Blog: Virtual Recruitment – What is it and how can it help your HR department?

Following the Coronavirus pandemic ‘it’s possible that more people will re-enter the workforce in 2021 than in any single year on record’. As a result, recruitment and HR are gearing up for a rush – and you, too, may be facing a need to find a way to cope. Throughout the pandemic, your HR department may have been pushed into online recruitment, conducting video interviews of varying quality, and generally trying to get your head around how recruiting might work now. 

And let’s face it, there’s a lot to consider. Applicant expectations have changed. Technology use has grown considerably, there is a greater demand for Realistic Job Prospects (RJPs), and applicants want reassurance about health and safety. Potential applicants are also acutely aware of the workplace changes taking place around them. Virtual recruiting techniques address these expectations through virtual job interviews, virtual tours, interactive videos of current staff and voice notes from CEOs, which have streamlined the recruitment process, eradicated unnecessary costs and improved diversity. It has also helped to expand the available pool of candidates and is revolutionizing how companies attract talent. Just like the shift to hybrid working, virtual recruiting is here to stay. Many organisations have embraced this shift and have hired people with the right skills and brought them onboard successfully. If this has you feeling panicked, keep reading for our guide to succeed at virtual recruitment!

So what exactly is Virtual Recruitment and what are the advantages?

Virtual recruitment describes a remote hiring process that takes place without you and the candidates meeting face to face. You rely on technology to conduct interviews, surveys, virtual events and assessments to evaluate your applicants. And it’s never been easier! Thanks to the internet and rapidly evolving technology, the world is literally your oyster. 

Still feeling a little on the fence? Virtual recruitment has some serious advantages. Let’s start with a big advantage: working in this way opens up a wealth of opportunities for recruiters searching for the most outstanding candidates. Virtual recruitment allows you to access a global talent pool. You can recruit candidates from all over the world.

As we’ve already mentioned, the pandemic has changed the way a lot of us work. The only way to ensure recruitment continuity was to go virtual. By having a virtual recruitment strategy, you can continue to hire and onboard people into the business. This has been crucial over the last year and a half. 

Another perk of virtual recruitment is the amount of time it saves. It gives you the opportunity to see more people in a shorter amount of time. This is true whether you are using traditional video interviews or doing online assessments and one way video interviews. 

You’ll also save money, as well as time. With a well designed virtual recruitment program, you can automate a lot of manual tasks. This means you can streamline and optimize the whole process to find the best candidates. If your company or department has previously spent a lot of time and money travelling to interview people, there’s no longer any need to keep that up. 

What are the challenges for virtual recruitment?

Whilst there are some challenges to virtual recruitment, they don’t discredit it. It might be harder to see if a candidate is a good fit with your team without someone physically coming into an office space and meeting the rest of the team. It might be tougher to spot whether someone is going to fit with the company culture. However, there’s some great software packages out there that bridge this gap, making it possible to showcase your company culture and see if the company and the candidate are a good fit, before jobs are offered and accepted.

Another potential issue is that if the virtual recruitment process is lacking, the candidate experience might suffer. There’s a chance that candidates might not feel as engaged or valued. This is much more likely to be the case if you’re relying on one way video interviews as they can feel very detached. If you’re virtual recruitment process is well designed, interactive, and showcases the company culture, it’s unlikely you’ll have this problem. Here at Circus, we know we’re passionate about the virtual world, but we hope you can see that on balance, the pros outweigh the cons, and the cons need not be cons! 

4 top tips to make your virtual recruitment process a success

  1. In order to get the most out of your virtual recruitment process, there are some important factors to consider. The first factor we’re focusing on feels obvious, but it’s important. When you use recruiting technology, or collect peoples data, you have to abide by the law. In the UK, government guidelines have to be followed, and data stored in accordance with the GDPR act of 2018. You also have to ensure any recruitment technology and process are non discriminatory. If you are making the most of virtual recruitment and looking to expand your pool of talent from all over the world, you will also need to check out local labour and privacy laws. 
  1. Let’s touch for a moment on the uncomfortable subject of discrimination. It exists, overtly and discreetly. Over the last year and a half, through world events, many of us have had a chance to look thoroughly at our prejudices and unconscious biases. Technology can be really helpful here, especially if you are unconscious of your own biases. Have you heard of ‘blind hiring?’ This technology can help you view CV’s and resumes, but without names, schools, addresses, and even academic qualifications. This means you are able to solely focus on the skills that a potential candidate can offer your company. Implemented thoughtfully, this can help make a success of your virtual recruitment process. 
  1. By providing candidates with immersive virtual experiences prior to onboarding, it also helps give them a real sense of the company (and job role) they are coming into, company values, the team, and it gives both you and the candidate the opportunity to find out whether you are a good fit. Candidates could do a virtual tour of the office, ‘meet’ key team members and complete tasks that are similar to the role the’ll be coming into. 
  1. Our final thought on making the recruiting process a success is about the power of engagement and communication. Virtual recruitment handled badly, can open up a distance between candidates and employers. So one way to make sure your recruitment process is a success is by keeping the lines of communication open and to keep candidates engaged with the process. Let candidates know where they are within the process, offer information around how to prepare, let them know what’s expected of them on the day. You could even let them know who will be interviewing them. Be available and offer different channels of communication – email, phone, and of course social media. Personal connection and feedback, coupled with a smooth and slick virtual recruitment process is a winner! 

If you would like to chat to a member of our team, about implementing a virtual recruitment process, then please get in touch! We’d love to assist you in developing a bespoke experience that works for you and your brand.

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