Out of the box tips from HR on how to get hired now

Wondering how to get hired right now? Well, you’re not the only one. Thanks to a certain worldwide pandemic, record-smashing rates of unemployment are ravaging the United States’ workforce as businesses shut down and companies cull their staff numbers. More people than ever are out of work and are looking to get back in. But competing against droves of hungry workers fighting for a handful of positions is no small task. That’s why you’ll have to think outside the box.

Devising achievable, immediately effective strategies for wooing employers isn’t easy, but there are a few simple steps you can take to get yourself in a more hireable position than most of your competition. With remote communication playing a bigger part than ever in the hiring process, it’s time for you to get creative and take a deeper look at how technology can help, and hinder, your chances of getting hired right now.

Plan for remote success

Josh Tolan, the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by thousands of companies around the world, provided Ladders with some key advice for folks hoping to make an impression remotely.

“The recruitment process heavily relies on video interviews right now. And the saturated job market makes first impressions more important than ever. The way you handle every step of the video interview process is a key indicator of the type of remote employee you’ll be if hired.”

Tolan’s comment here highlights the fact that the current job market is simultaneously more accessible and restrictive than ever before. While many companies are allowing remote workers in greater capacities than usual and are making location restrictions a non-issue in the process, this shift in requirements means there’s guaranteed to be additional competition when applying for positions. As such, you’ll need to show that you’re the best fit for remote work.

“Be overly-prepared for video interviews. Ask the interviewer if you can test out the software prior to your interview,” Tolan said. “This shows them you understand technical glitches can occur and are prepared to solve any issues before they log in and invest their time. We have actually spoken with recruiters that have shared that, in some cases, candidates not testing tech, and instead of waiting to troubleshoot problems at the beginning of the interview, would be considered a huge red flag.”

Believe it or not, there are prospective employees out there who neglect to test their setup before video interviews! Don’t be that type of candidate. Avoid disaster by testing your tech in advance.

Make sure your internet connection is stable, and if it’s not, go somewhere that has a steadier connection (for example, try to reserve a room at a local library). Also, a lot of software give you the ability to check your microphone and audio quality beforehand, so do that. And if you plan on using a headset or earbuds to communicate, be sure to always have a spare unit handy, in case the first one dies on you at the worst time imaginable.

On a related note to our aforementioned audio-centric warning, Tolan advises being smart about where you set up shop for your video interview. “[K]eep the background noise and distractions to a minimum. Showing employers you have a quiet space proves you’ll be able to focus on the tasks at hand in a remote-working environment.”

Being prepared for a video interview is a deceptively simple way to ensure you appear fit for remote employment since it proves you know how to keep up with our rapidly changing work world. And given how many people can’t do that, you’ll be at a big advantage if you can.

Remember your format

Another great tip Tolan provides is to remember how your interview’s format affects it.

“When in a virtual interview, don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm for the role and the organization a little more than you might otherwise. Consider that your interviewers and interview reviewers are used to conducting these interactions in person,” Tolan said. “This means they would normally catch a small gesture they might miss on your video. Start every response with a genuine smile, and set your technology up such that you have the ability to gesture with both hands, if possible. This shows the real you, and allows the organization to pick up on your non-verbal signals and enthusiasm.”

This advice is very similar to how actors are told to treat the film camera versus the theater stage. An in-person interview will allow you to be subtle and nuanced in your gestures, whereas a video interview won’t always afford the same benefits, especially if either party’s video feed resolution is bad. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter whether your camera captures you in 1080p or 360p: you’ll still need to look the part of a strong candidate, both in terms of clothing and mannerisms, in order to nail your video interview.

Explore new horizons

Karyn Mullins, the President at MedReps, a job board specializing in medical sales and pharmaceutical sales jobs, gave Ladders a smart tip directed at those who might stand a better chance of getting hired if they broadened the scope of their job hunt.

“This is the ideal time for job seekers to reevaluate career goals, focus on transitional skills, and upskill or reskill to match the current job market’s needs,” Mullins said. “There’s still a demand for talented candidates; it’s just a matter of understanding how those skills align with the available and changing roles in today’s shifting market.”

She expanded on this tip with a great example of how getting hired right now might be as simple as reframing your existing skillset.

“For example, you’ve worked in sales and are now looking for a role in marketing but you do not have direct marketing experience. However, you have gained B2B or B2C experience, polish your communication skills, and you’re an expert at understanding target audiences. You’ve essentially summed up the basic transferable skills for many marketing positions. For those more direct marketing skills, use this time to grow by becoming an apprentice or enrolling in a course.”

Whether you’re applying for something on-location or remote, realize that your skills might be totally viable for the current job market as long as you’re smart about how you sell them to potential employers.

How to get hired now, in summary

If you expand your view of the job market and consider all fields you might be a good fit for, and prepare properly for your interviews, you’ll be as hireable as can be. Just follow the advice above! But in case you’ve done all of that already and need an additional suggestion for how to get hired right now, here’s another strategy to consider.

Via some reverse engineering of Neha Pradhan’s “15 Tips to Hire Talent Post the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic” guide for HR Technologist, we can learn a new trick. Pradhan’s guide features advice from HR experts on how recruiters can do their jobs in the current global environment, and one notion floated in the piece is the idea of focusing on existing workforces rather than hiring new people.

How does this tip benefit you? Consider that if companies are redirecting their attention within, it means they’re interested in strengthening their commitment to people they already know they can work with. So if you have old work contacts (whom you’re on good terms with) who are reshuffling the corporate deck and are in need of known quantities, insert yourself into the conversation and try to get hired through the backdoor.