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Recruiting in a Virtual World

Virtual recruiting is a powerful, safe and economical means to find candidates, making it an essential competency for post-pandemic businesses.

Shazia Subotic
Recruiting in a Virtual World

This article is sponsored by Insperity.

This story originally appeared in the Spring 2021 print edition of Middle Market Growth magazine. Read the full issue in the archive.

Face-to-face job interviews are generally a thing of the past. Except for certain highly skilled or executive positions, virtual recruiting is a powerful, safe and economical means to find, qualify and assess candidates, making it an essential competency for post-pandemic American businesses.

There is an important distinction between job advertisements and job descriptions. A job advertisement is a compelling summary that attracts candidates to an opportunity. It promotes challenging and meaningful work, great company culture, position benefits and required qualifications. A job description is an internal accountability document that is not necessarily written to attract job seekers, although recruiters can use job descriptions to provide further position details once qualified candidates engage.

Employers can publish position advertisements in media outlets and on social networking sites like LinkedIn. Companies can also seek candidates through virtual career fairs, which allow employers access to large numbers of potential candidates with targeted profiles. Candidates sign up for an interview hosted by employers in private video chat rooms. Large-group informational meetings held in virtual fairs are also very effective to develop interest among potential candidates.

Virtual Interviewing

After identifying great candidates, a company can conduct personal interviews in several virtual formats. Some firms have replaced telephone screening interviews with a pre-recorded video interview software, where candidates record a video and submit their answers to a list of screening questions.

Much like in-person interviews, video interviews provide a face-to-face exchange of information and key visual insights into the candidate’s professional experience and demeanor. They also offer the candidate a window into your company’s culture. Employers should supplement standard interview preparation with video meeting skills and logistical planning. These include having a high-quality video camera with a robust internet connection, a quiet room with good lighting and a professional background.

Virtual processes can also apply to assessments and background checks. Employers can use readily available online assessments to assess personality, aptitude, computational and quantitative abilities, and more. It is always best to conduct reference and background checks prior to extending an offer. Employers must conduct reference checks carefully and in accordance with federal and state privacy and other employment laws.

Virtual Onboarding

One challenge of remote recruiting is employee onboarding. Companies must welcome new employees, instruct them in company values, instill in them culture, and launch their productive career. This is partly accomplished by establishing a healthy employer brand and interviewing for cultural fit. Corporate culture should be discussed and demonstrated throughout the recruiting process.

Virtual onboarding should include manager and colleague video welcome and orientation meetings. One-on-one meetings, “lunch & learn” calls, and a delivery of supplies and some company swag will create a sense of belonging. A nominal gift such as flowers sent to the new employee’s spouse or a food gift box for the family is also an endearing touch.

Culture is built over time, but these gestures are a good start.

Shazia Subotic is a supervisor of recruiting services for Insperity in Houston.