blue texture background

How our recruiting strategy shifted as a result of COVID-19

Our recruiting team shares their perspective on the shift to a remote work environment and responds to some FAQs around the current state of our remote recruiting procedures.

What was the transition to a remote work environment like as a result of the COVID-19 virus?

We moved to a company-wide remote work environment on Monday, March 16, 2020. It all unfolded so quickly, and I was amazed by how easy and seamless the process appeared to be, although I know that a lot of our technology teams had been working around the clock to get everything up and running. All our tech was working well, and we were able to be productive from day one. The biggest adjustment was not seeing our teammates face-to-face every day!

What have some of the challenges been while teams adjusted to working remotely?

I think our teams have adjusted amazingly well to working remotely. Video calls and Slack have replaced in-person meetings or stopping by to chat with someone at their desk. One big challenge is for new hires; it’s simply harder to build relationships when you aren’t face-to-face, and you don’t have the benefit of hearing other work discussions going on around you. Fortunately, our teams are adapting well to onboarding new team members virtually to get them up to speed and feel welcome.

And, our global Facilities team has organized some fabulous virtual activities while we’ve been remote. Learn more about our remote employee engagement initiatives.

How is the firm handling the new remote work environment? Does the firm have any plans to return to the office?

We are promoting “in person” meetings via video call whenever possible, offering lots of fun social events, encouraging people to get away from their screens to take time off and ensuring our employees have all the tools and support they need at home. Currently, we have no specific dates in mind for our return to the office. We will continue to be very careful and will wait and see what the medical guidance is before we create a plan for a safe return to work.

What has the experience been like for employees that continue to go into the office?

We have some very small groups of employees working in a few of our larger offices on a staggered basis, mostly traders and our awesome Desktop Support Engineering team who must be there to configure and ship out all the hardware and tech that our new employees need to get started. Our global facilities team has established health and safety guidelines to ensure team members are safe in the office. There are new guidelines to ensure ample spacing between employees, and hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are available throughout the offices. We also have individually packaged lunches, and of course, masks are required.

The offices are missing their normal buzz of activity, but I think we have created a very safe and comfortable environment for everyone and will continue to stay up to date on the necessary health guidelines. We have also taken this opportunity to renovate and upgrade some areas of our Chicago HQ’s office, so it will be nice to return to some newly polished digs when it’s safe to do so!

What does the remote interview process look like?

Our remote interviews are mostly conducted through video interviews so we can incorporate as much face-to-face time as possible. Instead of doing longer, multi-round interviews in a single day, we are now doing shorter interviews that are spread across several days. We try to accommodate candidates’ schedules as much as possible and we’ve found that it’s easier for people to dedicate shorter periods of time so that it doesn’t impact their current work commitments.

How do you retain the authentic and personal element of recruiting while doing it virtually?

We are doing fewer phone interviews and more video interviews as we feel it’s important now more than ever for candidates to have that “in person” interaction with us from the very initial stages of the process. We spend a lot more time talking to candidates about our company culture, perks, office layout and social events as they miss out on some of that by not visiting our offices. I have found that my initial interviews with candidates are longer as I want to spend as much time as it takes for them to get a picture of what it’s like to work here, whether we are remote or not. Outside of that, we try to do the same things we’ve always done: Give people a genuine, realistic preview of the job and the company and make sure they know about the incredible long-term career opportunities we can offer. Virtual or not, interviewing is a two-way street and candidates need to interview us as much as we are interviewing them. But now that candidates don’t have the luxury of seeing our offices in action and shaking our hands, it’s even more crucial that they get enough information from us to feel comfortable and convinced about joining DRW.

Is DRW hiring for roles that will be 100% remote?

Yes, and we only expect the number of remote roles to continue growing.

Visit our careers page to view our current job openings. Don’t forget to follow us on social media to keep up with the latest openings and updates.