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Job hunting? This CEO is hiring and interviewing remotely – he has advice

"We’ve hired people we haven’t met in person," says Karl Hammerschmidt. "There are things you can still do to impress."

While most of the economy is shedding jobs at an unprecedented rate, some industries – notably online retailers and call centres (and agriculture) – are booming.

Hiring and interviewing potential employees is, to say the least, quite tricky right now.

How are these industries conducting interviews and hiring in an age of social distancing?

             At least comb your hair before the interview starts.

Lester Kiewit interviewed Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO of RunwaySale, a local company that is hiring amid the economic depression.

Kiewit asked him what has changed, and if he has tips for people who are applying.

It’s a new world. You, quite simply, have to embrace it… We’ve interviewed and hired people we haven’t met in person yet... It’s worked out well…

Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO - RunwaySale

There are many things somebody looking for a job can still do to try and impress a potential employer…

Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO - RunwaySale

Dress appropriately. Make sure you don’t have dirty laundry in the background. Read up on the company…

Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO - RunwaySale

There’s no denying it [that some people don’t have good or affordable internet access].

Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO - RunwaySale

There are roles you can’t do remotely, like in our warehouse… Our team had to come in, but we’re providing private transport…

Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO - RunwaySale

If a candidate doesn’t have a laptop, then we make it a WhatsApp call. Once they join us, we provide them with the necessary tools… It’s not lost on me that it’s more of a challenge for some than others.

Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO - RunwaySale

… 90% of our consumers were aged between 20 and 35. Over the last couple of months, the number of customers we’ve seen in the 55 to 65, and even older, age groups – it’s quite incredible how the whole country is embracing it [online retail] …

Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO - RunwaySale

It will be great when we can go back and see each other in person. But I don’t think we’ll ever go back to five days a week.

Karl Hammerschmidt, CEO - RunwaySale

Listen to the interview in the audio below.

This interview was first published by Cape Talk on the 2 July 2020. 

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