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What Is Virtual Recruiting?

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Introduction to Virtual Recruiting

Virtual recruiting isn’t new. It’s been around for decades. The first job board launched on a dial-up BBS way back in 1992, the same year IBM built the first smartphone. Then, a new age of technology was born. In the years since, the demand for innovation has driven consistent advances in technology, allowing the practice of virtual recruiting to expand exponentially. Now, virtual hiring tools allow recruiters to manage their entire talent acquisition cycle online, if they choose, with a range of tools supporting each stage of the recruiting funnel. Recruiters can now easily use online tools, like the Radancy Talent Acquisition Cloud, to attract talent, connect and screen candidates, conduct in-depth interviews, introduce candidates to hiring managers, give virtual worksite tours and even support in-person recruiting efforts.

Over the past few years, many employers adopted virtual recruiting for the first time or ramped up their virtual processes as a necessary response to the coronavirus pandemic. In all cases, employers using virtual recruiting showed job seekers that their health and safety were important, and that the organization was willing to innovate and adapt to protect them. More recently, TA teams have embraced the many benefits of virtual recruiting as the cornerstone of their talent acquisition efforts.

Virtual recruiting is much more than online job ads and chats with recruiters. In actuality, virtual recruiting relies on a host of different tools, all designed to help deliver a stellar candidate experience while also helping TA teams do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. An effective virtual hiring strategy relies on having the right tools for each specific organization, and may include chatbots, a virtual career fair solution, other virtual hiring events, text and email, virtual chats and video interviews, among others.

Virtual recruiting means employers can do more with less. Done right, it reduces administrative work, allowing you to focus more time and energy on building relationships with candidates and vetting talent. Virtual solutions also allow recruiters to break geographic barriers by connecting with talent outside their immediate area, a factor which is becoming increasingly important as remote and hybrid work trends continue. Being able to break down geographic barriers also helps organizations locate hard-to-find and specialized talent for possible relocation, without spending a fortune on travel.

Key Benefits of Virtual Recruiting

Virtual hiring is an attractive option for many reasons, but it’s downright essential in today’s digital world. Job seekers expect employers to offer at least some elements of virtual processes due to the convenience, but there are many other reasons for talent acquisition leaders to lean into virtual strategies.

Control Costs Virtual hiring solutions offer employers more control over costs. Virtual events are less costly than in-person events, and the cost scales with the volume of participants, so it’s easier to plan ahead. Since virtual recruiting requires no travel, hotel accommodations, refreshments or physical swag, the savings really add up, especially for organizations with high-volume hiring needs.

Reduce Time to Hire Virtual recruiting also speeds up hiring cycles, shortening each stage of the recruiting funnel. By moving candidates more quickly through the process, employers save time and resources while improving their competitive advantage where top talent is concerned. In this respect, virtual hiring helps reduce the chances a quality candidate will get bored or tired of waiting for a response and decide to abandon your opportunity.

Improve Candidate Experience Over the years, job seekers consistently report wanting more communication with recruiters and more information about potential employers and what the hiring process entails. Innovative talent acquisition strategies make this easy, especially when tools like virtual chat and virtual career fairs are used. Candidates can connect with recruiters and hiring managers more quickly through events or get answers to basic questions through a chatbot.

Expand Channels of Communication In addition to having more communication, top talent enjoys having more options for how they communicate with employers. Candidates want to choose how they interact with potential employers, so when recruiters participate in texting, email and social media, candidates are free to decide which channel works best for them.

Remove Geographic BarriersWe already mentioned how virtual recruiting helps employers expand their candidate pool by reaching outside their immediate geographic area. Virtual hiring also means you can include more hiring managers and other key people from within your organization in your hiring process, because they can join virtual events without the hassle and expense, not to mention time commitment, compared with in-person hiring events.

Drive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Progress Virtual recruiting helps organizations reach their DEI hiring goals by facilitating interactions with a more diverse candidate base that would have otherwise been ignored or unintentionally excluded through more traditional in-person hiring practices. These solutions make it easier to connect with candidates with a range of disabilities and neuro differences, veterans and military spouses, and other niche talent pools that respond well to targeted attention.

Maximize ResultsHybrid recruiting combines virtual and in-person strategies in a complementary way, allowing recruiters to reap the best of both worlds. Executed well, hybrid recruiting helps employers maximize the results and the returns from virtual solutions, while still allowing TA teams to conduct in-person recruiting when it makes the most sense. With virtual tools to support event registration and check-in, as well as candidate scoring and feedback collection, TA teams can enhance the efficiency and outcomes of in-person hiring events much easier than shuffling paper resumes and handwritten notes from hiring managers.

Planning a Virtual Recruiting Strategy

As with almost any business project, success begins with knowing what you want to get out of the process. Is your primary goal to increase the number of qualified candidates per role? To speed up the selection process? To diversify your talent pipeline? Identifying your key goals up front will help you make the right decisions every step of the way.

The next step is finding the right technology and software tools to support your goals. First, decide which types of tools to use. There are many categories, including:

  • Programmatic advertising
  • Social networks and management platforms
  • Text/email
  • Chatbots
  • Employee referral tools
  • Candidate relationship management systems
  • Virtual career fair tools
  • Video interviewing
  • Behavioral and skill assessment tools

The Radancy Talent Acquisition Cloud helps you maximize ROI and hire qualified talent faster with the only global end-to-end platform that optimizes the entire candidate journey.

Another key step in planning your talent acquisition strategy is deciding who will be part of your virtual recruiting team. For virtual hiring events, you’ll need to determine how many recruiters you’ll need to move participants through the event efficiently, and you’ll also need to decide which hiring managers and executives should be involved and when. Many employers include recorded video messages from top executives in virtual career fair broadcasts, while hiring managers are more likely to participate in live interviews, via text-based chat or video. Each virtual career fair event you host may have a different objective, and it’s important to tailor each event to meet those goals. Creating a virtual hiring event playbook can help you effectively organize your strategy and streamline the planning and preparation of your events throughout the year.

Types of Virtual Hiring Events

As with in-person events, hiring events in the virtual world can have a lot of different themes and objectives. Virtual hiring offers employers the freedom and flexibility to explore creative new ways for attracting and connecting with candidates, and the possibilities are endless. Here are just a few examples of the types of events today’s top employers are hosting:

Informational EventsThese events are focused on sharing information, typically about your organization. Job seekers want to learn about an organization’s culture and values before they devote time and energy to a recruiting process, and these events help satisfy that demand. Informational events can include video messages from executives, behind-the-scenes tours and information on your organization’s history and even employee testimonials or ‘day in the life’ videos that help candidates understand what it’s really like to work at your organization.

Educational Events Some hiring events are less focused on the employer and more on the job seeker. During educational events, employers can strengthen their branded candidate experience and build trust among job seekers by offering advice, tools and resources that help job seekers improve their job search. These include resume review sessions, interview tips and advice on salary negotiation, and are best hosted with the help of expert professionals in those areas who can present to job seekers and respond to their questions.

Recruiter ‘Office Hours’ Many customers have found success by hosting regular weekly recruiter office hours, during which candidates can drop in for a chat and ask questions about the organization, a job opening, benefits or whatever else is important to them. The schedule for recruiter office hours can be promoted on your career hub, in job postings and on social media. Recruiters can conduct a pre-screening interview on the spot, invite candidates to a virtual hiring event or schedule them with a hiring manager.

Pre-Screening Events This type of virtual career fair is designed to produce a pool of pre-qualified candidates that recruiters or hiring managers can interview at a later date. Especially useful when hiring for high-volume roles, pre-screening events can include assessment tools that help screen candidates automatically before they continue on to a pre-screening chat or video interview with a recruiter.

Hiring Manager Interviews Often the next step after a pre-screening event, you may opt to host a virtual hiring event solely for hiring managers to interview pre-qualified candidates. This type of virtual career fair often results in job offers on the spot or immediately following the event.

Best Practices for Virtual Recruiting

New best practices are emerging all the time, in part due to the creativity that virtual tools enable and partly because of shifting attitudes among job seekers. Yet, many of the key tenets are quite similar to recruiting in physical spaces. To get the most out of virtual recruiting, talent acquisition leaders should consider these best practices and design processes that make them a seamless part of your overall talent acquisition strategy.

Communicate Your Organizational Culture & Values Virtual recruiting offers employers countless opportunities to share insights into organizational culture, and centering those messages throughout your talent acquisition strategy helps build a strong branded candidate experience that attracts your ideal candidates.

Use Candidate Personas Candidate personas are a valuable tool for delivering a candidate experience your target talent wants. For each role, create candidate personas that include your ideal candidates’ preferences, priorities, habits and personality archetypes. Refer to candidate personas when planning events, designing interview questions and developing communication plans.

Put Candidate Experience FirstOf course, the objective of talent acquisition is to fill positions. However, hiring the best talent for the job starts with giving before you can get. Deliver a high-quality candidate experience that speaks to your ideal candidates’ preferences, and they will come to you. As you create your virtual process, consider each step through a job seeker’s perspective and work to alleviate pain points before they interrupt your hiring process.

Promote Events Strategically Nobody will attend your virtual hiring events if you don’t promote them well and that doesn’t happen by accident. Create and follow a plan for promoting events, including strategies for social media, email marketing and programmatic advertising. Remember that your talent acquisition strategy is a living entity, and should adapt and evolve over time in response to your results.

Communicate Effectively & Often Keeping quality candidates engaged often comes down to communication. To avoid having top talent drop out of your hiring process, create and follow a plan for follow-up communications after events. This includes asking for feedback, providing information about next steps and, yes, even sending rejections. Many virtual career fair solutions have built-in tools that automate the feedback process, but you still need to have a plan for other forms of communication, as well as a plan for utilizing the feedback you collect.

The Wild, Wonderful World of Virtual Recruiting

Looking ahead, virtual tools and strategies will continue to benefit organizations by controlling talent acquisition costs, speeding up the hiring process, strengthening branded candidate experiences and helping recruiters connect with top talent regardless of location. 

By combining virtual recruiting with in-person strategies as part of a broader hybrid talent acquisition strategy, employers can continue to benefit from the agility and flexibility virtual recruiting offers. Retaining the ability to quickly adapt to new challenges will become a key differentiator for employers of choice in the coming years.

About Radancy

Radancy is the leading cloud-based talent acquisition software provider intelligently solving the most critical challenges for enterprises globally and delivering cost-efficient outcomes that strengthen their organizations. The Radancy Talent Acquisition Cloud, powered by rich data and deep industry insights, optimizes the entire candidate journey, enabling enterprises to hire the most qualified talent faster, while reducing costs and driving higher ROI, recruiter efficiency and an improved candidate experience.

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