The abrupt shift to working virtually has presented us with significant challenges across organizational strategy, internal communications, infrastructural logistics, and process flows. For MSPs—a business rooted in people and connections—the need to rely exclusively on virtual technologies to hire candidates can be a particularly difficult transition.
For some companies, virtual hiring may have already be integrated into their business strategies. For others, familiarizing themselves with virtual recruiting has been a new challenge. Whatever your reasons for dabbling in virtual hiring, it’s possible to hire the best talent. All you need is a stable internet connection. By having a virtual hiring process in place, you can even bring it into day-to-day practice when things go back to “normal.”
1. Make the most of technology
Significant manpower is needed to plan and execute hiring under normal circumstances, so let automation take on the heavy lifting. Automated notifications and reminders should be a standard feature of any virtual hiring drive you launch. If you’re expecting higher volumes of applications, consider using chatbots as virtual recruitment assistants. They can be available all day, every day, to answer your candidate’s questions.
A good virtual recruiting process is largely supported by technology and you might need to adjust your usual hiring tech stack. Check if you have the necessary capabilities. Can you upload company videos to your assessments to introduce your culture? Do you have tools to organize virtual job fairs?
Technically, keep thinking of ways for your company branding to come through. This could be as simple as streaming a welcome video that the candidate can watch before or after the interview. Check if your IT department can organize virtual office tours during virtual job fairs.
2. Ramp up communications, in and out
If your existing applicant tracking system allows, create email templates for ongoing communications with employees and include them in your virtual recruiting event. Over-communicate with those referred by your employees by sending updates at every stage of the hiring process. Increase the frequency of your outreach via email messages, phone calls, and
SMS conversations. This will make them feel valued and appreciated and will ensure a good impression of your employer brand, no matter the hiring outcome.
3. Make it interactive
There are two sides to any coin. While virtual hiring has many advantages, it can’t replace the magic of face-to-face dialogue. This is why creating a human connection via technology is important to optimize the interviewing process and create a “win-win” for everyone.
To offer a human touch to the experience, make candidates aware of what your virtual hiring process looks like from the get-go. Help them with an outline of what to expect, including information such as how long the call will take and who they will be virtually meeting with. Introduce them to the interviewer a day before the interview. This would allow them to do their homework about the interviewer, putting the candidate’s mind at ease.
Patch in your team members during the interview so that candidates have the opportunity to ‘meet’ your team. It’s also a good idea to host a few Q&A sessions that includes your existing team and the potential hire. This will help take the edge off any aloofness associated with the entire virtual hiring process.
4. Show off your culture and core values
Without candidates coming into the office, it’s more difficult to gauge their culture fit. This is why it is important to give the interviewee a clear idea of what you expect out of them behaviorally if you hire them.
During the interview, inform each candidate of what they can expect in terms of your company’s culture and core values. Also, pay special attention to your culture pitch and use anecdotes to build a picture of your company culture in their minds. Develop a standardized system in which you can rate each candidate’s core value alignment score.
Create a branded content package that candidates can use to get a feel for your company’s culture and values after the interview. This package should include company announcements, press coverage, employee testimonials, and core value videos.
5. Focus on the parts that matter
Delays between the two parties speaking, a blurry video feed, and miscommunications can make virtual interviews feel awkward. Focus on what the candidate is saying and their experiences, not those awkward moments. Remember, we’re all operating in uncertain times, and we’re all human. Through technology, find the humanity in the process. If the candidate cuts out during their response, ask them to repeat their answer to ensure you hear everything they have to say and offer.
Final Thought: The world is changing so as our hiring habits. With the right technology and processes in place, virtual hiring can help you pick the best talent.