Ella Ward in AdNews on the recruitment process
Since coming back to the office in January, it’s been different.
It seems the days where we were having two really quick interviews in a week to ensure that the offer was out on a Friday and a contract drawn the next working day are gone.
It’s a lot slower, the pace is not as frantic, its calculated and the interview step for a face to face is back – which is great!
Teams interviews are a great way to initially connect, but let’s face it, it’s so important to head into your future place of work and actually meet the people that you will be spending most of your time with.
After lockdown, we had this new way of interacting with people, then the candidate drought happened and as we are now coming out the other side to the old new, its refreshing to see candidates excited about heading into the agency to meet their new boss or going across town to meet their new client.
Lara Hewitt, R/GA Talent Director says: “I think most of us have now officially mastered the zoom interview. But that initial awkwardness as you confirm you can both hear each other, the anxiousness you glean off a candidate as they go to share screen and the throwback to lockdown it summons in some people, means that we are welcoming face to face with open arms.
“Saying that, I think it’s always important to remember the ‘why’ of face-to-face – it’s not the right fit for every scenario. At R/GA we fully encourage flexibility – in person is not mandated. From a talent point of view, we of course always want to meet and get to know our potential candidates and in person is undoubtedly the strongest way to connect and engage.”
Ella Ward, Head of DDB Experience at DDB says: “When it comes to a new role, the in-office experience is quickly returning to become one of the most important focuses of candidates’ questioning. It’s less ‘How often can I WFH?’, and more ‘What is your agency culture like?’
So yes, Teams calls are great for the first fact-finding chat, but all good candidates (and good agencies) are moving to face to face interviews after that. It’s the best way to get to know each other”
Emelie Lundberg, Head of Social and The Works says: “I recently saw this social post that said, ‘who you choose to work with is one of the most important decisions you’ll make based on the amount of time you’ll spend together’.
“We have a hybrid working model at The Works as we believe this helps foster connection and collaboration for our agency. This extends to the interview process where initial rounds often are conducted virtually, but we do feel it’s essential to meet the candidate in person for the final stage.
“This gives us an opportunity to get to know candidates on a more personal level, engage in purposeful small talk and see how they interact with others. For them, it’s a chance to get a taste of the workplace culture and meet their potential colleagues – both important factors when considering a new position.”
Katie Raleigh, Managing Partner and Head of Studio at Poem says: “Our agency fosters and prioritises culture and this is no different with the recruitment process. Our philosophy to recruitment is similar to working-from-home and in-the-office model, we’re flexible. In saying that, it’s more important than ever to bring back face-to-face interviews for both parties involved… The video interview opened up our world up by letting us see we don’t always have to meet in person at each stage of the process and something we still do in the early stages to this date.
“Taking the time to carry out a face-to-face meeting allows us to cover ground you might not have on a video call and often topics outside of the heavily focused work questions pop up and can help lead to more inspiring and interesting conversations from both ends. It’s not rocket science, it’s simply being more human by both counterparts taking the time to meet and unless there is a good reason such as being interstate or unattainable, we will always choose face-to-face at that final stage.”
I do believe that flexible working is here to stay, but human interaction is a necessity in our industry. It promotes creativity, production, ideation + banter in the kitchen which is always good for the soul and your mental health.
It’s exciting to see the way recruitment has been shaped now after lockdown and the big change to flexible working in most agency structures.