlessly, while putting safety first.

However, I believe that nobody thought the situation would take as much time as it has. That is why we talked to every single one of our colleagues and assured them that we are in this together and constantly offered our support. We also have two certified coaches in our team and they can offer their assistance anytime necessary. 

Moreover, we have weekly online meetings, where we give each other work updates and also enjoy more casual conversations; we also hold virtual parties, and, in June, we celebrated Zitec’s 17th anniversary online with a ZiBand charity concert. Our online performance platform, Mirro, has also been a great way to keep in touch with one another, celebrate our achievements and handle administrative tasks remotely, in a fun and easy way.

It is indeed difficult to be apart, we all miss each other, and all the fun activities we used to organize together, such as boardgame evenings, monthly outings, or events with the Zitec Running Squad & Zitec Sailing Crew. 

However, we know that during these times our health is more important and we are trying to make the best of this situation. In times like these, we believe that it’s very important to have colleagues that are there for each other.

If you are searching for a job, and want to be part of the whole Zitec experience, you can find out more about our openingsWe are looking forward to having an online interview and why not, even meeting your pet friends!

Photo courtesy of Maria Iliuță

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