ZOOOOOMM – How has your day changed?

I used to be in the CBD at least three times a week – taking the train, going to seminars or training or visiting clients, and like many others, I would leave home early in the morning and return after dark.

Now I get up, have breakfast and then exercise (if I am motivated for that day!), or on many days, I go straight to my computer in the office at home and start working. I had been doing some webinars and online videos pre-COVID but have always tried to meet people face-to-face where I could.

Many clients I have worked with have also had to adapt to working from home, and many I have seen have embraced new technologies, including ZOOM, Webex and Microsoft Teams. This technology has changed my working week forever – I also hear this from many candidates and clients.

So, how has the world’s biggest working-from-home experiment changed your day? This is what I’ve experienced so far:

  • Recruitment is speeding up – Video calls have allowed candidates from all over Australia to be fast-tracked through the process rather than having to fly them in for an interview.

  • Access to more candidates – Clients who did not in the past consider interstate candidates are now seeing the benefits of accessing a larger pool of candidates because of the ability and positives of working virtually.

  • International Access – This has opened up my recruitment options as I now work with clients in ASIA. Talking with clients/candidates in the US and Europe is now second nature.

  • I am interviewing many more people – ZOOM overload some days, but I love it. It’s so much easier to see people’s body language and what they are like when you talk with them on a video call rather than just audio or on the phone.

One of the services that mexec careers offers is 1:1 Job Search training. Previously, this was always done in person but has now shifted to online video calls. Whereas I could only do local training, Sue and I are now doing training all across Australia to assist candidates on how to find work.

What was just a booklet is now a comprehensive 1.5-hour training program using ZOOM slides. It’s more interactive and more accessible than being in person, as you can pull up websites, make notes on the slides and make actual changes to CVs in real-time.

I do have some things I would like to say about ‘etiquette’ on Zoom calls, though – sadly, it still seems to be a work in progress for some. Here are my top tips:

  • Treat it as you would a regular interview – Think about how you would prepare for an in-person interview, and do the same for a video call.

  • Don’t relax too much – Please do not relax too much and put your head in your hands. I saw at least three people do it this week, even at the Director level. Too relaxed.

  • Look AT the camera – Don’t have it to the side. I don’t want to see your ear; I want to see your face.

  • No nose hairs, please! – Please try to put the camera so that it looks at you and does not look up at you. I would rather not see your nose hairs! If you need to raise the level of your camera, put the computer on a bunch of books. It’s simple, but in interviews, it can help you look more professional.

  • Video camera on – especially in a group chat. It’s much more inviting and overall just polite. Tidy up the room behind you before the call if you have to or use a virtual background.

As we all adapt to the “new norm”, there are also several resources to help get us up to speed on how to work from home productively.

Like many others, I do miss seeing people in person, though. Even with all these changes, I hope in the future that there is a balance created, where many of the things we have had to do now will be a choice and that there still is so much to be said for in-person communication. Let’s hope I get to chat with you in person again soon.

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