Whether your business operated remotely before 2020 or this was your first year diving into this practice, there’s no denying that it’s here to stay. More and more companies are recruiting and working remotely, and digital interactions are replacing in-person meetings.

According to a recent survey from Gartner, 82% of company leaders intend to permit remote working some of the time as employees return to the workplace. Additionally, nearly half said they plan to allow employees to work remotely full time going forward.

Virtual recruitment has the power to make hiring more efficient than ever. With the idea that remote work is the future, employers must adapt their recruiting processes to effectively attract, engage, and hire talent in this new landscape.
Here is a guide to help you navigate the remote hiring landscape and its impact in recruitment marketing. We’ll cover all of the best practices to boost your virtual recruiting strategy:

Developing a Virtual Recruiting Strategy 

First things first, before defining your virtual recruiting strategy you need to understand where you are. 
Talent acquisition, recruitment, and hiring processes have all transitioned to be more virtual. As a result, it’s time to consider your entire talent acquisition process and update, optimize, and improve the virtual recruiting experience wherever you can.

Of course, likely, you’ve already started making changes to your recruiting throughout the year. However, in the post-COVID-19 era, it’s crucial to integrate lasting changes into your virtual recruiting strategy.

Evaluate what worked for you during the pandemic, where you could save money, what made your team more efficient, and what you’re still feeling is missing from the virtual experience.

Here are some questions to ask as you’re planning your remote recruiting strategy:

  • What changes have occurred within your company?
    • Do you still have the same size recruiting team?
    • How has your budget changed?
    • If you had to perform RIFs, have you had an influx of negative employer reviews on Glassdoor or Indeed?
    • Did you make appropriate changes to your tech stack to accommodate the new reality?
  • How are your recruiting goals different?
    • Has your expected volume of jobs to fill changed?
    • Do candidates still need to live locally?
    • How have your company’s job requirements changed?
  • How will you define success now that you’ve considered these changes?
    • How will you measure success?
    • Are there new KPIs (key performance indicators) to be considered?

Now let’s dive into the ways these questions impact your strategy!

Widening Your Reach

With high unemployment rates and social distancing orders, the candidate marketplace has completely changed. There’s more talent out there seeking work, AND their media consumption and usage have changed drastically due to being at home. This means that recruitment marketing strategies have changed and will continue to change significantly as we move forward.

Although the remote work trend had already been gaining popularity through recent years, due to COVID, we’re now seeing this remote work trend spike! Not only more employees are working from home, but employers are adapting and embracing the idea to have a fully virtual workforce, when possible.

Not only does this open up your candidate pool to a broader network when looking to fill now-remote roles, but it also changes the entire landscape of the workforce. Now that an office location is not a limitation, you can seek out talent anywhere in the world.

According to a recent survey from Recruitics, 24% of recruiting leaders planned to expand their recruitment media mix to reach more candidates.

Consider how your media mix can evolve. Now that you are not limited by a job seeker’s location, you can cast your net on wider geography while getting more specific in the experiences and skills you target. This means you’ll find the most qualified candidates, no matter where they live.

In addition to media, remote recruiting brings an increased emphasis on virtual hiring events. In fact, while most leaders in the Recruitics survey shared their experiences of in-person hiring events getting canceled in 2020, 40% expressed plans to attend virtual hiring events instead.

A virtual hiring event or career fair closely resembles the traditional in-person event. Candidates still have the opportunity to learn about your company, culture, and the positions for which you’re hiring, as well as ‘chat’ to recruiters and hiring managers. The only difference is that the entire experience is online.

Promotional strategies are crucial to the success of any event – even virtual ones. You can utilize similar tactics to advertise virtual events. Include direct-response tactics such as email, SMS (text messages), and other promotional solutions. You can supplement your campaign by utilizing offline tactics such as print ads and radio. Of course, it’s essential to cater to the recruitment marketing strategy to your specific hiring needs. Consider the market, roles you’re hiring for, and the timeline you’re working with.

Once again, you gain the benefit of not being limited by geography. Incorporate virtual hiring events into your strategy to reach job seekers you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to access. As you develop your long-term virtual recruiting plan, identify all of the opportunities to target top talent. See below a few resources that may be helpful: 

 

Adapt Your Messaging

The COVID-19 pandemic elevated the importance of employer brand. We’ve seen conversations on social media regarding how employers handled layoffs. People were exposed to how organizations cared for their people – their employees. During this time, Corporate Communications and PR departments were heavily involved in managing employer brands, and messaging has had to be well-planned and frequently updated to the ever-changing landscape. 

This has caused many employer brand and recruitment marketing teams to become closer to the company’s corporate communications and marketing teams, to become a united front in all branding and messaging. 

With a more permanent shift to remote work, one of the crucial pieces for employer brand professionals to address is company culture. Your employer brand likely did a great job showcasing your office culture, but you must make changes as your company may now be embracing a more disperse virtual workforce. You must update your employee testimonials, job descriptions, social media, career sites, and more to reflect your company’s new direction.

Things to consider when updating your messaging about company culture:

  • Where in the world is your team located?
  • How do you communicate and collaborate?
  • How flexible are your working hours?
  • What benefits do you offer, unique to remote work?
  • How do you maintain your culture?

 
Pro-Tip: Employee-generated videos allow your employees to share about company culture and what it’s like to work at your company. It will help you curate content to repurpose on social media, your career site, recruitment communications, job postings, and more! Having an employee-generated video strategy will help you empower and guide your team to share their stories while reinforcing your employer brand.

Another focus of your messaging should be to address your company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. Most job seekers (70%) want to work for a company that demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion, according to a new survey from The Manifest. And this will not change in a virtual environment.

Be sure to communicate your company’s diversity practices and goals to talent as part of your employer brand messaging to attract that 70% of folks who value your commitment.

 

Enhancing the Candidate Experience

The candidate experience is one of the essential factors in a successful talent attraction strategy. From job advertisements to your career site to company communication, optimize every step of the process for remote recruiting.

Follow these tips when adapting your candidate experience for virtual work:

  • Be transparent in your job descriptions and career site about your company’s transition to become remote. After you talk about a day-in-the-life of the job, cover how your team is learning to work together in new ways.
  • No matter where a candidate interacts with your company, make sure they know that you have a remote workforce.
  • Ask your employees to share their experiences working remotely on social media and employer review sites, so job seekers looking to know what it’s like can find some first-hand testimonials. 

In addition to your recruitment marketing, the rest of the candidate’s journey will look different in remote work. Provide some best practices to the entire hiring team to make the candidate feel important and welcome. 

Pro tip:Think of all of the ways you used to make a candidate feel special when they would come to your office to interview. Now, convert each item into a new tactic for virtual recruiting. Did you start in-person interviews with a tour of the office? Kick-off your video interview with a virtual “tour” of your team! Did you previously send candidates home with a gift or some promo items? Arrange to mail them some swag that arrives at their home on the day of their interview.

 

Identifying the Right Virtual Recruiting Tools

Another necessity to come out of 2020’s shift to remote work has been an increased need for remote collaboration and recruiting tools. The virtual tools that were previously a growing trend in the industry are now recruitment essentials. While you likely tested out many platforms as you began to work remotely, it’s important to identify tools that will work for your team in the long-term.

To start, this year has brought more focus on video interviews. According to the Recruitics survey, 74% of recruitment leaders increased the amount of virtual interviewing this year.
There are two primary methods of video interviewing:

  1. Candidates record themselves answering pre-selected questions and submit the recorded video(s) to the recruiter. 
  2. Live, two-way video communication between the recruiter and candidate. This is the most common method.

You can use one or the other, or even both methods in the virtual recruiting process. While virtual interviews may be “different,” the experience can still remain pleasant for both recruiters and candidates.

According to Jobvite’s 2020 Recruiter Nation report, 40% of recruiters believe that virtual interviews will be the default moving forward. Since so many recruiters believe it’s here to stay, it’s time to influence the experience by incorporating company branding into your team’s chosen interview platform. For example, some interviewing tools enable custom themes on the landing page for your company.

In addition to interviews, job fairs also went virtual in 2020. According to RippleMatch, more than half of students said they are very likely to attend virtual recruitment events. 

When looking into virtual event platforms, consider what use-cases the platform will need to support. Will you be using the tool solely for hiring events and career fairs? Or will you need a host that can support trade shows, conferences, keynotes, and even webinars? Or even a provider that can assist with virtual employee engagement and/or virtual employee onboarding?

Below are a few platforms to consider using to host your virtual events:

  • Brazen: Brazen is a conversational recruitment platform. Ranging from a virtual career fair platform to a recruiting chatbot, Brazen’s solutions are focused on providing recruiters with a better method of connecting with candidates. 
  • eCareerFairs: We often recommend eCareerFairs to clients who need virtual events on an ad-hoc basis. Their simple design and process allow for quick turnaround times.
  • 6Connex: 6Connex is an example of a vendor that can support different virtual event use-cases. Their platform can be used for trade shows, job fairs, summits, and more.
  • ON24: If you’re looking for a “one-to-many” video platform, ON24 might be for you. Webinars and virtual company training programs are two examples of what you could do using ON24’s solutions.
  • LinkedIn Virtual Events

 

Assessments

Another technology that can help your virtual recruitment efforts are automated online assessments. Assessments are tools that help evaluate and measure a candidate’s qualifications and “company fit.” They can test different factors, depending on what is important to the role you’re hiring for.

When there is an influx of new talent into the job market, your company can benefit from the automation of the screening process with the usage of assessments in order to qualify talent easier and faster.

If you spend time evaluating your virtual recruiting plan now, your efforts will serve you long after the pandemic. In fact, 76% of companies from the Recruitics survey plan to maintain their virtual processes going forward. Even if your team decides to go “back to normal,” these strategies can benefit your team’s success in the long run. 

We will be updating this page often and welcome your suggestions. Do you have other remote recruiting ideas or tips? Is there anything else you’d like to know regarding this subject? Just drop us a note at

content@recruitmentmarketing.com and we’ll try to include it here.