Moving from face-to-face to remote hiring: What does that mean for the recruitment industry?

April 15th, 2020

The recruitment industry has always been a ‘people’ industry, focused on building connections with clients and candidates that ensure the right people are placed in the right jobs. In today’s climate, where we can’t connect face-to-face, this can be a challenge for our industry, but with the right technologies in place, we can adapt and thrive.  

Most of us are used to working in an environment where we review candidates, meet with them to get a feel for their personality and mannerisms, before we put them in front of a client. This is a big part of the value proposition for our clients; getting qualified candidates that are right for their culture without wading through applications. 

Managing this during COVID-19 is possible, it just takes a little creativity and the right technologies. 

Video tools have advantages 

Existing video conferencing platforms can be a great start, allowing you to have virtual face-to-face meetings in place of live ones, but the technologies out there today allow for so much more. Video interviewing platforms, which enable candidates to record answers to your questions and send through their video responses for you to review, have been in the market for some time, but now they can really come to the fore and play a role in your day-to-day business. 

These technologies have the advantage of saving you significant time, as you can review a large pool of candidates in a fraction of the time it would take you to do so in person. They give the candidate a chance to put their best foot forward and make a great first impression that isn’t overtaken by their nerves. It can also help them get comfortable with the video format versus the traditional in-person interview, so they feel more prepared if the client wants to do a live video chat. 

You can then vet these videos and decide who to put in front of the client, or even send the responses direct to the client as a time-saving preview to a formal interview. It can help them make more informed decisions about who they want to meet on a live video interview. 

For the recruiter, getting comfortable with these tools now may also give you an edge when we come out the other side. With these tools, you can expand your pool of candidates to seamlessly include interstate or international candidates in the mix. 

Automation technologies have a long-term role 

Automation technologies that play a role in processes like lengthy screening and reference-checking are out there in the market and can make it easier to operate in a virtual environment. More than that, they can save you significant time.  

In the immediate future, that might mean helping you continue to deliver value for clients and candidates in a virtual world, and in the longer-term, it will give you time back to build those personal connections our industry thrives on. 

Integration is key 

Many recruiters have explored these technologies in the past and may have some already in place. To realise the full value for your business and make the most of the investment, it’s critical to also look at them as part of a whole process – not as piecemeal solutions. 

You may work with a variety of brands and products, but they should all integrate as an end-to-end process, and most importantly, work seamlessly with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS). 

It can be a good idea to talk to your ATS provider to find out what software platforms have a direct integration and get their recommendations. Alongside their understanding of your business, they have an understanding of their partner products. There is a good reason they have partnered with these other products, so you can leverage these recommendations to make your job easier. 

Your ATS should be able to act as your single source of truth, a system where you can track candidates, sync communications, manage video conferencing, and complete reference checks, to name just a few.  

The right ATS enables you to find and place quality candidates quickly, leading to more satisfied candidates and clients alike. If your ATS isn’t working for you, it might be a good time to review it, look to what you can do to improve data quality and explore the integrations out there that can boost your productivity and reduce administrative time. 

For some of us who work across sectors like healthcare, logistics and essential retail, this is likely to be a busy period, and the right technology can help you fill vacancies with qualified candidates faster.  For those of us who have experienced a downturn, the impact of current events on employment is likely to lead to an influx of candidates and vacancies when the world recovers. Getting ready for this peak period now makes sense for our industry. Many of these technologies have been in the market for a while, but as we go through COVID-19, our industry has an opportunity to realise the full power of them.  It’s critical that we come together at this time and put the right solutions in place to ensure that not only our businesses, but our entire industry, can adapt and thrive.

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