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What Is Virtual Recruiting?

Companies looking for ways to improve their recruitment results may want to know what is virtual recruiting and how can it help make the hiring process more effective. From events to interviewing to application screening, virtual recruiting refers to any step in hiring that is taken out of the face-to-face realm and put into a digital one. This can make the process much more efficient because it not only allows companies to broaden their applicant pool, but recruiters are able to save time and money. Doing things like conducting online interviews and participating in virtual recruiting events—as well as creating chatbots and communication apps that easily provide the information applicants need right on the spot—allows recruiters to streamline their process and dedicate more time to activities that demand in-person attention.

Key Benefits of Virtual Recruiting

Virtual recruiting can be quite an adjustment for companies that are used to doing everything in person, however, it's well worth the time and effort. The following are some key benefits of virtual recruiting that companies should consider.

Meeting more candidates

Virtual recruiting can be beneficial for both companies and candidates alike because it allows recruiters to get more people in front of them in a short period of time, while giving job seekers the opportunity to meet recruiters easily—especially if attending events is too challenging because of factors like travel, scheduling, and childcare. As a result, recruiters can use virtual recruiting events to conduct group or one-on-one interviews with several candidates that they wouldn’t otherwise get to meet.

Improving diversity in an organization

Companies that are trying to meet the goals of a diversity recruitment plan can use virtual recruiting events to reach more candidates from underserved communities. By branching out into online recruitment channels, companies that are located in less diverse geographic regions can connect with talent they may not otherwise have access to. As a result, virtual recruitment helps open up opportunities to candidates from underrepresented communities, while helping companies create a more diverse workforce.

Boosting candidate experience

Many candidates feel a great deal of pressure as they navigate the recruitment process, so virtual recruiting can help alleviate their anxiety. For example, those who get extremely nervous about going into an office for an in-person interview often prefer remote interviews because they feel more at ease in their own familiar environment. Providing this option can boost the candidate experience so all applicants can be comfortable enough to put their best foot forward throughout the hiring process.

Lowering costs

Companies that are keeping track of recruiting metrics know exactly how much they spend on bringing in new employees, so if they need to lower their cost per hire, virtual recruitment is a great way to do it. For example, virtual recruiting events can sometimes be done in lieu of sending recruiters around the country to campus events, thus saving a significant amount of time and money. Also, conducting online assessments can be more efficient than requiring candidates complete them in the office, which helps to free up recruiters’ time for tasks that cannot be easily automated.

Providing greater continuity

If there’s anything companies learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that they need to always expect the unexpected. Many companies never dreamed they would have to take their operations completely online, and yet, that's the position they found themselves in—and some were scrambling to keep up with meeting their hiring needs when they did. When organizations incorporate virtual recruiting into their regular hiring strategies, they are prepared for any issue that would force them to close their doors and rely on online platforms for hiring. As a result, virtual recruitment means companies have greater continuity so an emergency doesn't stall their recruiting goals as they can easily connect with talent remotely.

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Types of Virtual Recruiting Events

There are several ways that businesses can leverage virtual recruitment to engage with the candidates they want in their hiring funnel. The following are some examples of virtual recruiting events that companies can organize to attract candidates, pique their interest, and create meaningful relationships that ultimately make people more likely to accept a job offer.

Information sessions

Candidates want to know as much information as possible about an organization before they even think about applying for a specific position. By organizing information sessions online, companies can help bring their employer brand to the forefront and allow job seekers to learn about the business in a low-stakes way. These events can provide information about an organization's background, and the positions that are available, as well as what the company culture is like—allowing people to decide if they’re interested in learning more and being considered for job openings.

Pre-screening events

Pre-screening events allow companies to administer assessments and if candidates do well, recruiters can spend a little bit of time with them in a video chat before advancing them to the next stage of the hiring process. This can be particularly helpful if there are a lot of applicants coming in since it streamlines the process and frees up a recruiter’s time to spend with those further along in the hiring funnel.

Career fairs

Face-to-face career fairs can be an effective way to meet candidates, however, since recruiters are limited to geographic location, it can hinder the ability to find the type of talent organizations want to hire. By including career fairs as part of a virtual recruitment strategy, companies can expand their reach by eliminating geographic barriers, which can help them target talent from a specific demographic or industry, as well as candidates for a particular type of job.

Fireside chats

Fireside chats are a way for potential candidates to get to know the human side of an organization, thanks to their more informal tone. Instead of the stuffy PowerPoint presentations that may be part of more formal types of information sessions, during a fireside chat, people at an organization have real conversations about a specific topic that viewers are interested in.

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Open houses

Virtual open houses help companies build their talent pipeline by providing general information that gets job hunters excited about applying for positions. Leaders in an organization may discuss what it has to offer talent, provide information on specific departments, and outline career paths that employees can take to reach their goals. Also, businesses can give potential candidates a glimpse of what it’s really like to work there by providing office tours that show a day in the life of an employee. This can be a great way for companies to highlight their culture in a memorable fashion that entices potential applicants.

Professional development

Making learning a part of virtual recruiting shows people that companies are interested in their growth—even before they have begun working there. By hosting professional development sessions, organizations provide value to potential candidates, which they can benefit from as new hires come in with the skills and knowledge the business needs. From specific skills training to general job search tips, professional development can help boost virtual recruitment efforts and attract talent that is interested in learning the skills companies look for.

D&I events

Communities are more diverse than ever, so job seekers are only interested in working for organizations that are a reflection of this diversity. In fact, many people will only accept positions at companies with a diverse staff, which means organizations should use their virtual recruitment as a way to communicate how much they value diversity, equity, and inclusion in their culture. Virtual events related to DEI can inform candidates about a company’s diversity initiatives and goals, as well as the experiences of staff members from diverse populations. For example, companies can host online sessions with its employee resource groups so people learn what benefits are available to employees from different backgrounds.

Ask me anything sessions

Before applying for a position, candidates may have a number of questions about a company, but are not able to find the information on its website or social media platforms. An ask me anything session is a great opportunity for people to get the answers they’re looking for from executives at the organization. This allows candidates to find out about the application process, culture, benefits, and professional development that a business offers in a transparent and informal environment. 

Virtual interviews

Virtual interviews make it easier for recruiters to meet with candidates on a one-on-one basis, as well as in a group. In addition to using videoconferencing software to schedule and conduct the interviews, recruiters can send out reminders and interview questions to candidates beforehand, and then e-mail thank you notes afterwards so candidates know the next steps in the hiring process. 

Onboarding events

Recruiters don't have to stop using virtual event platforms after they’ve hired candidates. There are parts of the onboarding process that can be done online—particularly if employees are telecommuting. Companies can use online platforms for their training, as well as providing access to the employment documents new hires need.

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