Virtual recruitment strategies
It’s no secret that technology is an integral part of the hiring process. Job applicants no longer have to visit the worksite or even shake hands with their future boss until right before (or even after) receiving a job offer. Virtual recruitment strategies can save your company time and money, especially when you’re inundated with hundreds or even thousands of resumes for review.
Virtual recruiting may also help you field a much larger pool of candidates and help you diversify your staff. On the other hand, it can raise some legal and practical considerations. Employers and recruiters who follow a few best practices with regard to their virtual recruitment strategy will have the most success.
The following will help you better understand the benefits and potential pitfalls of conducting virtual interviews, virtual events, and other tech-assisted processes as part of your recruitment strategy.
Virtual interviews and legal considerations
In some ways, virtual interviews raise the same legal issues as traditional recruitment methods. Whether the interview process is conducted by a recruiter, a prospective supervisor, or an online “pre-screen” computer program, interview questions must not violate EEOC guidelines when it comes to maintaining a legal hiring process.
Generally, job ads, recruiting methods, the application process, and interview questions cannot discriminate on the basis of a candidate’s protected characteristics, which include:
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- National origin
- Age (40 or older)
- Genetic information
Because virtual interviewing provides the opportunity to ask each candidate the same question in the exact same way, it helps reduce the chance of a misstep on the part of the interviewee. By the same token, however, an improperly worded interview question or delving into unlawful subject matters in the virtual interview could create widespread problems. This is true for any interview, but not every interview leaves a digital footprint that could show up in a courtroom in the future.
As with traditional recruitment strategies, employers should work with employment lawyers and human resource professionals to ensure that their interviewing techniques and questions are lawful and appropriate. Also, make sure the interviewers and decision-makers are trained in non-discrimination practices. An innocent mistake can still have dire consequences for your company.
Reach a wider selection of candidates
For companies that want to reach a diverse applicant pool or demonstrate their commitment as an “equal opportunity employer,” technology can actually help them to recruit across a much wider area. The same can be said about remote working options since this arrangement reduces or eliminates the physical commute.
For example, tools that enable chat-based virtual networking events and open houses allow employers to target job candidates from faraway places, helping to diversify the applicant pool. It can also help level the playing field between those applicants who have the opportunity to speak to a recruiter and those who would otherwise have to submit a resume without any personal contact.
Get the appropriate waivers and releases
Just as you would in other situations, you’ll want to find a reputable technology vendor for your virtual recruitment efforts. “The company should provide consent forms and disclosures that inform candidates as to what exactly is being recorded, whether it’s voice-only, voice and image, or simply the answers to questions they type into the computer,” says Kevin Grossman, founder and principal of Marcom HRsay.
Also, be aware that some virtual recruiting tools may implicate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If an employer uses an outside company to pre-screen applicants, the vendor may be considered a “consumer reporting agency,” in which case both vendor and employer are required to meet a number of legal requirements which include having candidates sign a release.
Pay attention to onboarding when using virtual recruitment
Once hired, employees who have been “virtually” recruited may have a more difficult time feeling connected to their employer, particularly if they have never visited the workplace. It’s up to the employer to make certain that these employees are taken through an onboarding process to ease their transition.
“It’s important to make all new employees feel like they are an integrated part of the workplace, says Dianne Michels, CEO and founder of Serendipity HR. “But when you are talking about someone who might not have visited the office before being hired, a well-planned onboarding process can mean the difference between a successful employee and redoing the job search next year.”
Even with these challenges, Grossman sees virtual recruiting as an efficient and effective way for employers to create a ‘short list’ of candidates to meet face-to-face before making a final decision, adding, “This combination of automation and individuality gives companies the most opportunities to find top talent that fits their workplace and culture.”
Are you recruiting virtually or in the flesh? Either way, Monster has you covered
There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to running your business or recruiting new hires. Some companies choose to cast a wider net through virtual recruitment, while others may prefer the in-person approach. It’s your call, but everyone can use some help perfecting their methods. Sharpen your skills with the Monster Hiring Solutions e-newsletter which delivers free tips on recruiting trends, management strategies, and more.
Legal Disclaimer: None of the information provided herein constitutes legal advice on behalf of Monster.