3 Tips to Prepare for when Candidates Leave the Cities

August 26th, 2020

With many organisations opting to continue remote working for the foreseeable future and some even committing to it permanently, there is a lot of talk about a professional exodus from our cities to country or coastal areas. 

While the extent of this remains to be seen, it’s pretty clear that some remote workers will choose to make a sea or tree change.  And it makes sense. It can offer a less hectic lifestyle, lower property prices, and a cheaper cost of living, all while continuing to earn the same income.  But it will have an impact on the recruitment process, and savvy recruiters will plan ahead now to manage a geographically dispersed candidate base.  

Being able to cast the net wider to find the best talent for the job is an advantage for recruiters and presents new opportunities for those who are prepared. Here are my top three tips to prepare for the next stage in remote hiring. 

Get (more) comfortable with video interviews 

Video interviewing technology has come a long way in the last few years, and the uptake of these technologies has no doubt increased in response to COVID-19.  As we see more people move out of cities areas, this growth is likely to continue as it’s not always possible to meet candidates in person. 

If you are still using Zoom calls as a replacement to face-to-face interviews, it’s probably time to look at what else is out there.  Beyond a straightforward replacement of in-person interviews, today’s video interviewing technology can help you screen a large pool of candidates quickly, using live and pre-recorded video, even allowing you to analyse and compare candidate responses to find the best fit.  Look for a platform that integrates with your Application Tracking System (ATS) so that you can store and access video interviews securely and easily. 

Once you have settled on a platform, it’s worth investing the time to learn the platform and become comfortable with the features and the process.  This will enable you to determine how best to get value out of it for your business, your candidate, and your client.  With candidates, this may come in the form of working out how to increase their comfort with the technology – after all, you want them to put their best foot forward.  

For your clients, it’s a good time to help them think about adjusting their hiring process for remote hiring, as it is different to in-person recruitment and has its own set of opportunities and challenges.

Connect with regional candidates 

As much as remote working will deliver opportunities for city-dwellers to move into regional areas, it will also present more job opportunities for those already living in our regions.

You may already have some candidates who are based outside of metropolitan areas in your system and, it’s worth reconnecting now and making sure your ATS is up to date with their latest information.  You can also look at using self-service portals that allow candidates to update their details straight into your ATS to save significant time while also keeping your database current. 

Make sure you have the right ATS 

Your ATS should be your single source of truth and a resource that makes administrative tasks easier, so you can free up time to find more candidates and more clients.  If you haven’t reviewed your ATS in a while, it may not be suited to your needs anymore.

As we go through a major shift in the way we work, it’s the perfect time to make sure you have a system that will support your business into the future. Look for one that will seamlessly integrate with the technologies your team already use and has automation features that will save you time and money. 

Many smaller recruitment firms overlook the larger players, like Salesforce, because they think these platforms will be too expensive for their needs, but it can be worth reconsidering these. Market-leading platforms have many advantages for smaller businesses and there are ways you can access them at a fraction of the cost

Whether you love it or hate it, remote working is here to stay, and the recruitment industry as a whole must be prepared to recruit in a world where some (or maybe even most!) candidates aren’t based in the city.  Those who put the groundwork in today will be in a much better position to realise the opportunities that lie ahead.   

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