The year 2020 has been a year of learning and adapting in many ways for businesses large and small. In March, many companies pivoted to remote working environments and began to learn what the “new normal” would be for the foreseeable future. Among many challenges, companies have had to figure out how to navigate their hiring practices in a virtual world.
Hiring professionals have faced hurdles such as being able to continue to connect with job seekers virtually, keeping candidate pipelines open as well as engaged, glitches with technology during online interviews, and ensuring that the hiring process still feels like a personal and positive experience.
Through these challenges, a great deal has been learned regarding the keys to success in hiring in a remote world. Consider these key components as you continue to shape your company’s virtual recruiting and hiring process:
- Personal Connection
In a world of video chats and conference calls, ensure your hiring process continues to have the personal connection it used to have when recruiting was an in-person process. Ensure the candidate feels valued and comfortable during phone conversations or video interviews. Many job seekers may feel apprehensive about being visible on video interviews, so try to make them feel at ease through conversation and your online presence. This will allow for a more authentic view of who the job seeker is and what skill sets they can bring to your team.
Strong communication has always been an important factor in the recruiting process but it is now more than ever. Hiring professionals should ensure that the recruiting process and expectations are clearly outlined for the candidate so they know exactly what to expect. Frequent touch points and updates throughout the hiring process will ensure the candidate feels engaged and interested in the opportunities your company has available.
Technology is a great tool to be leveraged, but it’s important to ensure that you’re using a platform that has proven to be conducive to successful virtual interactions such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or WebEx. In addition, hiring professionals should ensure that all parties understand how the technology works. Hiring managers should be well-versed in using the technology and candidates should be provided step-by-step instructions on how to use the platform your company has elected to utilize as a reference. Setting both hiring managers and candidates up for success from the beginning will ensure a smooth virtual interview process each time and will make a big impact in identifying the right candidate for your opportunity.
- Employer Brand and Company Culture
During a normal recruiting process a candidate typically gets to experience the physical office environment that they will be working in if they’re selected for the opportunity as well as the company culture in the office setting. This is a chance for the employer to showcase what they have to offer - whether it’s a modern workspace, amenities the company offers, or just the atmosphere or vibe in the office. While recruiting practices are being conducted remotely, it’s important that your company’s website and team members that the candidates are interacting with truly embody and promote the company brand and culture. The candidate should come away from the experience with a good understanding of the company's brand promise, mission, vision, and overall culture. A great way to accomplish this is to ensure your company website is strong as well as boosting your online profiles on popular job sites such as Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com. Candidates may look to these sites for reviews on your company and this is a great way to solidify the culture you have conveyed throughout the recruiting process.
- Employee Safety
2020 has proved to be a very trying time for many people and employee safety among the ongoing pandemic has been a top priority and focus for companies. During the virtual recruitment process, hiring professionals should clearly articulate what steps the company has taken to ensure the health and safety of its employees. Whether the company is operating completely remotely or having employees report into a physical office space, this a great time to reveal the transparency, culture, and character of your company. Key topics to highlight are how your company has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and what your company continues to do to keep employees safe. This is an opportunity to have honest conversations with candidates about any challenges your organization is facing and how you’re overcoming these challenges. These discussions will help candidates feel at ease when deciding to join your organization.
One thing most can agree on is that this year has been a year of adapting and learning. As you navigate recruiting and hiring in a virtual environment, feedback on the candidate’s and hiring manager’s experiences are more important than ever. Seek feedback from all who are involved in the process and work to make improvements based on the feedback received. Touch base with new hires frequently as they are beginning their employment with your company and learn of ways to improve their new hire experience. The more adaptive and creative you become, the better the experience will be for all who are involved.
The recruiting and onboarding experience is a key component of a new employee’s happiness and success working for your company. Navigating and adapting to the remote hiring world will ensure you are hiring top talent and key contributors to your organization!