Case Study: Hiring successfully via a virtual process

Jeff Sheldon M Kxdi W2 Q Ek E Unsplash

Over the last month many of our usual business practices have been challenged, along with what we perceive a successful hiring process to be. The interim team at Altum Consulting was recently engaged by Dentsu Aegis Network to fill Management Accountancy position on a six-month interim contract. 

Two members of the Dentsu Aegis Network team were due to be leaving, creating a time-pressure to source a suitable candidate that could start immediately. The candidate had to be the right cultural fit for a creative organisation whilst displaying that they could take responsibility for the management accounts, deal with a changing environment in terms of systems and processes and display key communication skills that would be vital as the opportunity for handover was minimal.

Altum worked closely with the hiring manager, Natalie Mensah – Financial Controller, to fill this role. Natalie has shared her feedback and lessons learned from running a virtual interview process.

The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in all Dentsu offices closing from Friday 13th March, so all staff were to work from home. Having never interviewed or onboarded a candidate remotely from start to finish, I was not quite sure what to expect, however the process was seamless from start to finish.

Lessons learned from a virtual interview process:

  • Some of the standard interview etiquette is not needed (eg asking where the candidate had travelled from / did they want a glass of water / handshaking etc) which meant building a rapport with the candidate through a computer screen was different to doing so in person.
  • Interviewing remotely was incredibly efficient for the speed in which we had to fill this role, it is important to note it was a little harder to pick up on non-verbal cues.
  • The various means by which virtual interviews can be held does make the process overall very easy (MS Teams, Skype, Facetime, Zoom, Whatsapp video). Ensure flexibility if the agreed medium does not work and switch to another if needed.
  • Given the reason behind the need to interview virtually, there was already a level of mutual understanding.

This was a successful virtual process which resulted in a candidate being offered and onboarded remotely.

Feedback on working with Altum Consulting:

Altum, like many businesses, have been able to continue operating effectively.  They have continued to source high-calibre candidates and have kept communication channels very honest and open which has been hugely helpful to me as a hiring manager!