The Virtual Candidate Experience as Designed by LiveRamp

Career Advancement Career Advice COVID-19

The LiveRamp core value – that “above all, we do what’s right” – guides our every decision and process, especially as we navigate the uncertain world of COVID-19.

On March 3rd, 2020, our internal preparedness team sent out communication that recommended pausing all office visits while they continued to track the status of the virus. As a recruiting team, we felt what so many others were experiencing at the time – uncertainty.  LiveRamp teams were still actively hiring for positions seated across most of our U.S. offices. Recruiting coordinators had already scheduled several onsite interviews the following day and even more in the subsequent days and weeks. A few candidates had their roundtrip flights booked and hotel rooms reserved far in advance. With less than 24 hours to decide, we turned to our guiding principles.

“As a team, we felt that the right thing to do was two-fold: to prioritize the wellbeing of our both teammates and our candidates, and to provide a safe, easy, and supportive means for them to continue to make those connections,” said Head of Talent Acquisition Erika Thorson-Garay. 

We decided to convert every onsite interview into a virtual experience.

Setting Clear Goals 

Making the switch from an in-person interview to a virtual one seems straightforward enough — it could be as simple as sending a meeting link. But LiveRampers love an ambitious goal. We knew we needed to provide a truly supportive and engaging process from start to finish. 

Our purpose was clear: to create a virtual experience that mirrored all the supportive structures that naturally accompany an in-person interview. We wanted candidates to see our offices and get a sense of each team’s unique culture. We wanted interviewers to feel prepared to navigate the virtual process with confidence. We wanted recruiters to continue building strong relationships with their candidates.

We began by documenting virtual interviewing best practices for both our hiring teams and for our candidates. We provided one-page guides to interviewers and hiring managers within their calendar invitations, while candidates received their guides early on in the scheduling process. We know that preparing for an interview takes time, so we aimed to provide all the necessary information as early and as often as possible.

In collaboration with our Workplace Experience team, we created virtual tours of each of our hiring U.S. offices. A team workspace is so much more than desks and computer monitors; each tour needed to highlight not only the functionality of the space but also that team’s unique traditions and cultures. 

And as with any new process, there are always improvements to be made.

Feedback is Essential

After implementation, we continued to ask for feedback from our stakeholders. We quickly learned that certain aspects of in-person interviewing, such as skill assessments and presentations, can be more challenging to implement virtually. 

For engineering candidates, whiteboarding and live coding exercises were a key part of the in-person interview process. Technical recruiters collaborated with hiring teams to find the online solutions that worked best for their evaluative needs. We now use a variety of virtual whiteboard tools and have recently implemented Codility.

Presentations can feel daunting even in the best of circumstances. To provide more personalized support, we began offering each candidate the opportunity to sync with their recruiter or coordinator prior to the interview to practice screen sharing and check for any audio or video issues ahead of time. 

“Connecting with candidates before their interview is a great way to provide support during what sometimes be a nerve-wracking experience,” said Recruiter Alyxandra Rodriguez. “I’ve found it helps my candidates relax and feel more comfortable; we’ve even shared a laugh together.”

In tandem with our pre-interview sync, we also virtually connect candidates with their recruiters immediately after the last interview is complete. Candidates can use this time to debrief about the next steps and ask questions. In a time of uncertainty, taking the time to provide clear expectations is a must. 

Once a candidate signs an offer, recruiting passes the new hire to People Operations and the Talent Enablement team to begin onboarding and orientation. 

A Seamless Transition

Starting a new job can stir feelings of excitement and nervousness, but starting a new job on a remote team may cause even more of the latter. Keeping this in mind, our Talent Enablement team quickly adapted what was once an in-person experience, to a completely virtual new hire orientation.

Working from home has created huge opportunities for change in the typical workday. Parents and caregivers may find it difficult to maintain their usual work schedule and must find ways to stay flexible and prioritize. Those used to the daily commute to the office and face-to-face time with teammates may find themselves struggling to connect with new teammates online.

While we encourage new hires to attend the live sessions for orientation, Talent Enablement also offers recorded versions of each session that new hires can opt into instead based on what works best for their work and life schedules. Additionally, for those newly transitioning into the remote work lifestyle, we offer a variety of resources on topics such as supporting remote teams, time management from home, creating an ergonomic home workspace, and working at home with family.

As a company that thrives on making connections, we wanted to ensure that every new hire felt truly welcomed and supported by their teammates. Not only are new LiveRampers invited to an orientation Slack channel, but also team-focused channels and interest-based channels from Day 1.

“We want new hires to see that LiveRampers truly do bring all of themselves to work, even while working from home. There are so many creative ways LiveRampers are reaching out to one another to offer support” said Talent Enablement Specialist Sarah Montemayor.

It’s true — we’ve seen online concerts, virtual trivia nights, yoga classes, and DIY instructionals; all hosted by our own teammates. People are taking this moment to come together even while they’re apart, and it’s a testament to the strength of our culture and the resilience of our teammates.

Written by Kaitlyn Mattta, Talent Acquisition Operations Lead at LiveRamp