The days of hiring fairs, in-person informational interviews, and campus hiring events are done for the foreseeable future. Today, HR managers and hiring teams have to rely on virtual tools to locate and recruit capable candidates. Even if your team is back in the office, the COVID-19 outbreak is going to make it challenging to find candidates in person. 

If this is something you have not prepared for, you are not alone. A study by Doodle revealed that only 16 percent of HR professionals in the United States are prepared to go entirely virtual with their recruitment and onboarding efforts. Nevertheless, much like the state of work itself, companies are going to have to plan for a digital future when it comes to recruitment. 

Even amid COVID-19, workers will still resign, and you may need to let some staff go. Therefore, you need to prepare to hire virtually. 

Here are some points you can add to your virtual hiring strategy for this new normal brought on by COVID-19. 

Use Social Media – Especially Twitter and LinkedIn

Social media has become a popular place for companies to find team members. On Twitter with hashtags like #hiring, #jobs, #careers, companies are regularly locating capable talent. Additionally, on LinkedIn, businesses create job postings through LinkedIn jobs and use long-form postings for marketing upcoming vacant positions. 

These are great platforms to cast a net to find potential employees. You can gauge their interest in your company by seeing how engaged they are with your content and reach out directly. Your next team member could already be following you. 

Update Your Open Positions Page

This step may seem like a no-brainer, but many companies still forget to do this. Today, for most people, the job search process is happening online. You want to make sure potential candidates know that you are hiring. This reason is why it is crucial always to keep your open positions page updated. If you are posting jobs on other platforms like Indeed, Monster.com, or even remote work job boards, make sure that these third-party pages take visitors to the original posting on your website. On the third-party site, instruct candidates to visit your company’s page for application directions and job descriptions. 

Be Clear About What You are Looking For 

At a hiring fair, you can go into more detail about a position or answer questions about the company culture. Unfortunately, this is no longer an option. Therefore, you need to ensure your job description and your company website accurately describes the position and your company culture. Be detailed about the requirements and qualifications for the job. What skills do they need to possess? Are their technologies they should be proficient with? What are the hours? Be clear about every part of the job. Also, discuss your company culture. How does the company function? Is there decentralized leadership, or are most decisions made at the top? How does everyone communicate? Be sure to answer these questions in your job description. 

Have a Clear Recruitment Process

So, you have identified some employees that you want to interview. Great! Now what? This is the time when you need to have a transparent and efficient recruitment and interview process. Once someone applies for the position, and you determine they are a viable candidate, you need to inform them of the following: 

  • When they can expect to hear if they are invited for an interview. 
  • How can they schedule an interview? (Can they sign up for a slot, or will you reach out by email?)
  • Video conferencing technology they need to have. (Does it require them to install this video software ahead of time? Where can they get it?)
  • A back-up plan if the video conferencing doesn’t work. (Will you switch to a phone conference or another video app?)
  • Who will be on the call? (Is this a group interview? Will you record it?) 
  • When can they expect to hear a decision? 

Also, invite the candidates to ask clarifying questions about these directions if they have them. 

staff welcomeEstablish an Effective Onboarding Procedure

You’ve selected the best person for the job, and now, you need to get them acclimated to your company, virtually. There are many ways you can do this. However, your goal is not only to get them acquainted with the company culture but also to get them all the documentation and information they need to hit the ground running. A well-crafted onboarding process should include: 

  • A virtual “welcoming” event: Here, your candidate can meet the team, connect with co-workers, and learn more about the company’s vision and goals. 
  • Assign them a virtual mentor: Stats have shown that companies have higher retention rates when they connect employees with mentors. Ensure this person can meet with your new hire at least once a week to answer questions and offer support. 
  • Have a digital knowledge base: There should be a digital location where your new hires can find company policy and HR-related information. 
  • Update them on what needs their attention: Where should they start? What projects do they need to address? Tell them how they fit into the company and where their attention is most needed. 
  • Provide any documentation they need: Ensure they have access to things like passwords, software apps, and cloud-based documents. 

Onboarding should not be a one-day or one-week event. Some data has shown that effective onboarding should take six months to a year. There is a lot to address, and your team should take the time it needs to get new hires ready to jump in. 

The Days of Virtual Hiring are Here to Stay 

Virtual hiring practices due to COVID-19 are going to be a mainstay. The quicker you and your team adjust to this new landscape, the easier it will be to find the best fit for your current and future open positions. A pandemic shouldn’t mean that you can’t hire the professionals your company needs, and the steps above can help you develop a plan to handle this new normal. 


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