Welcome to The Virtual World!

By Andrew Vinell

By Andrew Vinell

For a long time many accountancy firms have been trying to adopt methods of flexible working for their employee’s wellbeing and work life balance. The government recommendations for social distancing and subsequent lockdown have actually afforded companies the space to do this. Many new systems have been (and continue to be) implemented throughout this time, which can only be a positive as we go forward – lockdown or not.

By seeing how businesses can function when employees have the option to work from home, many employers will be continuing with these arrangements long after the pandemic has ended.

The interview process, which is fundamentally based on interpersonal connections, has been influenced immensely.

In-person interviews now take place online, which means that ensuring clear communication between companies and candidates about which platforms work best to suit individual needs is a priority.

There is a plethora of platforms that have (thankfully) made these changes easy – some of our favourites include Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams.

Here are some tips for making the switch from in-person to virtual, from the perspective of an employer:

  1. Make sure that your background is as professional as possible (a neat space behind you), and that the room you are in is as quiet as possible, as you are representing your company.
  2. Ensure all candidates are issued private links to meetings so that nobody interrupts by accident.
  3. Schedule time in between each meeting in case things go awry – and always have a backup plan. For example, if the candidate’s internet connection stops working, a telephonic interview will need to be organized instead.
  4. Make sure the candidate is as well informed as possible about how to use your chosen platform. Be clear when letting them know how to prepare.
  5. Rearrange systems to suit the virtual environment. Let candidates send paperwork and ID documents beforehand and give them options, and the space, to organize themselves accordingly.
  6. Finally, have empathy – everyone is trying their best to deal with this new environment.

It’s fair to say that technology can be both a blessing, and a curse, depending on how we use it. Based on what is currently happening in the world, however, we’re certainly very lucky to have it!

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