How to Recruit Top Talent with a Completely Virtual Hiring Process

AdminAssist September 8, 2020
8-minute read
Man with thumbs up on computer screen

If your staffing and recruitment agency is going to stay competitive, then it’s time to get serious about virtual hiring. Regardless of the global pandemic, there are a lot of ways that a great virtual hiring process can help your company attract top candidates. An agency is only as good as its candidates, after all. If your hiring process is not streamlined and well-organized, you risk losing great people.

Virtual hiring offers some powerful opportunities as well as potential pitfalls. At the end of the day, top candidates want pretty much the same thing from a virtual hiring process as an in-person process. It comes down to your company to close the gap and make sure that your virtual hiring process exceeds the candidate’s expectations. Here’s what agencies need to keep in mind when creating a completely virtual hiring process that can attract top talent.


What Top Candidates Really Want from a Virtual Hiring Process

When they hit the job market, top candidates are courted by a plethora of agencies and companies. Instead of being treated like a file folder, these top candidates want to feel valued and personally engaged with. Your company should never treat the top candidates as a group. Instead, each person should feel individually appreciated by the company. Top candidates expect the opportunity to ask questions one-on-one and to be kept in the loop about the recruitment process, especially in virtual hiring processes.

Though it can be challenging in virtual-only environments, try to provide an interactive experience for the candidate. Let them know where they are in the process. Create an online platform or tracking mechanism to give them insight into your process. Stay in communication with top candidates using regular, personalized emails addressed to them by name. Build a relationship with them under your company’s brand umbrella and aim for transparency. 90% of job seekers say they want to work for a company that values transparency.

Top candidates also want flexibility. Start with phone or audio calls. There’s no need to force candidates into video calls right off the bat. If you do proceed to video calls, then use the affordances of video to get to know your top candidates better. For instance, comment on a piece of art in the background. 

Overall, companies need to be extra committed to accountability during a virtual-only hiring process. It can feel confusing for top candidates when they’re out of the loop for too long. Don’t let this happen. According to CareerBuilder, 66% of applicants say that after two weeks of waiting for a callback, they consider the process over and look for other jobs. Be kind and generous to everyone, because at the end of the day, top candidates will remember how your company made them feel. The hiring experience, whether successful or unsuccessful, shapes their perception of your company going forward. 


Potential Pitfalls of a Virtual Hiring Process

Automation is a major perk of virtual hiring processes, but companies must be careful to avoid bias. Do not use any software that filters out candidates due to age, race, marital status, or disability. These filters are discriminatory and are likely to exclude top candidates from reaching the next step in recruitment. It’s also essential that your agency consults with an expert about legal and secure data collection in a virtual hiring process. For instance, do you have an encryption software for secure video calls? Will you be capturing audio recordings of interviews for future review? If you don’t make a plan ahead of time for legal and secure data collection, candidates may feel exploited or unprotected. This is a big turn-off for top candidates.

Many companies use chatbots to help answer candidates’ questions during off-hours. However, you should only use a chatbot if you can make it useful and charming. A chatbot may seem like a clever way to maximize resources in a virtual hiring process. But top candidates are likely to get frustrated if a chatbot can’t help them. Instead, avoid this pitfall by making a real person available to candidates throughout the virtual process. 

The biggest pitfall for companies that do virtual hiring is tech problems. It’s only natural that there will be some blips in the process, of course. But don’t let a blip become a disaster. Companies should streamline and integrate all the required technology for virtual hiring. Test the bandwidth to ensure it can handle concurrent tasks. Invest in a high-quality web camera, and get your staff headsets with microphones for excellent audio. Will you need new software? Experiment with Google Drive or other cloud systems to organize the forms and content necessary for the call. Train recruiters on best practices for screen sharing. Make sure your company works out the tech kinks before you bring top candidates into the virtual room.


Hidden Benefits of Virtual Hiring

Finally, your company can benefit from some unexpected advantages in a virtual hiring process. It’s likely that you’ll enjoy a reduced cost associated with interviews and interview expenses. Your team, as well as top candidates, get to save time on commuting and electric bills.

Virtual hiring also presents the opportunity to automate and streamline many hiring tasks. Plus, virtual hiring can actually minimize bias in the hiring process since candidates aren’t quite as limited by geography. 


Continue to Build Your Reputation

If you want your business to grow, then you need to have a great reputation. A reputation works for you 24/7, enticing top candidates who arrive at your door already understanding why your company is different. If your company can’t handle the back-end tasks related to virtual hiring, then you risk damaging the company’s reputation. 50% of candidates say they would not choose to work for a company with a bad reputation - even for a pay increase. Not only does a bad reputation reflect poorly on your brand when it comes to top candidates and recruitment, but it also makes your company look bad to its clients.

If you can’t do virtual hiring seamlessly, then you should outsource it to someone who can. Don’t run the risk of losing top candidates because of stubbornness to keep everything in-house. With a seamless virtual hiring and onboarding process, top candidates are likely to stay with your agency longer. A paltry 12% of employees think that their company does a good job with onboarding. 

Attract the best candidates with a great virtual hiring process. Partner with AdminAssist to create a best-in-class virtual hiring process with our back-end HR and accounting support. It’s time for your company to stand out.