Since schools cannot bring candidates to campuses to do classroom demonstrations and interviews, they are turning to virtual options. The Pingry School in New Jersey—which EAB originally profiled for their Priority Focused Interview Schedule—is approaching interviewing in a way that provides an opportunity to get to know the candidate, while making the most efficient use of everyone’s scarce time.
Rethink simply making your process virtual
Typically, the hiring process for finalists consists of an entire day on campus filled with interviews, time in the classroom, and getting to know the community. Simply shifting that to a virtual format would be time consuming. School teams have a lot on their plate right now as they try to quickly adapt to the changes necessitated by the coronavirus, so making the most of time is imperative.
Consider splitting up the process to protect everyone’s time
To ensure the process still surfaces critical information efficiently, Pingry quickly adapted to their new reality by splitting and reorganizing their typical campus interview day to get the most out of the interviews, protect current staff and faculty time, and be mindful of restraints on candidate’s time. Here’s how Pingry’s process works:
Initial half day of interviews winnows the field
After a preliminary telephone screen, the candidate is invited to a half-day virtual session that consists of interviews with senior members of the administrative team. During these meetings, the team is doing a deep dive with the candidate to determine if they are then invited back for a second half day of virtual sessions.
Only finalists brought back for second round
If a candidate makes it to the second round, they then meet with department heads, members of other departments like IT and athletics, and finally the Head of School.
Virtual “coffee hour” with candidate
Pingry also built in an informal session where faculty can “drop-in” and get to know the candidate better without a specific agenda.
Build in vetting mechanism to reduce staff time spent on process
Pingry’s approach has a built-in vetting mechanism after the initial half day interview that determines if the candidate moves on. This allows them to narrow the field to the best candidates. With fewer candidates moving to the second round, they can be more conscientious of everyone’s time.
With a little creativity, Pingry was able to shift their hiring process to prioritize everyone’s time, while continuing to make good decisions about bringing the right people into their community.