Successful Hiring thru the Pandemic by reesmarx

Posted by: Ericha Hartz - reesmarx on Friday, May 29, 2020

We're pleased to share global business experiences at reesmarx on open roles that we have filled and how hiring and interviewing has changed during the time of coven-19.

We also brought in a client rep / hiring manager to share her perspectives, and we spoke with a candidate, and you'll hear and see why he has been successful.

Watch the globinar on youtube HERE. Now available!

We also recorded the event on Facebook LIVE HERE. Enjoy!

Our conversation included discussing the following:

  • Roles that have opened and hired during this time
  • Roles that were open before and how things have changed
  • The new norm of not having in-person meetings
  • Career coaching and interview preparation now
  • New issues & concerns with interview appearance attire, background, etc.


00:00 – Multi-Metro Globinar begins

  • Ericha Hartz – Global Partnership Director at reesmarx
  • Nick Gilmour – Director of International at reesmarx
  • Michal Wagner - Successful Client as Recruiter at Interstates
  • Tim van Baars - Successfully hired candidate 

00:45 – Q&A Session

01:00 - End

In addition we had lots of questions! Our team answered them below, and see our speaker bios as well. Thanks for attending and/or watching!







International Recruitment and Business Consulting

London | Amsterdam | Frankfurt | Paris | Madrid | Stockholm | Dubai | Singapore | Charlotte | Brooklyn


How does the remote hiring process for executive-level employees differ?

  1. Main difference would be that for Exec Level there would likely be more touchpoints
  2. These touchpoints at Exec level would likely be requested by both sides in the process to ensure a match for an exec level role
  3. The candidate and employer may request as well a couple of final video calls after the ‘interview’ process to finalize and last questions

During a video interview, is it acceptable for a candidate to use a neutral (not distracting) digital background?

  1. Yes, absolutely. The biggest and most important thing notated in this question is “not distracting”. You can have any type of backgroud if it:
    1. Will not distract the interviewer
    2. Is not unprofessional in any way
    3. Does not take anything away from a normal interview
    4. Does not distract you (interviewee/candidate)
  2. Video interview is the same as an in-person, and if it makes you feel more comfortable to have a digital background then that is absolutely okay. 
  3. I would say practice using it first, with your recruiter/friend/family on a call, so you are not caught off guard on how it looks. 

Should a remote time-to-hire be shorter or longer than an in-person time-to-hire?

  1. In all likelihood, remote should, and certainly can be shorter
  2. Less need to synch diaries and being flexible to get 1 or 2 hours free from a candidate is easier than what would be a half/full day to attend in person, or even longer if travel required
  3. Important to keep the process moving efficiently on a remote basis as well
  4. Likely there could be one or two added stages in a remote process for all sides to feel comfortable, but it should be workable in a shorter timeframe

Sometimes you fail (the project/initiatives) but is a key example for relevant experience. Do you have recommendations on how to handle this scenario?

  1. This is a not an easy objection to get over, but it is possible! You have to always remember to not underplay your skills. Sometime as the candidate you are so worried an Interviewer is going to ask you about something, so you immediately confess your concerns. There is no need to go in-depth to mistakes or lack of skills unless specifically asked to do so. You should go into interviews confident in the role you are interviewing for and answering questions based on skills and not past mistakes. 
  2. If you immediately share your failures, the Interviewers may take this as you are talking them out of hiring you. Go into an interview focusing on the skills you have that make you qualified, not the past mistakes, and an Interviewer should respect that.   
  3. Overall honesty is the best policy and if you take anything else away from this; do not downplay your skills/experience or fear those questions. Be prepared and confident.

When you interview across countries is there anything to think about from a cultural difference from a hiring manager standpoint?

  1. Yes, this is something that reesmarx are continually consulting on
  2. From an employer side it is important for reesmarx to consult with our client to ensure that they are ready for any cultural differences in personality or culture i.e. German candidates being maybe less overtly outgoing that US interviewer, or similar in Japan. i.e Japanese candidates not asking questions does not indicate a lack of interest 
  3. From a candidate side we also consult with the candidate to prepare them for cultural differences and try their best to bridge that gap as well
  4. Ultimately speaking there are differences, and if both sides are aware of this, and make allowances, then there should be no issue.

There are a lot of people out of work...for more strategically important positions how do we ensure we can attract the best talent and not just get them to interview but accept an offer over video?  Essentially, how do we get buy-in for passive candidates?

  1. Transparency and communication are the two biggest things! 
  2. You always run the risk of having strong talent go through an interview process, get offered the role, and choose to not accept. There are uncontrollable turnouts even when in-person/F2F interviews are conducted.
  3. Reesmarx primarily sources “passive candidates”, so gaining interest in a role and company over video/audio calls are not out of our norm. We are asking questions upfront, after every interview (debriefs), weekly touchpoints, etc. to do our best in guaranteeing there are no surprises for the Clients and the Candidates. 20 years of adding to the stockpile of important questions that have come up, gives us a unique perspective on what obstacles can come up last minute. 
  4. For Companies/Hiring Managers, it is so important for the Candidate to trust in what you are saying, so sometimes it is important to share as much information as you can. And make these interviews conversational, get to know them and their qualifications.  
  5. Also, early video interviews are quite helpful in finding out compatibility of Candidates and Hiring Managers/Companies

In my position as a candidate associated with a manufacturing facility, how can I learn about the physical facility as in my experience a plant tour during an onsite interview is very important for me to determine what the opportunities are where I can bring value.

  1. This is a question of the ‘old normal’ vs the ‘new normal
  2. If this is the way that things are usually done, it does not necessarily mean it is the way they have to continue to be done
  3. If onsite interviews in such a situation are likely to stop/ become rare, then it is important, from a candidate perspective to adapt to this
  4. There will be questions and people that you can speak to in the interview process to see where you can bring value – ask yourself, is an onsite visit the only way to qualify?
  5. Be confident to ask for more information/ speak to other people

Do you feel candidates are more flexible when it comes to salary if the can work remote?

  1. A lot of people look at remote work, as more hours in the day to get directly to work and be more productive. This also brings less lengthy lunches and less broken concentration. Remote work does not lessen the workload or responsibilities and may create a stronger focus and work completed. This balances out the reason to be at the same pay rate for those pros just listed vs expenses to drive to work they are saving
  2. Also, considering market trends for roles - It is not common someone will want to get paid under the market value or less then what they currently make for a remote role.  
  3. All in all, it comes down to the individual and their motivations – sometimes remote work makes them feel they could take a pay cut or no change in pay, but typically if candidates are taking a new role they are looking for monetary growth. 

What do you say to managers who won’t make a decision without a final face to face interview? And what about the candidate who you want to offer who may want to see the working environment before making their final decision?

  1. This is a fair question
  2. Firstly, would be asking why this is the case? It has been shown at all levels that hiring works via remote interview
  3. Both employers and candidates can ask for more interviews/ touchpoints to cover off any doubts
  4. The fact is that again, just because this has been the standard way, it does not mean it is the only way
  5. You can gain as good an insight and rapport on video as you can in person
  6. Ultimately employers will potentially lose good candidates if they do not adapt and similarly candidates potentially lose good roles if they do not adapt
  7. This is all about embracing change.

Some candidates still have hesitations on job security and growth potentials of remote-working roles. How can employers and search firms raise awareness amongst candidates of the benefits of remote-based roles?

  1. It all starts with the interviewing process and a Candidate trusting what the Interviewer is saying about the role and being sold on joining the company. This also goes along with our answer for question number 6 (based on: ensuring Companies can attract the best talent and not just get them to interview but accept). – transparency and communication throughout the whole process on the Client side, keeps the candidate trusting the growth potential mentioned and that remote work will not cause an issue or create any additional fear of job security. 
  2. reesmarx maintains the fact that over the past 10+ years we have been finding the questions that discover candidates’ hesitations up-front. You can never change someone’s mind, but with the right techniques you can read someone’s interest level after every conversation with them. We start asking candidates questions and answering their questions/concerns from the very start. 
  3. reesmarx primarily work on roles that are remote. The discussion of remote work and the benefits that can come from it, is something to explain individually to each person after we get to know them on a deeper level. 

In person, things such as eye contact and body language help build rapport. How do you recommend building that rapport remotely?

  1. Eye contact and body language are just as important on video
  2. Treat a video as you would an in-person interview
  3. You need to practice video interviews to make sure you are comfortable on them and that they become 2nd nature, very little different to meeting in person
  4. Both employer and candidate can get just as good a feeling for interest, engagement and rapport on video as in person
  5. Important to practice if it is something you are not comfortable with.

Does this new norm open up opportunities for candidates to consider new roles because location may no longer be an issue? 

  1. Yes and no! 
  2. Our initial response would be “yes, absolutely”, but it is important to keep in mind: 
    • local culture knowledge on where a company is hiring 
    • language skills for a region you are expanding to 
    • business norms/processes for each area of the world
  3. All the above change business drastically and change companies needs out of a candidate drastically. 
  4. If someone is hiring a remote role in the US and it is a US company, then yes, the question above would be answered with a “yes”. But if a company is hiring in a new region with different languages/cultural norms/business processes a company should hire local. 

Wondering if the new situation will make contract/project/gig work more appealing for employers and whether Reesmarx recruits along these lines, or just for full-time/permanent positions? What are the trends generally in the recruitment industry?

  1. Time will really tell with this one; but I truly believe there will be no shift from before the pandemic, in excessive contract workers vs. full-time. Reasonably so, many may think that if they are changing the hiring process maybe more contract roles will come up, but you have to remember that needed roles do not change, and some industries/companies/roles cannot have contractors with work they are doing. 
  2. Reesmarx primarily covers Executive Level Placements which is broader than it sounds, but virtually C-suite to Sr. Managers! We are not industry or role specific just helping companies hire in new regions (whether that be domestic or international growth). 
  3. We work with full-time direct hire roles primarily – reesmarx has done contract and project recruitment 

Post COVID-19, could we expect the recruitment industry veer towards the retained search model rather than continuing with the contingency model?

  1. Initial evidence is that companies may feel that they will have a choice of candidates on the open market desperately seeking work and might look to move down contingency/ in house initially 
  2. Also, our initial evidence is showing that this is not proving so affective. Ultimately the best candidates have either been retained, or, in the situation where they have been made redundant, they are hugely sought after 
  3. We feel that the retained approach is going to be even more effective moving forward as it is key to be really engaged with the top candidates, and be very engaged with your recruitment partner to ensure they are finding the best candidates, not simply this looking for a new role

From the recruiter side what has been the impact of the use of Candidate Tracking AI as it relates to making a connection with a person?

  1. reesmarx does in fact use tools like LinkedIn/Monster/Indeed/Dice/etc. to source properly, but we do not rely on these tools for messaging or mass messaging. We individually source each profile and individually message potential candidates after a deep review of their background/skills/companies/etc. 
  2. This question more so applies to companies that rely on the tool for sending out generic mass messages if they typically fill 1 type of role. But, for reesmarx we are immediately making a connection to a candidate, as we know this person is fitting for the role. 

How can candidates demonstrate their remote-working capabilities on their resume and LinkedIn Profiles?

  1. Would say that this is not such an important thing to add to a profile/ resume (usually there is a challenge to put in relevant work experience in a succinct Resume)
  2. No harm in adding in your headline ‘used to working from a home office’ or ‘mix of home and office based’.
  3. Or maybe adding a bullet point on roles where you have worked from home

Speaker Bios

Ericha Hartz – Global Partnership Director at reesmarx. Ericha Hartz holds the role of Global Partnership Director for reesmarx. She is responsible for developing Partnerships, Sales, Channel Operations, as well as implementing our direct sales strategy globally. Ericha brings valuable experience and insights to her role. Prior to her promotion she fulfilled the role of Senior Resourcing Partner (Americas) for reesmarx, where she was responsible for researching, managing and delivering global recruitment projects in over 30 countries. In her role as Global Partnership Director, she implements and manages Partner activities, identify new opportunities and define the actions required to bring a new dynamic to our business model. Ericha resides in North Carolina, United States and graduated from the University of East Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Marketing.

Nick Gilmour – Director of International at reesmarx. Nick Gilmour joined reesmarx in 2004 and steadily progressed his career, becoming Resourcing Director in 2015. He leads a global resourcing team and uses his considerable knowledge across all sectors to manage the delivery of recruitment and business expansion projects across multiple disciplines and locations. He works with a wide range of global clients to deliver talent acquisition projects across all disciplines including Sales, Marketing, Professional Services, IT, HR, Finance and Operational Management professionals. His role requires specialist knowledge and expertise in different practices around the world in key markets including The Americas, DACH, Benelux, Southern and Eastern Europe, UK and Ireland, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Nordics. Nick is based in London and graduated from Durham University with a degree in Combined Social Sciences.

Michal Wagner - Recruiter at Interstates. Michal is a Recruiter with Interstates and has had as much of a responsibility to hiring for Interstate roles as the Hiring Managers. A strong administrative and HR professional who graduated from Concordia University - St Paul, Minnesota, USA.




Tim van Baars - Hired candidate. Tim has over 20 years of business experience selling complex solutions based on various technology stacks both in management and as an individual contributor. He recently worked with reesmarx as a candidate that was sourced/screened/submitted to a client... and hired! Tim was a successful hire during Covid-19 pandemic and has firsthand experience of how the process differed from previous times - helpful for companies and candidates alike.


Moderator: Doug Bruhnke - Founder/CEO of Global Chamber®. Doug is an international entrepreneur dedicated to helping members of Global Chamber® reach new markets across metros and borders more successfully. He is a two-time expat with Dupont in Tokyo and Singapore with over 30 years of global business experience in nearly all countries and segments. Doug is a regional advisor for U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and a member of collaborating international groups including the Arizona District Export Council. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Utah, an EMBA from Michigan State University and 5 patents. Doug was born in Mt. Kisco, New York and now lives in the metro regions of Phoenix and San Francisco. Hear more about the Global Chamber® story here.

About Global Chamber®: Global Chamber® is a growing and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and leaders in 525 metro regions around the world... connecting member businesses to new opportunities and advancing growth and success. It's the only chamber of commerce in the world operating in hundreds of locations that helps exporting, importing and investing members to connect through warm introductions to clients, partners, projects and resources. Global Chamber® is a registered trademark of Global Chamber, LLC.



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