Remote recruiting is a common practice in the IT sector, but it used to be an option. Now it’s a necessity. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, completely unpredictable in its spread, has left the HR sector facing a major challenge posed by the need to transition very quickly to fully remote work.
We’re still navigating our way through these changes, so before you choose the solutions best-suited to the needs of your organization, you should try out the ones that are easiest to implement and will cost you nothing. I’ve compiled a short list of free tools allowing you to conduct job interviews online, focusing on three needs (in the context of the recruitment of developers): communication, visualization (ideas, charts, and algorithms), and coding tests.
Google Hangouts – an easy-to-use and intuitive tool. It’s available for free for video calls for up to 10 participants. All you need is a Gmail account, and you can create a link to your meeting for example when you’re setting up an event. In addition, Google Hangouts also allows participants to chat during calls, but the chats are not saved – unfortunately, they disappear when the call ends. The tool also allows screen sharing.
Zoom – a free version of the platform allows you to host meetings with up to 100 participants at once and unlimited one-on-one meetings, but there’s a 40-minute limit time on group calls. Zoom is a pleasure to use, and it’s in no way inferior to Google Hangouts in terms of usability. Paid plans offer a number of additional features, which can come in handy for large organizations.
Whereby – a free plan allows you to host group meetings with up to 4 participants. One advantage is that it allows you to create custom and unique links for your meeting rooms. In addition, Whereby is integrated with YouTube, so you can easily play videos during calls. Great solution for remote recruiting!
Whimsical – a tool that will enable you to have brainstorming sessions with candidates using mind maps, flowcharts, and above all wireframes with a rich library of configurable elements. A free version allows you to create 4 boards a month.
Miro – an online platform that can be used to design complex diagrams in a visually pleasing and clear way. A free plan includes unlimited team members, up to 3 editable boards, premade templates, and core integrations. Paid plans include integrations with Jira, among other features.
Explain Everything – a platform with a wide range of applications that can be used for online interviews with candidates. The most interesting feature is the use of online whiteboards. The tool can be used on any device, but tablets are most convenient in this respect. A free version allows you to create 3 whiteboards.
Teletype for Atom – an open-source beta platform created by GitHub. It’s easy to use and beautifully simple.
CodeSandbox – an open-source tool, just like Teletype for Atom. CodeSandbox is available for free, but the paid plan costs only $9 a month, which is not much if you’re planning to use this tool frequently (aside from that, it’s always a good idea to support open-source projects! 🙂 ) The free-version features include a code editor with the possibility of embedding code in your website.
Codeanywhere – the free trial period is limited to 7 days, but the Starter plan will only cost you $2.5 per user. You can share any file, folder, or project by generating a URL link and sharing it with others, for example by e-mail. A big plus is that you can use many preconfigured components (such as PHP, WordPress, Node.js, Ruby, and more).
I can’t tell you which of these tools is the best one. In my opinion, each of them is fit for purpose and relatively easy to use. All of them are intuitive, but each has a different interface. As for visual aspects, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which of them looks best 🙂 .
If I were to pick my favorite tool for remote job interviews, I’d definitely say Google Hangouts. Communication is a crucial element of every recruitment process, and you should always use a video conferencing tool that is easily accessible. If you have a Gmail account (which is quite likely), using Google Hangouts is supereasy. Moreover, Google Hangouts has never disappointed me in terms of connection quality, even with the current increased use of online tools.