In this unprecedented time, recruiters have been forced to make changes to their processes that allow them to incorporate online efforts into their diversity recruiting strategies, while still effectively connecting with potential talent. In order to explore how the pandemic has changed the way early in career recruiters work, we teamed up with Katelyn Amidon, Head of Early Talent Programs at Lyft, in a webinar entitled “University Recruiting in a Semi-Virtual World: Everything You Need to Know.” During the event, Katelyn discussed the lessons Lyft learned as the company navigated its way through this new territory.
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The following are some of the eye-opening observations Katelyn shared.
3 Early In Career Recruiting Lessons
Virtual Recruiting Is Here to Stay
Around April 2020, Lyft converted its in-person seminar series, Lyft Learns, into a webinar format that addressed topics like resume reviews and technical skills. The company was able to attract nine new hires who are members of underserved groups from its five webinars, compared to the seven new hires that were garnered through a traditional in-person conference.
“Honestly, the results were kind of shocking for us,” she said. “Comparing that, those results really started to speak for themselves. And from there, that just sparked our move towards this transition into, ‘Yes, virtual recruiting does work.’ Not only that, but the direct result of events and engagement was just being able to reach a greater number of students from more schools in more geographic regions—a huge win for diversity.”
This trend of success was also evident in the interns Lyft was able to get on board.
“We were very worried that we weren't going to be able to increase the representation of diversity within our intern class,” Katelyn explained. “But we actually exceeded that over the course of last fall hiring for our 2021 interns, which right now we have about 79% of our intern class for this year represented as female, black, or Latinx. So the proof is in the pudding, as we like to say.”
In-Person Recruiting Cannot Be Completely Replaced
Although Lyft experienced some success with virtual recruiting, Katelyn says it’s important to remember that a hybrid approach works best because not all recruiting can be done online. From low attendance to technical difficulties, sometimes virtual events just can’t gain the same kind of traction that traditional settings can.
“I'm not going to sit here and say that university recruiting as we know it should be entirely virtual because I don't really think that is the best way forward. This hybrid model will be the way forward because the biggest challenge is that you really lose that lack of human interaction at some of the events,” said Katelyn. “I think the balance of that is, it's not an either or, it's a both. Moving forward, I think having some events virtual, having some events in-person is really the way to go—especially when you think about the ways students want to be recruited in the future.”
One of the reasons Katelyn says that virtual recruiting will not be the only strategy for the future is because it’s difficult to demonstrate what Lyft’s culture is like when solely communicating with candidates online.
“I think the biggest challenge is we learned that the hardest part to transition was really selling the Lyft culture and experience,” Katelyn said. “We really had to think about adapting the ways we could share information with students, and really make sure that they understood the types of companies. It's not as easy to showcase what we're doing as a company or culture when you're not meeting people in-person.”
A Successful Online Strategy Demands Effective Tools and Platforms
Katelyn says that Lyft would not have been able to achieve the success it did with virtual recruiting had it not been for the effective platforms and tools that allowed the company to reach candidates. For example, by using our early talent recruiting platform, the organization was able to address a specific challenge it had during the recruitment process.
“I think one of the biggest challenges was rediscovering existing talent. We were not able to filter through all of our applications,” said Katelyn. “Having some sort of platform that helps you as a recruiting team identify that existing talent already in your pipeline is huge.”
Additionally, Katelyn says that the ability to keep track of analytics and key metrics through our platform was a game changer because it allowed recruiters to change course in the moment as needed.
“We had a really complex and niche role that we were really struggling to hire this past fall. Something that helped was being able to take that information of our pass through rates, show it to our hiring managers in a clear and concise way and say, ‘Hey, these students are not passing at the homework stage.’ This is advising us that the homework is way too hard for the students to pass,” she said. “We were able to make a real-time change in that moment, and then go back and revisit how our interview process worked. We were able to then put more candidates through and actually hire the number that we're looking for the roles—none of that would have been possible if we didn't know at that current moment what our pass through rates were.”
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