Virtual Recruitment: Pros, Cons, Mistakes To Avoid
A natural response to the “work from home” trend, virtual recruitment has become an excellent way for companies to grow despite the pandemic. After all, we’ve learned to work remotely, and virtual recruitment is just another step in this evolution.
The physical restrictions imposed by the pandemic made us more comfortable with virtual events, multi-person remote interviews, virtual workplace tours, and online real-time presentations. Still, recruitment is all about interpersonal communication. Doesn’t the virtual recruitment practice strip us of this personal touch?
In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online recruitment. We’re also going to focus on the mistakes recruiters make in hiring people virtually and how to avoid them. Let’s roll!
What is virtual recruitment?
The term is pretty self-explanatory. Virtual recruitment is the process of searching, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding employees online. And thankfully, there are more than a few tools to help recruiters at every stage:
- Trello, Asana for planning and preparing for interviews
- Social media, ThriveMap for screening candidates
- LinkedIn for searching and attracting potential candidates
- Zoom, Google services, Skype, Wonscore for communication, in-depth interviewing, videoconferencing, and feedback
- Google Slides for onboarding
We know it may sound biased coming from a recruitment agency, but virtual recruitment does have some excellent benefits.
Five advantages of virtual recruitment
Certainly, the ability to reduce contact with other people is a major advantage amid the pandemic. But it's not the only one.
#1 Reduces time to hire
Online recruitment helps to cut hiring time for both digital recruiters and candidates. The latter won’t have to organise their schedule around driving for a job interview, which shows respect for the candidate and increases loyalty.
For recruiters, it means screening more candidates in a shorter timeframe, especially when they use online tools like assessments, templates, and automated applications. Plus, with every hiring step shorter, you increase the chances of your candidates not getting tired of waiting and hiring them faster than your competitors.
#2 Adds more channels of communication
The variety of online communication tools is another advantage of online recruitment. Modern candidates enjoy having more options for communicating with employers. This means that virtual recruiters have to be open to texting, messaging, emails, and social media messaging.
Someone prefers a video call right away, while others would rather fill in a questionnaire at home. The candidate is the one choosing the most comfortable means of interacting, and the fact that it’s not a problem for recruiters is wonderful.
#3 Eliminates barriers
Hiring top talent is an issue in both small towns (because there aren’t many candidates) and big cities (because large corporations hire them faster). But with virtual recruitment, this issue is gone, much like the barriers between geographic locations.
On top of hiring candidates from all over the globe, virtual recruitment also helps get other people involved in the hiring process. Because it’s faster and less disruptive for their schedules, project managers, technical leads, or recruitment managers can easily join the interview and have their say.
#4 Saves limited office space
Remember the last time you had to hire many people quickly? How you had to find a meeting room that was free all day, failed, and tried to negotiate with other teams to move their meetings to another room? Or how one candidate was late, making the ones after them crowd up the lobby? Well, online interviews help optimize the hiring process and avoid crowds in the office (you know, a stream of visitors may be really annoying for the employees).
Conducting virtual interviews doesn’t require booking a meeting room. Actually, it doesn’t require a separate room at all. So you can be interviewing the candidate from the comfort of your home while they sit in a coffee shop, sipping their sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk.
#5 Provides data for analysis
Unlike a job interview in an office, online meetings can be “measured” with automated applications and recruitment services online. Top services in the industry are:
- Phenom People for talent experience measurement (TXM)
- Cornerstone Recruiting for hiring the best people with the right skills
- Talismatic for job market analytics
- SmashFlyX for understanding the path of every candidate
But it's not all roses with virtual recruitment. Let's talk about some drawbacks too.
Four drawbacks of virtual recruitment
To get a balanced, realistic picture, let’s go through some things that can make virtual recruitment challenging.
#1 Gives high volume of responses
Since it has become so easy to apply, you’ll be getting tons of responses, an overwhelming amount of which will be irrelevant. Unfortunately, not even being as specific and straightforward as possible in the job posting will help – some people just apply for the heck of it.
#2 It may feel impersonal
Many people will agree that online recruitment, with its texting and emails, may feel impersonal. It lacks the common things that help you establish a connection: a handshake, eye-to-eye contact, gestures, body language. Sure, if the candidate has a web camera or uses a laptop, you can try to substitute the real thing with a video call. But what if they don’t? Can you even be sure it’s the same person you’ve shortlisted?
#3 Limits introducing candidates to the team
During online hiring, it’s harder to give an office tour and introduce teammates. Not to mention that online excursions are technically more complicated, and they still don’t make you feel like you’re a part of the team. So to overcome this disadvantage of online recruitment, you need to polish that onboarding process and put more effort into making people feel welcome.
#4 Brings extra work with the legalities
Virtual recruitment forces us to collect and store personal and corporate information according to the GDPR rules. This implies:
- Extra consent forms and paperwork
- Extra spending on software for safe and legal data storage
- Extra workers for technical support
- Extra time to implement those innovations and train employees
With all these disadvantages, virtual recruitment may begin to seem less appealing. But that’s only temporary. Let us show you how you can use virtual recruitment to your advantage by coping with the most widespread mistakes.
Five common mistakes in virtual recruitment
Hiring is a complicated process, and sometimes, your mishaps may cost the company a rare talent. So, steer clear of these virtual recruitment mistakes.
#1 Avoiding video calls
Shyness and recruitment don’t go well together. If this is what stops you from conducting video calls, you should do something about it ASAP because they are critical for establishing rapport (as much as you can do it virtually). Communication skills are vital in this field, and you have to train them to stay in the profession.
#2 Not running a background check
Having no idea about the candidate’s background is a frequent hiring mistake. An employee’s job background could be hiding something that won’t fit your position or company. That could cost you time and resources.
Here are a few tips on background checks from MagicHire:
- Do your research on LinkedIn to gain insight into the work experience and skills of the candidate
- Look for information on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to better understand your candidate’s personality. This may help you find the key to a person and successfully hire top talents
- Stick to ethical rules while searching for information
- Collect recommendations from the previous place of work
Don’t worry, it’s not stalking. It’s making sure you’re not going to waste your time with this candidate.
#3 Hiring in a hurry
Hiring hastily is a waste of time. No matter what the reason for cutting time for hiring is, the result will be predictably poor. Hurring online recruitment means:
- Skipping small nut necessary steps like preparing a question list before the interview
- Ignoring red flags, like a poor understanding of their role, or shallow answers to the technical questions
- Hiring a person that doesn't meet the requirements to the fullest because you’re pressed to hire as soon as possible
If the candidate doesn’t suit the vacancy, the recruiter has to repeat the process, costing the company time and money.
#4 Not having enough recruiters
An overloaded recruiter is a tired recruiter. But setting the rule of ten candidates for every virtual recruiter helps to avoid overload. Another good practice is creating general guidelines for the hiring process, with room for improvisation in every case.
Online hiring takes less time than traditional recruiting, but requires more intensive preparation, but it’s totally worth it. Planning an online hiring session and making sure everything is ready for the new candidate creates a better experience for employees and a straightforward process for recruiters.
#5 Not following-up
The habit of following up is a sign of basic respect for your potential employee or future coworker. Even if the candidate is not the best fit for the company right now, they may become the one in the future. Or at least they won’t scowl when hearing about your company — after all, you have to think about the company’s reputation.
Overloaded with immediate work? That’s understandable, but you should keep in touch with candidates anyway — giving a late answer is better than not giving one at all.
When you create a follow-up email or meeting, make sure to avoid:
- Using unclear and cliché phrases
- Forgetting some things from the interview (you do have your notes, right?)
- Not collecting feedback from all people who participated in the interview
Remember that providing detailed feedback helps candidates improve the skills they lack.
The bottom line
Switching from eye-to-eye recruiting to its virtual version helps close job offers with top specialists from all over the world despite the pandemic and the WFH trend. With the help of professional recruiters, digital hiring can enrich your team with perfect candidates — even if you never see them personally.
And if virtual recruitment is uncharted territory for you, we’d be happy to help. MagicHire is an expert in finding middle- and senior-level technical specialists. As a virtual recruitment agency, we offer:
- Background research
- Managing the whole online recruitment process
- Screening candidates
- Unlimited recruitment magic
With our help, you don't have to do all the work yourself. Tell us about your business needs, and improve your virtual recruitment with MagicHire.