Virtual interviewing has been around for many years, but recent events have normalized it in industries that may have never tried it before. Although you will need to meet your future convenience store employees face-to-face eventually, there are many benefits to starting your hiring process in the digital world. Here are the top five reasons you should continue (or start!) interviewing candidates virtually.
#1 – Saves Time
As a convenience store manager, you’re juggling recruiting, interviewing, and hiring along with all your other daily duties. When you schedule a virtual interview, you can set a specific timeframe for the meeting that’s easier to maintain than when you have a candidate in front of you. For initial interviews, you can also skip some of the pleasantries such as a store tour or introducing candidates to other teammates. While these activities are still important, they take time and are best left for candidates you’re fairly sure you’re going to hire.
#2 – Offers Convenience and Flexibility
A virtual interview can happen any time that’s convenient for you and the candidate. This can be especially important if the candidate is working another job already or may be interested in a job with you because they’re planning to relocate to your area. If you need candidates to interview with more than one person at your store, multiple interviews are much easier to schedule and manage online.
#3 – Provides Recording Options
During in-person interviews, it’s often hard to keep the interview going and take detailed notes. And in the hectic convenience store environment, you often need to tackle another task just as soon as the interview is over. With virtual interviewing, you can record your session and refer back to it later if you need to. This can also be helpful if you’re tying to decide between two candidates later in the process. (Important note: be sure to inform candidates and get their permission before recording the interview.)
#4 – Reveals Different Traits about a Candidate
Truth be told, this benefit of online interviewing can also be a hindrance. When you’re conducting your interview via video conferencing, it may make it harder to read someone’s body language or pick up on non-verbal cues you may have noticed in person. However, you can compensate for that by asking open-ended questions about the process. For example, you might say, “I know meeting over video chat is not always ideal. How did the process work for you and is there anything you want me to know about you that I might not have picked up on since we’re not face to face?” This acknowledges any potential downsides to the online process and gives the candidate an opportunity to share information they may have otherwise kept to themselves.
#5 – Reduces Time-to-Fill
Managers and recruiters in every industry are always looking for ways to reduce the time it takes to fill any open position. Virtual interviewing allows you to meet with more people in less time, schedule follow-up interviews quickly, and bring in only the final candidates for in-person meetings.
After the Virtual Interviews
Once you complete the interviewing process, you can keep new employees on the fast-track by using an online orientation program as the foundation for your convenience store training. Remember, training reduces turnover. The better you train new employees, the less likely you’ll have to replace them down the road.