Covid-19 is making us all more efficient
In various recent conversations that I have had with business leaders, the conversation invariably moves towards their experiences of working from home.
The consensus opinion is a positive one: that they have got a lot more done, and become a lot more efficient with their time.
The persistent view is that so much time is wasted on “trains, planes and automobiles” travelling to and from meetings, given that there has been a prevailing expectation in business, that people should show up to face to face meetings.
The reality is, in many cases, there is no need for a face to face meeting - it can all be done on the web just as well.
It is part of business psyche that face to face meetings are of primary importance – to see the “whites of their eyes” and experience the all important and elusive “chemistry”. But the lockdown has shown that this is often a superfluous and unnecessary activity.
Granted, it is important to have met someone at least once - to get to know what they are all about. Realistically, that once is about all that is needed.
For many business leaders, if you count up the time spent travelling to and from meetings, there emerges a massive amount of unproductive time.
The lockdown has forced that change in behaviour and with it, let’s hope it will be a long term change, which will free up time for more productive activity.
What about hiring on the web – the interview process?
There seems to be divided opinions on this one, and I think there always will be.
But there are significant advantages.
Time is the obvious one.
It is much, much easier to fit a 1 hour Zoom chat into the diary than arrange a face to face meeting - for both the interviewer and the interviewee.
For a face to face meeting to happen, both the interviewer and the interviewee have to be in the same office. Sounds blindly obvious, but what is less obvious is the time it takes for that to happen.
Often it takes days to get meetings scheduled, and then more days or weeks for it to actually happen. Multiply that by a multiple interview process and it is months before a hiring decision is made. Do it all online and that decision can be reduced to a week or a fortnight.
A lot more efficient.
What about the “chemistry” question?
I know “chemistry” is a nebulous concept, but in my observations over the years, it is all important in the recruitment process. There are a number of questions that “chemistry” addresses: do you like this person; can you work with them closely for an extended period of time; are they a good fit for the team?
It all comes down to how they make you feel when you are in their company – not so easy to achieve online.
I realise that for some companies, the face to face option will continue to be preferred.
A compromise would be a one face to face interview meeting and the rest online.
Some more enlightened companies have been doing this for some time – but most have not.
A further point is that remote working will be more part of our working lives as we move forward, so “chemistry” could become less important.
How that person performs on a web call is going to be more important than their face to face interpersonal skills. And when managing someone remotely, results will count more than that person being a good person to have around, or making allowances for lots of effort/ presenteeism in the office as an offset to lack of results.
About Ross Search Consulting.
Ross Search Consulting specialises in helping technology and tech led businesses to fulfil their strategic business objectives, by making the right hire for vital leadership and senior management roles.
If you would like to discuss hiring at manager or director level for your business, contact me on 07766 720889 or firstname.lastname@example.org