01/17/2021 by Carney Sandoe Staff | Conferences
Virtual Hiring Conference Best Practices: for Schools
Our 2021 hiring conferences have been reimaged into a series of virtual, worldwide events. Just like our in-person hiring events, our virtual conferences connect job-seeking candidates with hiring representatives from a variety of K-12 schools.
Because schedules are so busy, each conference will now span multiple days. We are adding a new event focused on STEM and innovation and extending professional development offerings so both schools and candidates have opportunities not just to interview, but to learn and grow.
We're also using the same scheduling platform from our in-person conferences to offer you a seamless, easy, and efficient virtual experience – the same type of experience you've come to rely on and expect from Carney Sandoe.
First things first, how do virtual hiring conferences work?
Here's a quick overview: The virtual events are structured as a series of pre-scheduled 30-minute interviews. Schools schedule interviews with candidates, not the other way around. These interviews are intentionally introductory and brief. If mutual interest is established between a school and a candidate, a formal hiring process should follow.
The Conference Module is an online portal used by schools and candidates who have registered for the event. Within the Module, schools can browse the profiles of any registered candidate and decide who you wish to interview — or we can build your schedule for you. Candidates can browse the list of schools that have registered and the positions they are hiring for and send messages to schools alerting them of their interest.
Plan your schedule.
Before you start filling your schedule with interviews, take a moment to block off periods of time on your schedule for lunch or work business by using the “Change Status” drop down menu. Planning your schedule out in advance saves you the unfavorable task of cancelling an interview, and also helps us see if you have any free slots for interviews if you need our help adding additional candidates. Please note: The Module displays times in Eastern Standard Time. As this time it is not possible to adjust the time zone.
The earlier you can begin to add interviews to your schedule, the better. It not only gives you access to top candidates before their own schedules become too full, it also helps to prevent candidates from dropping out. Candidates are eager to interview, but they also want to know ahead of time what their day will look like so they can plan ahead, as many have to take childcare or other responsibilities into account.
Check your listed positions.
Candidates are able to see which positions a school is hiring for during a conference. We encourage candidates to use these listed positions when they are deciding which schools to send messages of interest to. They cannot see, however, any confidential positions you have listed with us. Those will only be visible to you — as an attending school — in the Module.
Within the Module, you have the ability to remove positions you are interviewing for during a conference, as well as to change any confidential positions to “visible,” giving candidates the ability to see them.
Check your messages and be responsive.
Click on the Messages tab to see if you have received any messages from us or from candidates. If a candidate has an interest in your school, we advise them to use the Message Center to reach out. Not to worry, we also advise them to keep their messages short and infrequent. The Message Center is also a great way for you to make outreach to candidates ahead of or even on the day of the event.
Communicate and plan ahead.
Communication is key between candidates and schools. Make sure you use the Message Center in the Conference Module to indicate your plan for the interview to your candidates. What tool are you using (Zoom, WebEx, Skype, phone, etc.)? Who is going to initiate the interview, you or the candidate? Include your personal contact information, like your cell number, in the event a tech issues comes up and you need to switch to a phone interview. You should also send your interview platform of choice to Kim Garner, Director of Conferences, so she can list it next to your school's name in the Module.
Test the technology.
Test your electronic device prior to your first interview. Make sure your device is charged and alerts are silenced. Familiarize yourself with the various interview tools you’ll be using in advance so you’re ready to go at the time of your interview. These other tips on virtual interviewing are also important to read.
Between working from home, childcare, online learning, and a slew of distractions, life can be unpredictable. Understand the times we’re in and remain flexible with changes and adjustments to your schedule. Take comfort knowing that candidates are doing the same.
Use the Carney Sandoe team as a resource.
Just like at an in-person conference, the Carney Sandoe staff will be available throughout both days for recommendations, advice, and questions. Don't hesitate to contact us — we're here to make the experience as smooth as possible for you!
Take care of yourself.
Virtual hiring conferences might seem like a sprint, but treat them like a marathon. Practice self care by stretching between interviews and taking a break from your screen when you can. Have snacks and water nearby. Don't forget to build a lunch break into your online schedule.
Outline next steps.
Everyone is dealing with uncertainty and high levels of stress, so don't be afraid to overcommunicate — it will help to put candidates at ease and ensure a seamless hiring process. You might not normally do this at the end of a typical interview, but these are not typical times. Give candidates a rundown of the details of your process so they know what to expect. These are uncharted waters for candidates too, and anything you can do settle their nerves will benefit both sides.
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