Virtual recruitment strategies

African American man working on a laptop. Also, and this is important, there is a coffee cup.With many types of organizations locked down – at least in a physical sense – organizations are forging forward by using virtual recruitment strategies. Some employers were already doing some portion of their recruiting online before Covid-19 came along, but now, they are actively recruiting, hiring and onboarding without ever meeting candidates face to face.

The good news is thanks to technology, it’s not as hard as you would think to make the shift to virtual recruitment strategies. The key: You have to stick to your basics, says Celia Harper-Guerra, global VP of talent acquisition for Sprinklr, an enterprise software company. “What is your foundation for your recruitment philosophy?” she asks. “Start with that foundation and apply that in the virtual world.”

If you want to keep your talent pipeline flowing and continue hiring during social distancing mandates, here’s how to do it step by step.

Host virtual open houses and job fairs
If “meet and greets” are part of your recruitment strategy, you can still do them virtually. Hosting live video conferencing meetings where you invite prospective candidates to “meet” your hiring managers, virtual office tours, and Q&As with various team members are all great ways to engage with talent and give them a chance to learn more about your company.

Start with phone interviews
Screening candidates with promising resumes or who’ve showed interest in your organization is still a vital step toward finding good candidate matches. “Typically the recruiter will learn as much as they can about the individual and if they decide at that point it’s someone they want to pursue, they may set up a second conversation,” says Harper-Guerra. And this can be done through a phone conversation or two since it’s still early on.

Get comfortable with video interviews
While many organizations, including Sprinklr, have already gotten used to doing video interviews, some still need to shift their perceptions, says Diane Adams, Sprinklr’s chief culture and talent officer and former Cisco HR VP. Since you are seeing people in their home environment, rather than a conference room, it provides a unique opportunity to make the interview experience more personal. “You can get to know the person before you even get to their competencies because video allows you to do it,” she says.

For example, you might notice something on their desk or art hanging in the background that can spark a conversation related to the agency’s culture and values. For many organizations, this isn’t a natural way of interviewing. Adams suggests that people practice conducting video interviews and hiring managers get trained if they haven’t done it before.

Be ready for remote onboarding
Onboarding in a virtual environment can definitely work – just ask organizations that hire and manage remote workers. If you haven’t done it before, the notion of a new person starting without coming into an office and meeting with a team in person might sound odd. However, having a solid plan about what they will do on day one, week one, and week two is key. Make sure new hires have a thorough welcome email, as well as everything they need from HR. Set up virtual meetings with managers and team members, and ensure that all technology and tools are ready to go on day one.

Virtual recruitment strategies and legal considerations
In some ways, virtual interviews raise the same legal issues as traditional recruitment methods. However, video interviews leave a digital footprint that could more easily show up in a courtroom. Whether the interview process is conducted by a recruiter, a prospective supervisor, or an online “pre-screen” computer program, interview questions must not violate EEOC guidelines when it comes to maintaining a legal hiring process.

Generally, job ads, recruiting methods, the application process, and interview questions cannot discriminate on the basis of a candidate’s protected characteristics, which include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy)
  • National origin
  • Age (40 or older)
  • Disability
  • Genetic information

As with traditional recruitment strategies, employers should work with employment lawyers and human resource professionals to ensure that their interviewing techniques and questions are lawful and appropriate. Also, make sure the interviewers and decision-makers are trained in non-discrimination practices. An innocent mistake can still have dire consequences for your agency.

Keep to your process
Just because you’re changing the medium doesn’t mean you should change your hiring process. If you normally have your candidates go through six interviews, then you should continue that. Ask the same questions that have worked for you in the past, while allowing for a bit more personalization that may happen as a result of the intimate setting of the person’s home.

Virtual recruitment strategies are important tools in the toolbox. They can help organizations hire remote workers from all over the world without having to worry about flying people in for meetings. And in the case of a national crisis or organization-specific issue, the recruiting process can continue without a hitch.

Are you recruiting virtually or in the flesh? Either way, Monster has you covered
There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to running your organization or recruiting new hires. Some employers choose to cast a wider net through virtual recruitment, while others may prefer the in-person approach. It’s your call, but everyone can use some help perfecting their methods. Sharpen your skills with the Newsletter which delivers free tips on recruiting trends, management strategies, and more.

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