Technology in recruitment is nothing new and has aided the recruitment process with first-round phone calls, initial video calls, and even AI before almost always culminating in a face-to-face interview before hiring.
However, with the current restrictions in place, face to face is becoming ever more challenging. Is now the time to consider how your company can transform your current recruitment process into a truly virtual one?
A few years ago, I was at a conference where one of the panelists, from a large social media company, gave us a demo on how their company was using augmented reality to improve the candidate experience of being interviewed virtually.
At the time, a lot of us in the room concluded that this was a very futuristic vision of how the recruitment process could evolve. However, in today's new reality, it's a necessity to adopt a virtual recruitment process to continue to attract talent and progress with hiring.
To move to a virtual recruitment process, for me, there are two main considerations;
The technology & virtual recruitment tools you use. The technology infrastructure will be crucial for you to be able to move and support your traditional recruitment process to a virtual process.
How the candidate experience and journey will be affected. You should give careful consideration to how you engage with a candidate who may never physically meet their team or be in your office prior to joining your company.
On the technology side the three main elements to focus on should be:
How your applicant tracking system (ATS) is set up
How will you video interview your candidates
What platforms will you use to proactively engage with your talent pools
Virtual Recruitment Technology Considerations
Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
To move your recruitment process to incorporate a virtual recruitment journey, it is vital that you have a robust ATS. Your ATS should streamline your virtual recruitment process.
All interviewers should use your ATS to access candidate information and give feedback. This should remove information sharing across other channels such as emails or paper-based communications. All necessary interview paperwork and feedback should be moved online and filled out in your ATS.
This should support a quicker feedback loop enabling the talent acquisition team to have a much more efficient process. Over time as the company adapts to the virtual hiring processes, the recruitment process should be able to close out quicker than a traditional process.
Albeit there may need to be additional change management and training for all teams on the functionality of your ATS to fully support this move.
Video Interviewing platform
Standard video conference (VC) tools should be evaluated with interviewing in mind. For a VC to be suitable for an interview, you will need to ensure ease of use for the interviewers and give the candidate a great experience.
Internal communication tools might not offer the best experience for potential candidates and may not overall support the recruitment process.
Video interviewing platforms that can integrate with your ATS, will give you additional functionality such as:
The ability to add interview questionnaires
Record the interviews
Allow for the hiring panel to share notes while interviewing
All of which will make the overall process more efficient. Interview nerves can boil over if there is a complicated set-up ahead of the interview starting. Ideally, it should be a simple 2 - 3 click action for all interview attendees.
Using a video interviewing platform, that is specifically designed for interviews, also allows your candidates and hiring panels the option to test the technology ahead of the interview.
This goes a long way in putting your mind at ease that the technology will work. It is a bit like driving the route to your interview the night before so you don't get lost or turn up late for an onsite interview.
Candidate engagement content - promoting your employer brand
As you move your recruitment journey to a virtual process, you need to plan how you'll communicate your company's culture, mission, vision, and values to potential candidates.
Simple additions to your career pages, ideally video content, will support getting your company culture to resonate with your candidates.
Conveying your culture through video is hard. Some easy ways you can overcome this is through the use of peer-to-peer chats, employee videos covering different topics and experiences in the company, and social media presence.
A more concentrated effort to bring your company culture to candidates will help put them at ease and show them how they could be a fit for your company.
Aside from the technology infrastructure, you will need to consider changing how you interview. Consider more sociable peer-to-peer team chats as part of your interview process.
This will allow your candidate to get to know your company a little better, but also during these informal chats, it will give more insight into how this candidate may fit into their new role & team.
It is advisable to add in a Head of Department or Director to close out the interview process and support the final hiring decision.
Moving towards online recruitment
To make the move virtually, I do strongly suggest that you consider the technology required and how the candidate experience will change.
A few tweaks to support virtual recruitment methods and training for your interviewing panel will be instrumental in creating a seamless experience.
Overall, a virtual recruitment process can mirror your traditional process, but now with some added benefits. Just some of the benefits include:
Automation of processes, allowing you to consider a paperless approach if you can drive adoption of the functionality within our ATS.
Quicker interviewing timelines
Ability to schedule and invite candidates to virtual meetings, removing the need for meeting room availability
Removing the need for candidates to travel for interviews leading to a broader international talent pool & a reduction in travel costs
Over-communicating in a virtual recruitment process is vital to ensure that the candidates are thoroughly engaged, and your hiring panel is comfortable making a hiring decision without the need for an onsite interview.
Virtual recruitment processes may be the new normal as we work our way out of this crisis. For companies who are continuing to hire, moving your recruitment process virtually should be top of the agenda.
Following COVID-19, I suspect that candidates will be a lot more open to a virtual process. Taking the next steps now may give you a competitive edge and increase candidate attraction.