Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
Virtual Interviews: The Secret to Hiring In-demand Non-Tech Talent

Virtual Interviews: The Secret to Hiring The Most In-demand Non-Tech Talent

These days, most hiring professionals have become experts at finding top tech talent. Because of the high demand for these skills, we’ve adapted our hiring processes and strategies to focus on tech candidates. Hiring great coders and developers can make or break any company.

In the process of advancing the hiring process to match the pace of technology, it seems we have all but forgotten the importance of those professionals in crucial non-tech roles. But that is changing.

According to Glassdoor’s 2019 Job Market Trends report, the demand for non-tech talent will shoot through the roof this year. In fact, by the end of 2018, even the number of job postings for non-tech roles at tech companies had grown and accounted for 43 percent of all listings.

Team leaders have realized they need skills that sufficiently complement tech employees. As a result, hiring professionals are switching their focus to filling more marketing, management, customer service, and other non-tech roles. After all, it doesn’t matter how amazing your company’s technology is if it’s not supported and promoted effectively.

Get ahead of this trend by adapting your hiring process now. The good news is, one of the best ways to start evaluating non-tech employees is using — wait for it — technology. Here are three ways to effectively use virtual interviews to identify and hire top non-tech talent:

Ask about the company product

It’s essential for every employee to align with your company’s mission and its product. But when a product’s technology is confusing to candidates with no tech knowledge, it can be difficult to relate to these foundations.

The key is to find non-tech employees who align with your values and translate them adequately to their role. A one-way virtual interview is a chance to assess how well candidates will fit in early in the process.

Ask candidates how they feel about your product. Even if they don’t understand how exactly it works, look for signs they believe in its purpose. Great non-tech employees will be able to communicate their passion in a meaningful way.

A candidate might share a story about how the product impacted their life, even if indirectly. Pay attention to their level of excitement and their understanding of the company mission. For example, your technology might help people create more productive habits. A great non-tech candidate will explain why productivity is important to them.

Look for interpersonal skills

Non-tech employees are often the face of your company. They interact with customers, suppliers, members of the community, and more. Having the right soft skills is a must. One-way virtual interviews are a great opportunity to identify these hard-to-read skills in candidates.

During a one-way interview, job seekers aren’t speaking to anyone in real time. Some people struggle to express themselves effectively if they are not looking into the eyes of another person. Candidates with excellent interpersonal skills will still make a connection in their recorded responses.

When you’re reviewing candidates’ videos, take note of your physical responses. Are you smiling when they do? Are you nodding your head as they speak? We have these types of natural reactions when a person is in front of us. If a candidate can also elicit them via video, they have the skills you’re looking for.

Create consistent assessments

Evaluating a candidate’s tech skills is simple. They either can complete a task or they can’t. With non-tech roles, it can be more difficult to objectively assess a candidate’s experience and strengths. Luckily, using a virtual interview platform not only allows you to consistently compare candidates to each other, but also it easily enables all decision-makers to weigh in on the same video interview.

After viewing a virtual interview, you (and your colleagues) can leave notes about what you’ve seen. There’s a built-in rating system that can also be used to rank candidates and their abilities. But to truly make the most of this feature, you need to have set criteria of what exemplifies the skills you’re looking for.

For each question you ask in a virtual interview, define what would signify each rating level. If you plan to ask candidates to discuss their biggest strength, determine with your team what would rank as a one-star answer. What would be worthy of five stars?

Candidates don’t have to match these responses word-for-word. You’re just looking for a rough outline of the kinds of answers that best align with the qualities you agree you’re looking for to ensure the assessments made are as objective and consistent as possible.

We might have overlooked the importance of non-tech roles for a while, but now it’s time to start scooping up this type of talent. By understanding how virtual interviews help evaluate non-tech candidates, you make better decisions about who has the best ability to help your organization succeed.

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 5,000+ customers in over 100 countries.