Virtual Recruitment Strategies

Companies have had virtual recruitment strategies in place for some time. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way most companies operate, many more are now actively recruiting, hiring, and onboarding without ever meeting candidates face to face.

The good news is that, thanks to technology, it’s not as hard as you might think to make the shift to virtual recruitment strategies. The key is to stick to your basics. You need to identify the foundation for your recruitment philosophy and then apply that to the virtual world.

If you want to keep your talent pipeline flowing and continue hiring, even during a public health crisis, here’s how to do it step by step.

Host Virtual Open Houses and Job Fairs

If “meet and greets” are part of your recruitment strategy, you can still do them virtually. Hosting live video conferencing meetings where you invite prospective candidates to “meet” your hiring managers, virtual office tours, and Q&As with various team members are all great ways to engage with talent and give them a chance to learn more about your company.

Start With Phone Interviews

Screening candidates with promising resumes or who’ve showed interest in your company is still a vital step toward finding good candidate matches. Typically, the recruiter will learn as much as they can about the individual before they decide whether it’s someone they want to pursue. If so, they may set up a second conversation through a phone conversation or two, since it’s still early on.

Get Comfortable With Video Interviews

While many companies have already gotten used to doing video interviews, some still need to shift their perceptions. Since you’re seeing people in their home environment, rather than a conference room, it provides a unique opportunity to make the interview experience more personal. Video allows you to get to know the person before you even get to their competencies.

For example, you might notice something on their desk or art hanging in the background that can spark a conversation related to the company’s culture and values. For many companies, this isn’t a natural way of interviewing. That’s why it helps to train your managers in how to conduct video interviews and even have them go through some practice rounds first.

Virtual interviews also have the benefit of recording features so that other team members who aren’t in the meeting can review and share their feedback.

Be Ready For Remote Onboarding

Onboarding in a virtual environment can definitely work—just ask companies that hire and manage remote workers. If you haven’t done it before, the notion of a new person starting without coming into an office and meeting with a team in person might sound odd. However, having a solid plan about what they will do on day one, week one, and week two is key.

Make sure new hires have a thorough welcome email, as well as everything they need from HR. Set up virtual meetings with managers and team members, and ensure that all technology and tools are ready to go on day one.

Virtual Recruitment Strategies and Legal Considerations

In some ways, virtual interviews raise the same legal issues as traditional recruitment methods. However, video interviews leave a digital footprint that could more easily show up in a courtroom. 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 may not discriminate on the basis of a candidate’s protected characteristics, which include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex (including sexual orientation and pregnancy)
  • National origin
  • Age (40 or older)
  • Disability
  • Genetic information

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.

Keep to Your Process

Just because you’re changing the medium doesn’t mean you should change your hiring process. If you normally have your candidates go through six interviews, then you should continue that. Ask the same questions that have worked for you in the past, while allowing for a bit more personalization that may happen as a result of the intimate setting of the person’s home.

Virtual recruitment strategies are important tools in the toolbox. They can help companies hire remote workers from all over the world without having to worry about flying people in for meetings. And in the case of a national crisis or company-specific issue, the recruiting process can continue without a hitch.

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 Monster as we have free tips to share, from the latest in recruiting trends and job market insights, to management strategies and more.


Legal Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the professional advice of an attorney regarding any legal questions you may have.