Hiring managers know that a candidate friendly hiring process is essential for recruiting (and retaining) top talent. Yet, in a world where the entire recruitment process is virtual, recruiters must use different tactics to provide candidates with a great experience.
Here are tips for how to handle the recruitment process so that candidates have a great virtual experience.
1) Map how the candidate journey will progress in a virtual world.
You probably already have a well-defined candidate journey. This entire process needs to be modified for an all-virtual setting.
Create a step-by-step map for how you would like the candidate journey to progress. Start from the moment the candidate learns about your company until they’re officially hired. Think about how the candidate will interact with your organization in every step of the process.
Do not try to simply move your process to a virtual setting. Some interviewing techniques that work well in person may not translate well to an all-virtual process. For example, a virtual interview with five different people at once can be difficult to pull off successfully. Consider the entire journey from the point of view of the candidate. You want the journey to leave the candidate with positive feelings about your company.
2) Improve the careers page on your website.
When all recruitment is conducted virtually, the careers page of your website is a particularly important asset. Review your website to make sure that you are providing a quality experience. Here are some questions to consider:
- How easy is it for candidates to find open roles? Are roles listed in a comprehensive list, or are you forcing candidates to perform complicated searches with multiple clicks?
- Does the page clearly communicate the perks and benefits you offer?
- Does the page include information on your company culture and pictures of your events? Are you making a case for why candidates should want to work for your organization?
- Are you clearly explaining how the hiring process will work during the pandemic?
- How easy is it for candidates to submit an application?
- Is there a way for candidates to receive updates on new openings at your organization?
3) Overcommunicate the details of your hiring process to candidates
Virtual recruitment is new for your candidates, too. Put them at ease by over-communicating. Provide details about every stage of the process: What platform you will be using to conduct the interview, who will be attending the interview, what information you will be covering, and how long the interview will be. Provide clear instructions for what the candidate needs to do to join the interview. Additionally, you should always offer a phone number for the candidate to call in case of technical problems.
When you move forward in the process, clearly communicate the next steps: “We will let you know later this week whether we are interested in moving forward. If we move forward, the next step is to call your references.”
4) Provide your candidates with virtual interview resources
Help your candidates by directly pointing them to resources about how to succeed in virtual interviews. You don’t have to create your own resources. In your invitation to the interview, simply provide links to blog articles on the topic.
This small gesture shows that you care about candidates succeeding and feeling at ease during the interview. By giving them these tools, the interview will run more smoothly for everyone.
5) Be respectful of your candidates’ time.
Everyone is stressed and over-burdened right now. In designing your interview process, remember that applying for your position is only one of many responsibilities your candidates must fulfill. Avoid taking up too much of their time by following these best practices:
- Keep initial interviews short. There’s no point in spending a lot of time with candidates that you will not be seriously pursuing.
- Come to every interview organized and prepared to ask your questions. Do your best to minimize the chances of interruptions.
- Do not engage in small talk that takes too much time. Although this may be effective for in-person interviews, in virtual interactions most people prefer to get straight to the point.
6) Train interviewers in best practices for virtual interviews.
Interviewers need to understand that conducting an interview virtually is different from what they’re used to. They should adjust their interviewing style accordingly.
Provide your interviewers with tips on how to best conduct a virtual interview. You can give them opportunities to practice in a mock virtual interview. Offer honest feedback about how they can improve.
7) Test your technology before every interview.
Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee a glitch-free interview experience. But you can maximize the chances that everything will go according to plan by testing out the technology ahead of time. Schedule a test run at least fifteen minutes prior to when an interview is scheduled to begin. During the test, make sure that every member of the team can access the platform and that audio and video are working. Run through the basic features of the platform and teach everyone how to mute themselves.
8) Acknowledging the difficulties of virtual interviews to put candidates at ease.
Many candidates come to a virtual interview feeling nervous. Help ease their nerves by openly acknowledging the challenges: “We know that it’s challenging to do an interview in this format, but we really appreciate your taking the time to meet with us.”
If interruptions occur on the candidate’s end, like children or pets interrupting, respond with understanding and humor.
9) Show a slideshow of team events to give them a sense of company culture (for later stage interviews).
In an in-person job interview, you typically give candidates a tour of the office so that they can imagine themselves working there. Make an effort to show candidates your culture in the virtual format. Show them pictures of your office and the team events you have held in the past. Tell a story so that they can get a feel for your culture even if they can’t physically be present.
10) Conduct a survey to improve the process.
Crafting a high-quality virtual interview experience is a work-in-progress. Send candidates an anonymous survey so that you can gather data on how candidates are responding to your process. Make adjustments as necessary, and continue to conduct surveys.
By being attentive to candidates’ needs, you can offer them a great hiring process even if you can’t meet face-to-face.