Virtual Recruitment Is Here—Are You Prepared?

Recruiting recruitment

Raise your hands if you’re working from home! We’re going to assume most of you raised your hands. Now, raise your hands if you were prepared to implement an entirely virtual recruiting process at your company or organization in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?Recruitment

According to the new Doodle report, “Recruiting and Onboarding Employees from a Distance,” HR professionals are ill-equipped to digitally adjust and adapt their recruitment and onboarding processes during crisis situations.

Using data from its platform, Doodle has seen a 47% increase in the number of virtual meetings scheduled in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the previous quarter. However, when it comes to being prepared to implement a fully virtual recruitment and onboarding program in the event of a crisis, 17% of HR professionals admitted to not being prepared at all, and 31% said they’re only slightly prepared. These findings demonstrate a major disparity between the growing digitalization of the workplace and HR’s ability to pivot and adapt its processes accordingly.

According to Renato Profico, CEO of Doodle, “Despite the growing prevalence of remote work in the last decade, HR teams are still heavily reliant on face-to-face interactions when it comes to recruiting and onboarding employees.”

“While this may have been reasonable and even viable before the coronavirus outbreak, it’s far from that now,” Profico adds. “The reality is that many companies are continuing with (and even accelerating) their hiring plans to keep up with the demands of COVID-19. So a lack of digitalization will severely impede their ability to fill ‘essential’ roles, causing a ripple effect of consequences—from delays in fulfilling orders and subpar customer experiences to a decline in employee productivity and revenue growth.”

Technology Reigns Supreme

Despite a surge in virtual meetings, remote meeting tools are the lowest priority in HR budgets. Despite virtual meetings being on the rise, videoconferencing tools (weighted average, 1.88) and scheduling technology (weighted average, 1.90) both rank very low on HR budgets’ priority list.

Virtual recruitment is a delicate balancing act of tools, people, and processes. The biggest recruitment hurdle for 22% of HR professionals is scheduling meetings with multiple team members (across time zones). Plus, 15% have trouble juggling multiple tools to schedule and conduct interviews.

Virtual onboarding fails: a recipe for low employee morale and early turnover. According to Doodle, 17% of the surveyed HR professionals struggle to make remote workers feel like part of the team. Plus, 15% of the respondents find it most difficult to integrate remote workers into the company culture.

The future of remote work (productivity) hinges on technology, not training, environment, and attitude. Technology was cited as the top factor (26%) impacting the productivity of remote workers, compared with training (12%), work environment (12%), and attitude (11%).

“Altogether, our study’s findings should be seen as a guiding light of hope to HR professionals,” Profico says. “Technology will be critical in simplifying, automating, and speeding up the virtual recruitment and onboarding process. This requires organizations to realign their priorities and make room (both operationally and financially) for remote meeting tools like employee communications apps, enterprise scheduling platforms, and video conferencing tools.”

“By implementing and integrating these types of tools into the organizational processes, HR teams will be better equipped to support, empower, motivate, engage, and retain their fully remote workforces during and after the pandemic subsides,” Profico concludes.

Recruiters Understand the Need for Change

While less than half of Doodle respondents say they were ill-prepared for virtual recruitment, a recent Jobvite survey is revealing that recruiters are quickly stepping up to adapt to the changing hiring landscape. According to the recent Jobvite research report, “How Recruiters are Adapting to a World of Remote Recruiting,” a vast majority of recruiters (84%) are adapting their processes to work remotely.

Recruiting software provider Jobvite surveyed over 200 recruiters the first week of April 2020 to discover how talent teams are adapting their recruiting processes for a remote world. The recruiters were from a variety of industries, including technology, staffing and recruiting, health care, finance and insurance, professional services, retail and hospitality, and education.

Here are some key findings from Jobvite’s research report:

  • 84% of talent acquisition teams are adapting their processes to work remotely.
  • 46% of respondents are doing more social posting to advertise jobs to recruit new talent, including on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • 58% of respondents are using social to promote their employer brand and connect with talent.
  • 80% of respondents are using video in the interview process.
  • 61% of respondents are using video as part of the screening process.
  • 73% of respondents are using video and online meetings to facilitate the onboarding process.
  • 55% of respondents are making more phone calls than before.
  • 27% of respondents are using more texting to communicate with candidates following an offer letter.
  • 8% of respondents are using chatbots to facilitate initial candidate screening.

3 Tips for Remote/Virtual Recruiting

For recruiters and HR professionals who are now tasked with virtual recruitment, Jobvite offers the following tips:

Map out your virtual recruiting process. Identify which steps within the process could be done using tools such as social media, e-mail, text, chatbots, video, etc. List out the technologies available in place today, and create another list of technologies that could further accommodate remote recruiting, if available. Get commitment from senior leadership to begin making changes to the most impactful processes in order to maintain the positive candidate experience with a remote slant.

Discover how to reach more candidates on social channels. Most importantly, know where your candidates are on social and otherwise. Do they spend more time on LinkedIn or Facebook? If you don’t know, maybe ask a quick survey question on your career site, or simply ask candidates. Once you know your candidates’ whereabouts, you can reach out to them directly, create and share relevant content, and seek out the groups and networks to which they might belong.

Promote your employer brand and connect with talent on social channels. It goes without saying that social platforms are important channels today, from both a consumer and a candidate perspective. Remember that if you don’t define your employer brand, someone else will. With sites like Glassdoor, we can all investigate an employer’s brand and get a sense of what it’s like to work there. Create relevant content such as employee spotlight videos, and share it on social to promote your team’s unique expression of what it’s like to be a part of your organization.

Whether recruiting during a global pandemic or even during simpler times, Jobvite’s tips are great to keep in mind when attempting to recruit virtually. What has your experience been with virtual recruitment? Share it in the comments section below.

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