Five top tips for handling recruitment virtually

HR ADVICE: The pandemic has become a catalyst for several workplace changes, including the hiring and selection process.

Muddling through the post-pandemic terrain can be difficult, but there are ways for HR professionals to truly ace this new challenge. They should be sure to stick with their recruitment philosophy, and use existing tools to attract the best talents. Here are five top tips to help HR professionals maximise the virtual hiring process.

1. Upgrade your technology

Several tools that can improve a company’s operations, including the hiring process, are now available. Some companies already accept video applications or conduct two-way video interviews to get to know their candidates. Others create “booths” or rooms within video conferences that would-be employees can enter virtually if they want to know about the company’s vision and working culture.

The social media space can also be used for recruitment and for cross-referencing candidates. Before starting the hiring process, be sure to prepare and test your tech to avoid unnecessary interruptions.

2. Provide an agenda

It is easy to forget the formalities of hiring when you’re interviewing from home. But once the hiring process begins, applicants are already looking for signs that indicate whether your company is the best fit, or just another option.

The hiring process is a good opportunity for employers to show their company culture. It will be helpful to provide an agenda for the meeting – what candidates can expect, the timeline for the recruitment, and a detailed view of what the job posting entails.

A pre-recorded tour of the office, a greeting from the company’s manager, or a fun "day-in-the-role" video can help candidates level their expectations and make the recruitment process more attractive. This way, recruiters can also save time from the repeated orientations. They can devote their spare hours to sift through the pool of candidates.

3. Lean on references and recommendations

It is no secret that many candidates lie in their applications. It’s the employer’s task to check if the candidate overstated their qualifications for the job. Checking their recommendations and references is a good strategy, but employers can also use social media accounts.

Look at professional associations, personal networks, past employees, and even LinkedIn profiles to see any overlaps. This is not circumventing HR standards, but a way to recruit smartly by making sure that you’re getting the strongest qualified.

4. Screen candidates for key remote skills

Don’t be afraid to test candidates before finally hiring them. It won’t hurt to ask a candidate applying for a copywriting position to write a press release, or for a software engineer to write codes. Job trials are a good way to assess if the candidate can coordinate with the rest of the team and how they match the company culture, and can easy to implement in a virtual setting.

Employers can also use different software that select candidates through data and without bias. Hiring someone who graduated from a specific university doesn’t always mean that the candidate is the best fit. This may narrow down the application process, but you can also miss out on candidates who can fare better and with stronger qualifications.

You can also ask candidates if they have any experience working remotely or in a hybrid setup to help you gauge their adaptability to changing work environments.

5. Make sure your company has embraced workplace changes

To attract well-suited candidates, HR professionals must adapt to the post-pandemic work scenario as well. Ensure you have the needed tools and infrastructure for virtual hiring processes. Brief the candidates about the current work setup and the long-term changes that may take place.

Companies may also invest in boosting their online branding so that interested candidates can easily apply. While employers assess candidates by their application, candidates also assess firms by the recruitment process.

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