Evolving Recruiting to a Virtual Process

Tips for Recruiters Working Remotely

While much of the recruiting process has been digitized for quite some time, we now must adapt to a fully virtual recruiting workflow rather quickly. In-person team meetings, interviews and hiring manager intakes have become a thing of the past in a couple short weeks. During this pandemic where decisions are evolving daily, if not hourly, many processes will require a more stringent focus, while others will need to be adaptable.

We’ve put together 6 tips to help guide your recruiting efforts from afar:

1. Establish a clear process, and communicate it to everyone involved

All stakeholders need to know what is expected of them, and what timelines are being worked towards. No last-minute surprises.

  • When doing the intake, press for definitive requirements – now is not the time for ambiguity
  • Maintain internal team meetings – people will appreciate short check-ins and updates

2. Select and test the necessary technology (in advance!)

With a plethora of digital systems available, now is the time to adopt their usage 100%. You need to have a solution that works for you and your company. With technology, Murphy’s Law prevails – give systems a good check prior to putting them to use.

  • Test your computer and smartphone microphone and camera before interviews
  • If using a new virtual meeting space, become familiar with all the options – interfaces can be much different across platforms
  • Ensure your recruiting tech stack is adding value and streamlining the process, not adding to it

3. Nurture candidate relationships and set clear expectations

This is an extremely stressful time for candidates, so arming them with as much information as possible about what to expect will help them put their best foot forward. Move them through the process quickly. Some companies are taking advantage of a larger talent pool and scooping up hard-to-find talent.

  • Be empathic throughout the process given the heightened sense of the unknown
  • Become their recruitment coach and prep them for video interviews; not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera
  • Be realistic about timeframes
  • Follow up frequently

4. Make the new home workspace office-like

Set up your workspace from home to mimic going to work. Set your schedule and get into a routine. Treat video interviewing the same way you would as if you were conducting an in-person interview.

  • Dress professionally for video interviews – you are not only representing your organization, but your personal brand
  • Find a distraction-free area (but be prepared to be interrupted by pets and kids from time to time)
  • It’s easy to get sedentary during call-after-all – remember to move and drink plenty of water!

5. Practice your virtual company pitch

Delivering your message over the internet may take practice. It is different than when you are face-to-face with a candidate. The version you’ve done thousands of times where you gesture towards the mission statement on the wall no longer applies.

6. Closing the deal

We are social beings, but now we are all relying on virtual relationships. You may have to work extra hard at closing candidates. When times are uncertain, anything can happen.

  • Understand objections from both parties and address them clearly – is it better to get 70% of requirements and train for the rest, or risk the chance of losing the candidate and starting the process all over again?
  • Good thing for smartphones – get creative with videography and have the immediate team record snippets of the importance of the role. It’ll be an authentic representation of the company and team culture.
  • While a virtual office tour maybe out of the question, you could invite the final candidate to a virtual team meeting to get a sense of the team dynamics  

Remember, looking for a new job can be stressful, whether the person is employed or unemployed, let alone during a global health emergency. Emotions are running high for all involved, with extra responsibilities at home and a looming economic downturn. The goal is to make all stakeholders in the recruitment cycle comfortable with the process, arm them with the right information, and guide them through decision-making. Realize that there may be recruiting glitches in the short-term over the next few weeks so communicate that upfront. There will be a lot of learning along the way, allowing for continuous improvement and adoption of new tools and tactics to put in your recruiting toolkit for the months that follow.