How comfortable are you in recruiting someone to your team – or outsourcing a project to another business owner – if you’ve never met them in person before?
I ask because I’ve been recruiting and outsourcing recently, and I’ve had to do it all over video calls. Yes, I know, we’ve all had to do everything over video calls for the last four months, but I’m also assuming that many businesses have also put things like recruitment on hold.
It felt a little strange going about recruitment in this online way. Maybe not so much with the outsourcing as I was generally dealing with recommendations, but certainly for the actual recruitment of another human to join my team as a fully paid member of staff… it just feels strange not having gone through the whole meeting in person thing.
Sure, you can take recommendations and get a rough idea of what someone’s like based on how they come across online, but is it the same as being in the actual room with them, having a coffee together, and being safe in the knowledge that they’re permitted to be out and about in society and free to work (because let’s face it, there’s every chance that they’re speaking to you from a secure facility – albeit one with lovely bookcases).
I feel like I’ve successfully taken on my newest team member as the result of an online-only dalliance, but as they’ve not actually started work as yet, ask me again in a few weeks. Thankfully, I have a recruiter who knows my business and ‘gets’ me, but what about those people who don’t have that support? I guess they’ll have to don their big boy/girl pants and take some risks, and so I can’t help thinking that there must be people out there who have ‘blind recruited’ and it’s gone horribly wrong. I really want to hear the comedy stories – and the horror ones – that have led people up a blind alley. Feel free to share!
Am I overthinking it, though? Does it cause problems at all? Does it even matter if your new recruit ends up being bloody awful to be around in terms of their mid-morning snack habits and woeful sense of humour if they’re likely to be working from home anyway? Maybe this online method of recruitment is just in fact a better way to do business. It’s definitely more streamlined and time-efficient (for both parties), and, if we’re honest, less old-fashioned or tick-boxy all round. I’m guessing that in modern day recruitment we’re not as passive as we used to be, anyway, meaning that we’re quite possibly scoping people out and weighing them up via their online presence prior to us even approaching them to see if they might like a nice chat about doing some work together.
So far, my blind recruiting of freelancers to outsource to has turned out well for me and I can pat myself on the back for having been so efficient in my methods, but it’s made me think that although it’s a hugely beneficial and effective way of doing things, is it really anything revolutionary? Is business finally catching up with the world of dating, whereby people don’t even need to get as far as meeting someone in a bar anymore before deciding that they’re ‘the one’? We’d probably still stalk – I mean look at – a person’s online profile and presence even if we’d met them in real life at an interview, wouldn’t we? Unless you get someone who sets all their profiles to private, of course. Some people are just no fun whatsoever.
When you get recruitment right, it can make all the difference to your business, so I think ‘risk’ in this sense is always worth it. Whether you’re looking for a consultant or a Keith, give it a go and simply put things in place to bounce back if it doesn’t turn out for the best.
We all need a laugh, so if you have a horror story, you’re duty-bound to share it (mentioning no names, of course). Similarly, give me a heads-up if you know I’ve just recruited them!