The COVID-19 pandemic has changed just about everything, and that includes the employment marketplace. Due to lockdowns and restrictions, the recruiting and hiring process has gone online—literally—as organizations struggle to hire the talent they need. This has given rise to the prevalence of virtual recruiting.
However, just like traditional recruiting, there are plenty of challenges associated with virtual recruiting. And as always, how you meet these challenges will dictate your level of success.
How to Recruit People Online During the Pandemic
Here’s what happened. During the early stages of the pandemic, employers struggled to make the necessary adjustments. Some fared better than others. Now, the marketplace has largely adapted. However, conditions will more than likely not be going “back to normal.” There are two reasons for this:
- There is a certain time, cost, and energy savings associated with certain aspects of virtual recruiting
- Instead of the COVID-19 virus being eradicated completely, it may become endemic, meaning it will always be around to some degree.
Since this is the case, the larger role that virtual recruiting has assumed will not lessen. In fact, it might continue to grow. Consequently, learning how to recruit people online will become more important, not less important, over time. In other words, it will become more integral to effective hiring.
What does a virtual recruiter do?
In terms of the duties and responsibilities of a virtual recruiter, they’re similar to those of a traditional recruiter. They’re just completing all (or most) of those tasks in a virtual setting. They still have to write job descriptions and post the jobs online, source potential candidates, screen those candidates, contact the most qualified candidates, and schedule and conduct interviews.
It’s the conducting of the interviews where the virtual aspect becomes more pronounced. Before the pandemic, the majority of interviews were held in person and onsite. The pandemic has changed that. Now, conducting virtual interviews is a must for all organizations.
What is a virtual hiring event?
As mentioned above, there is a time and cost savings associated with virtual recruiting. And this especially pertains to virtual hiring event. That’s because a virtual hiring event is a situation in which an organization collects job applications and conducts virtual interviews with individuals, groups of people, or both.
Not only are there no restrictions due to a fixed physical location, but the organization is able to conduct multiple interviews on the same day. This contributes even more to the time, energy, and cost savings associated with virtual recruiting.
Virtual Recruiting Challenges in Today’s Market
Enjoying success with virtual hiring starts with identifying and meeting the challenges associated with virtual hiring in today’s employment marketplace. These challenges include the following:
#1—Hardware, software, and Internet issues
Virtual recruiting, of course, requires certain recruiting tools. If these tools break down at any point in the process, then it can have a negative effect on the outcome. Adding to the degree of difficulty is that breakdowns can also occur on either end, on the job candidate site and on the employer side. This requires planning beforehand and possibly troubleshooting during the process.
#2—Feeling of isolation for job candidates
Lockdowns and restrictions have made people feel isolated enough, and now they feel isolated when exploring job opportunities. In a candidates’ market, it’s already difficult to engage candidates so they don’t drop out of the process or have a negative experience. Virtual recruiting can add to that challenge, so focus even more on engagement.
#3—Difficulty gauging soft skills and other attributes
Technical skills and experience is one thing. However, soft skills and other intangible attributes are important when assessing candidates. Not being able to interact with those candidates in person can make it more difficult to assess a candidate in those areas.
#4—Difficulty communicating the company culture
Company culture is very important to job candidates, and if they don’t get to know the culture in person, it can dilute their view of it. They might not even know what it’s all about. That’s why you must make a concerted effort to communicate it during the hiring process, especially during the interview stage of the process.
#5—Lack of communication and/or alignment with the hiring team
Not only is communication with job candidates important, but so is communication with the members of your own hiring team. The virtual environment makes this challenging, as well, and a miscommunication with one of your team members can be just as damaging as one with a job candidate. Not being in the same room poses a number of potential problems.
How to recruit people online with your ATS
Recruiting software is one of the key components of successful virtual recruiting. The best applicant tracking systems have features and functionality that help virtual recruiters carry out their duties more effectively. These features include:
- Job posting for sourcing candidates
- An activity planner for scheduling important tasks and events
- Pipelines for managing the recruiting and hiring process
- Reporting for assessing performance
Top Echelon Software offers a powerful and flexible applicant tracking software that can help meet the challenges of virtual recruiting. Request a free demo of our recruiting software today and see what it can do for you!