Today, virtual recruiting is the primary recruitment method for a variety of organizations. A solid virtual recruitment strategy involves not only searching for candidates through professional sites, online career forums, and social media but also conducting virtual interviews and virtual onboarding processes.
In the wake of COVID-19, recruiting is more challenging than ever. With 55% of Americans anticipating looking for a new job, and 35% of the workforce functioning remotely, there’s more competition when seeking out talent.
As many HR professionals have seen firsthand, virtual recruiting and interviewing benefits both employers and employees. It allows employers to access a larger pool of candidates and broadens career opportunities for potential employees. Virtual interviewing also speeds up the hiring process, saves time and money for both employers and employees, and improves employee retention.
As part of our HR Technology week, we spoke with Spark Hire’s CEO and Founder Josh Tolan about virtual hiring. He explained there are four aspects of virtual hiring you need to have to be best equipped for a successful recruitment process in 2022.
“In a competitive market, the ability to move candidates through the process quickly can be the difference between making the hire and not,” says Tolan. In a remote world, efficiency, communication, and understanding are essential for success.
To streamline the recruiting process, Tolan recommends adopting a hiring service level agreement (SLA). In other words, it’s a series of commitments from each team member involved in the hiring process and creates accountability for everything you need to get done to hire someone. A hiring SLA can streamline and define each step of recruitment. It breaks tasks down into timelines and gets further into who is responsible for each aspect.
“The bottom line is that it’s a timeline that we as a team can hold ourselves accountable to. It sets us up for success in today’s market,” Tolan explains.
One-way interviews allow employers to reduce scheduling conflicts. With the ability to conduct unlimited concurrent interviews and the flexibility to evaluate candidates on their own time, hiring managers are empowered to make quicker decisions. Further benefits include standardizing preliminary interviews; combating bias by including more team members in final decisions; and a positive, flexible candidate experience.
One-way interviews allow employers to reduce scheduling conflicts. With the ability to conduct unlimited concurrent interviews and the flexibility to evaluate candidates on one’s own time, hiring managers are empowered to make faster decisions. Further benefits include standardizing preliminary interviews, combating bias by including more team members in final decisions, and a positive, flexible candidate experience.
This type of preliminary interview brings us to our next aspect of virtual recruiting: reach.
With The Great Resignation, most organizations have had to adjust their talent pool. To be successful in virtual hiring, recruiters must consider more candidates. The convenience and popularity of remote work helped expand the candidate pipeline, especially in the case of one-way interviews, which speed up the process. “Since these interviews can be completed by candidates at any time, and they don’t require any of our team members to be present, you can consistently consider more people for the role,” Tolan explains.
HR teams can further expand their reach by considering nonlocal recruiting. Rather than posting jobs only in one central location, recruiters can advertise in multiple geographic areas with different budgets.
One of the most important aspects of recruiting is standing out from the competition. In a virtual world, where candidates miss out on the insight in-person interactions can offer, businesses must actively demonstrate what their company looks like. Tolan advises recruiters to bring some “in-person interview ‘flare’ into the virtual hiring process.”
So, what does this look like? One of the best ways to leverage the virtual space is to lean into video options. To make interactions with candidates more memorable, recruiters can link videos in their communications.
In one-to-one videos, or messages made explicitly for one candidate, hiring managers, leaders, or future team members can speak directly to an interviewee. “In these videos, the whole point is to make the candidate feel special and show they how invested you are into getting them on the team,” Tolan says.
Another option is one-to-many videos, or evergreen content that can be used multiple times for countless people. Examples of these include interviews from team members, employee testimonials, and “day in the life” walkthroughs of an advertised role. The key to making these videos feel personal is to make them relevant to the candidate in question.
Beyond video engagement, active engagement from all team members can give HR professionals an edge in the hiring process. Whether it’s as simple as connecting a candidate with future peers or as big as having a CEO or another member of management speak with a candidate, this type of involvement can go a long way toward showcasing company culture and the business as a whole.
“Employee lifetime value” refers to the overall impact a person will bring to your organization. When moving through the recruitment process with this in mind, HR departments are set up for continued success.
“As businesses, we invest so much ideation into our products and services. How about we do the same with employees?” Toland proposes.
First, leaders should see retention as a recruitment strategy. This will ensure they don’t have to drastically adjust their hiring processes, especially in challenging times like these. When building a strong staff, HR should constantly consider how compensation and benefits (like perks, bonuses, and healthy competitions) and core values (shown through alignment, transparency, and employee experiences) can help bring on talented staff members.
As HR professionals survey current and new staff, they can then prioritize new initiatives to help retain talent. As Tolan puts it, “Continuously solicit feedback from your employees so you can continuously level up your organization and extend that employee lifetime value.”
Takeaway for HR Leaders
The key to success in virtual recruitment lies in speed, reach, engagement, and lifetime value. While each of these areas is essential, it’s just as important to adapt to virtual hiring smoothly and efficiently.
“You’re not going to be able to do everything at once, so focus on a key area,” advises Tolan. “Then begin to layer in new strategies over time or focus on other areas. Eventually, you’ll have a well-rounded plan to gain a competitive advantage in this crazy environment we’re in today and for the foreseeable future.”
To learn more about virtual hiring in 2022, check out our on-demand education session!