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As a Hart recruiter, we have always been so proud to meet people face to face at our offices, and although we adapted last year to meeting candidates via Facetime or Skype, we still preferred to meet job seekers face to face. I have been facilitating quarterly recruitment meetings with the Midland members of TEAM the network of Independent Recruiters, for over 10 years. We meet at Becketts Farm in Bromsgrove, share best practice, brainstorm and support each other from training through to sourcing high quality candidates.
Since “Lockdown” I’ve been holding these TEAM meetings weekly via Zoom, and it’s been a huge benefit as recruitment business owners support each other, during this unprecedented time. We’ve also had the opportunity of great speakers including Paul Chamberlain from JMW Solicitors LLP with essential legal updates, Christina Robinson from Green Umbrella with her insightful and invaluable marketing tips, and this week Miles Lloyd and his brilliant tips on “Getting back to Business”.
Next we’ll move into ‘breakout rooms’ and share ideas, but how different is an on-line meeting to pre lockdown meetings? Do people present themselves like they would have done, if they were physically meeting face to face?
Here are my top 6 tips, from my experiences so far:
Whether you are attending an interview or a meeting, you should still remember that numerous on-line platforms display your name. Consider whether you want your first name and surname, or first name and the company. When I’m facilitating meetings, sometimes people do not know each other, and due to time constraints, it’s sometimes not practical for everyone to introduce themselves, therefore you will benefit from your name and company being clear on the screen.
2. Your Professional image
Remember if your video is on, you have no idea who is looking at you. Platforms such as Zoom will display every attendee. People will have different settings on their computers, tablets or phones and if you speak you may be the only person on their screen. Therefore it is up to you how you dress to reflect the type of meeting you are in – check out Rebecca’s pyjama bottoms in our video! Also remember that there maybe other people, including little people in the room – NO bad language please!
3. “It’s behind you!”
From the old pantomime saying, we can see everything that is behind you! If you are only able to find peace and quiet in your bedroom, make sure it doesn’t look like you are sitting on your bed! If you are in your kitchen -tidy up behind you! During meetings, if you do not engage with your audience, then your environment maybe more interesting, so check out the rubbish in the corner or the type of books in your bookshelf, as your background environment is a reflection of you ….
4. Limit the interruptions
If you were heading into an interview or a meeting before ‘lockdown’ you would make sure that your mobile phone was on silence – do the same for an on-line meeting. I have seen people take phone calls in the middle of a meeting and because they are on ‘mute’ it must feel acceptable to do so! Also if you were previously attending a meeting, would you stand up and leave the room in the middle of a conversation – I hope not – but I’ve seen it happen online. All that said, in these unique times, I’ve seen children enter a room as a parent briskly whisks them off – it’s been fabulous to see the human side of juggling work and home life.
5. Does your technology work?
Before you attend a meeting, check that your technology works. Consider the positioning of your camera on your computer or phone, through to your volume settings. Whatever platform you need for your interview or meeting, make sure you have trialled it beforehand so that there are no problems on the day.
Mobile phones may minimise your picture on the other persons screen and whatever happens, ensure the phone is resting on something and is stable – if you are holding your phone it can be like a roller coaster ride for the other person!
6. Make eye contact
If you want to build rapport, we all know that building eye contact is fundamental. Would you attend a meeting with a black bag over your head? If not, why do you switch off your video when attending a meeting? How can you build rapport with people who can’t see you? Perhaps record yourself in an online meeting and check out your eye contact. I have met up with people online and their camera is on one gadget, whilst they are talking to me on another gadget – multi screens can mean you are looking in the wrong direction!
Looking into the camera is how you make eye contact – this doesn’t feel natural all the time, therefore, when you have an important message that you want to emphasise, then look at the camera for that moment and not the picture of the person.
If you need any support and advice, we are here to help and provide advice, please call us on 0121 360 6000.
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Posted by Phillippa Hart, Managing Director, Hart Recruitment.