Async Interviews Are The Future of Hiring Remote Talent (Here’s How To Do It Properly)

Written by
Euan Cameron
Last updated:
Created on:
August 4, 2021

Regardless of return-to-office campaigns, it’s clear there’s been a significant increase in permanent remote work, hybrid work, and overall flexibility in the working world. And while all departments have to manage this transition, the recruiting team faces a unique challenge.

With a new shift to remote work, the old model of recruiting - which relied heavily on in-person meetings - no longer works. Instead, recruiters need to use async interviews to properly hire remote talent. Here’s what that means, how it works, and how async hiring fits into every company’s process (even office-located companies!).

What are asynchronous interviews and working?

Asynchronous interviews are pre-recorded video interviews where candidates respond to a set of predetermined questions at their convenience. 

Asynchronous interviewing often has time limits for responses, with varying preparation times. Candidates may review and re-record answers before submitting them. It can replace or complement traditional steps:

  • Initial phone screen → pre-recorded video answers. 
  • In-person or live video chat → pre-recorded video answers.
  • Team conversations about a candidate → shared notes in an applicant tracking system (ATS).
  • Candidate feedback call → email or voice note.
  • Presenting an offer over a call → sending a voice note with an email.

The intent behind async interviews is to make interviewing more scalable, accessible, and inclusive. 

For recruiters, async interviews means not needing to sit on back-to-back-to-back (-to-back) calls all day, feeling burnt out and barely able to ask questions by the final chat. 

For candidates, pre-recorded video answers in async interviews give them a chance to respond when it works for them and in an environment that they are comfortable in. This is in contrast to needing to find a time to book a call (particularly difficult when you’re already working full-time) and hoping that no emergencies pop up in the middle of your conversation. 

How to hire asynchronously

When hiring remote talent and using async interviews, the process will look a bit different than traditional recruiting. Here’s what to pay attention to.

1. Interview prep

Unlike conducting a live or in-person interview, you’re going to rely heavily on technology to facilitate an async interview process. With that in mind, make sure you have a platform you can trust that’s purpose-built for async interviews

The best things you can do to prep for the interview are: 

  • Load your set questions into your async interview platform for all candidates. 
  • Plan your candidate assessment rubric ahead of time so you can start looking at interviews as soon as candidates submit them.
  • Communicate to your candidates that you will be doing an async process and tell them the deadline they need to submit answers by (hint: we’ve found providing a week is best). 

2. The interview itself

This is perhaps the weirdest feeling for a recruiter: you won’t actually do anything during the interview. At this stage, the candidate is recording their videos answering your pre-set questions. You don’t need to do anything until they submit the videos. 

Here’s what you can do in the meantime:

  • Set up automated reminders to nudge candidates who haven’t recorded their videos yet. 
  • Start watching videos as they come in (or block time in your calendar to review a batch of them at once).
  • Put yourself through the process as a candidate to assess how the experience feels, using your perspective to improve the process for the future.

3. Internal team communication

Once you have interviews shared with you, it’s time to assess. That often means discussing with internal stakeholders. 

Here’s how you can manage that process:

  • Leave notes and comments in your private dashboard so you have a reference of what the candidate said or anything that stood out.
  • Share the video responses as needed with internal stakeholders so they can hear the answers straight from the candidate themselves. 
  • Integrate your async hiring platform with your ATS system so you can tag candidates for moving through the process or being rejected.

4. Making the process “semi-sync”

While you can run an interview process fully asynchronously, you don’t have to. Instead, you can use async elements to kickstart the process then book a synchronous phone call for later stages. This can be impactful even for office-based companies, since it scales everyone’s efforts and makes it easier to review candidates before inviting them to the office.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Use async video interviews for the initial screen, then book synchronous interviews for all candidates who make it through.
  • Use async video for basic “sharing information” questions, then use a synchronous interview for discussing the information the candidate shared. 

It’s also important to note that simply using video does not automatically make an interview async. While video is a common tool of async interviews, the real point is that you don’t have to schedule a time to meet live. That could be achieved through a video, voice note, or even an email, among other things. 

The future of recruiting is async

Hiring remote talent is the question on every company’s mind. Whether full-time employees, freelancers, or one-off consultants, companies searching for great talent now have the widest possible lens. While the internet makes all of this possible, async interviewing makes all of this pleasant. Recruiters can focus on their jobs instead of time zones and focus on finding the best person for the job instead of finding the best available in a small pool.

Euan Cameron
LinkedIn profile

What you should do now

Book a demo

See how Willo is already helping 5,000+ organizations streamline their hiring processes.

Check for more resources

Our blog is full of useful stories and resources.

Share this post

Use the links below to share this post on the platform of your choice.