Virtual recruitment best practices for hiring remote employees in 2022 and beyond. Learn more in this guide.
The Covid-19 pandemic strengthened the remote working culture, challenging HR departments to rethink their recruitment strategies going forward. Moreover, a recent study by Gartner shows that 50% of employees will prolong the remote working culture even post-pandemic, with 48% juggling in-office and work-at-home policies.
Thanks to this trend, 85% of talent acquisition experts acknowledge virtual recruiting as a go-to strategy for interviewing candidates and acquiring talents in the foreseeable future. However, succeeding in virtual recruitment requires a shift in cultural mindset, a tactical approach, as well as careful preparation. Here is an in-depth guide highlighting the best practices for virtual recruiting, including why you should consider this strategy. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Virtual Recruiting?
Virtual recruiting is a talent acquisition process that happens purely online as both the recruiter and the candidates operate remotely. Tech talent recruitment experts use various tools to facilitate virtual hiring. This includes virtual event software, virtual interviewing software, recruitment chatbots, and text messaging apps.
Why is Virtual Recruiting Essential and Effective for Talents Acquisition?
Virtual recruitment is no longer a novelty, but a necessity when it comes to acquiring qualified talents with diverse sets of skills, or even on a global scale. Although many companies are downsizing their workforce due to the prevailing global economic adversity, businesses that are continuously hiring are stepping into this foray for good reasons. To put it into better perspective, here are some benefits of virtual recruitment strategies.
Bypass Geographical Barriers When Hiring
Virtual hiring extends your reach to a global job market, where you can interview qualified candidates across various regions, or even set up a global delivery model for your software product. A traditional hiring method will only limit you to your country if not the city. Remote hiring gives you access to international talents with different cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds, which also compliments diversity in your working environment. Workplace diversity steers innovation, as well as enhances productivity and cultural awareness.
Save Time and Money
A virtual recruitment process allows you to screen and interview more candidates, sometimes hundreds within a short time. Even better, automation allows you to speed up the hiring process at some stages. For instance, an automated competency test can help you rank suitable candidates based on their expertise and performance. In return, you only spend time engaging qualified candidates.
At the same time, this recruitment strategy saves money because few physical resources are required as opposed to hosting an in-person job fair. There are also no traveling or accommodation costs on your end since you are doing everything remotely. In the long haul, this saves a lot of money especially if your company recruits regularly.
Reduce Downtime by Filling Vacant Positions Swiftly
One of the primary goals of a hiring exercise in 2022 and beyond is to fill vacant job positions quickly and eliminate unnecessary downtime. A virtual recruitment strategy complements this goal from all angles. For instance, you can screen candidates and conduct an in-depth virtual interview almost immediately, if not on the same day, unlike in traditional recruitment where it can take days to plan for a face-to-face interview.
Create a Better Experience for Candidates
A recent study shows that 38% of Americans prefer a virtual interview over an in-person job interview. Moreover, 22% of job seekers say that virtual interviews make them feel relaxed, especially when it comes to completing a proficiency test. At the same time, virtual hiring streamlines the whole job-seeking experience for the candidates, given that they don’t have to travel or find someone to look after their children. Most importantly, this hiring strategy evens the playground for all candidates, regardless of their locations.
Less Paperwork, Greater Efficiency
Virtual recruitment tools allow talent acquisition experts to automate nearly the whole hiring process, which translates to greater efficiency. For instance, a typical software tool leaves a remarkable trace of the potential candidate’s journey throughout the whole recruitment cycle. Employers can access recruitment information on the go without necessarily combing through piles of applications and resumes.
The Best Practices for Virtual Hiring
Although the Covid-19 pandemic is subsiding in most global locations, virtual hiring is still a thing for many companies, thanks to the benefits highlighted above. That said, here are some tips for virtual recruiting, including the best practices for recruiters if you want to have success with this approach.
Create an Ideal Candidate Profile for All Job Positions
Among the best strategies for virtual recruiting is creating an ideal candidate profile (ICP) for all job positions that you want to fill. Otherwise, you won’t get value-matched talents, or even worse, you’ll waste time on the wrong candidates. With this in mind, your HR team should create a relevant ICP to attract the right application to the right job position.
So, how do you create an ICP for virtual recruitment? You can:
- Define the job position elaborately with day-to-day duties and expectations
- Include both hard and soft skills in the job ad to attract multi-talented applicants
- Have a clear line on must-have and complementary skills sets for the job position
- Share your company culture, goals, and vision
- Pinpoint the kind of personalities that work best for your company
- Share insights from your best-performing employees to give applicants a snippet of your expectations
Post Your Jobs on the Right Platform
You already have a prerequisite that embodies best practices for hiring remotely — an ICP. Now, it will help if you find the right platform to post your job offer so that you can reach as many applicants as possible and sift through them to interview the best value-matched candidates only. That said, look for a reputable platform that attracts a global audience so that you can recruit beyond your borders. Check out reviews about different sites before uploading your job postings. Also, you can use keywords in your job description to increase the visibility of the posting.
Use the Right Technologies That Compliment Swift Recruitment and Onboarding
Working culture has shifted dramatically over the last two years, and so have recruitment strategies. For instance, employees worked mainly from offices before the pandemic. During the pandemic, there was a great shift towards remote working. Fast forward to 2022 and beyond, we are looking at working and recruitment cultures that combine both remote and in-office experiences. The point is tools have also evolved with these changes, and it will help if you can access and leverage the right ones to complement a swift virtual recruitment and hiring process.
Some technologies to help you out include:
Communication and Interviewing Tools
There are various tools that can aid real-time communication when it comes to remote hiring. However, go for an option that offers a free and secure sign-up, such as Zoom to enhance the experience of the applicants. You can also use Skype for real-time video chats or GoToMeeting for professional, formal interviews after screening.
A good screening tool should facilitate real-time collaboration through seamless file sharing, as well as integration with other third-party communication apps. You would want to use screening tools before onboarding applicants to your secure workspace where they can access vital company files and resources.
The last step of virtual recruitment is the most critical as it involves integrating the candidate into your company’s workforce. An ideal onboarding tool should support various functions, such as money transfers, escrow payments, or even tax information disclosure.
What Employee Perks and Benefits Are You Offering?
Hiring trends are pretty dynamic, and so are perks and benefits, especially in 2022 and beyond. Typically, 69% of employees are likely to choose a job over another one, especially if the alternative includes better perks and benefits, thanks to the just-ended Covid-19 fiasco.
Here are some perks and benefits to include in your job offer if you are going to recruit virtually in 2022 and beyond:
- Mental and physical health programs
- Flexible PTO
- Child Care assistance
- Remote or flexible hybrid working schedules
- Ongoing training
- Professional development programs
How to Do an Interview — Know the Best Practices for Hiring Remotely
Getting the most out of the first interview allows you to assess whether the applicant in question is the best fit for the job. However, this will only be possible if you know how to recruit virtually by asking the right questions during the interview. Start by preparing general questions that cut across all job positions that you want to fill at the end of the recruitment exercise. This includes questions that help you assess whether the candidate is culturally fit for the advertised job position and aligns with your company’s goals, values, and expectations.
Next, create structured questions that test candidates on the necessary technical, as well as soft skills required for the job. It will help if you keep as many questions as possible at all stages to avoid any instance of unintentional bias. Even better, you can send video interview requests along with some questions so that the candidates come prepared, ready to share what you are interested in.
Use a Diverse Virtual Hiring Team
Unless you are hiring virtually at a small scale, say one or two employees, experts recommend using a diverse hiring team to enhance the experience of the candidates from the word go. Moreover, this approach echoes your company’s virtues, beliefs, and policies in matters of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Assembling a diverse hiring team means including recruitment experts of different backgrounds, races, gender, or even abilities.
Leveraging a diverse virtual hiring team to screen and onboard qualified candidates creates fair and equal opportunities for everyone to be hired. Most importantly, it makes candidates feel more welcomed to your organization.
Streamline Communication to Forge Personal Connections
Among virtual recruiting best practices includes clear communication, from the start to the end of the whole hiring process. In fact, a culture of clear and free communication will even give you a better experience with the candidate after successfully hiring and onboarding them. Traditional primary communication channels, such as emails are great but might limit you from forging personal connections with employees.
With this in mind, go for modern communication tools, such as Slack or text messaging apps that allow you to chat with candidates in real-time. An excellent alternative is a video messaging tool that allows you to connect with candidates in a more intuitive and engaging way. Moreover, exposing candidates to the right communication tools as early as possible gives them a better idea of how teams in your organization collaborate so that they can hit the ground running after onboarding.
What’s Next? Remote is the New Norm
Blending human connections with technology can be pretty daunting, especially if you are recruiting virtually for the first time. But at the same time, virtual recruiting is the new norm, and it will help if you get accustomed to this hiring approach as early as now. Leverage the above virtual recruiting tips to get the most out of the exercise, gain a competitive edge, and most importantly, onboard the right candidates for the job.
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