Hiring needs are much different than they were six months ago, and job seekers, employers, and recruiting professionals are all adapting to the evolving job market. The 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report from Jobvite has confirmed what many of us already suspected: Talent acquisition teams are adjusting their processes to work remotely and increasingly using social media to advertise jobs and promote employer branding. While the transition to virtual recruiting has been accelerated due to COVID-19, remote hiring is here to stay — even as many companies across the US begin to return to physical workplaces.
In light of this development, here are some tips for optimizing your remote recruiting efforts:
Leverage Remote Work and Strong Employer Branding
A rising number of companies are now practicing or actively considering permanent remote work options for nonessential workers. Large employers like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Amazon will likely be some of the last to reopen their workplaces, with Google, for example, announcing plans to extend its remote work policy through June 2021. While many organizations are returning to the office, the option to work remotely continues to be a sought-after perk for job seekers.
Now that remote work is more appealing than ever, highlighting this arrangement in your job posting titles, locations, and descriptions can be an effective way to attract applications. (Note: It is important to clearly delineate between permanent and temporary remote work arrangements!) By leveraging remote work opportunities, recruiters can more easily source and engage adaptable, qualified candidates who are interested in this benefit.
According to the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report, 34 percent of US workers would take a pay cut of up to 5 percent in order to work remotely. Additionally, the study found that 65 percent of job seekers say remote work is “very important” or “somewhat important” in their decision to accept a job offer.
Having the flexibility to work from home isn’t the only thing important to today’s job seekers. Company culture greatly influences their employment decisions as well, and providing a positive employee experience and work environment is a powerful competitive advantage in the current labor market. More than 80 percent of workers say company culture is important in their decision to apply for a job, and 38 percent say they would preemptively reject potential employers due to publicly available reviews, according to the Job Seeker Nation Report. Taking steps to reflect your company culture in your employer branding allows your company to connect with candidates who resonate with your values (and vice versa).
Seek Opportunities for Growth
While the lockdowns caused many companies to slow or halt their recruiting efforts, they have also given many employers a unique opportunity to invest in the growth of their current employees. With conferences and events going virtual, professionals — including recruiters — can learn from experts around the world and further educate themselves on best practices right from their own homes.
Many programs have been created or made more accessible during this time, which has allowed people to attend events they may not have participated in otherwise. For example, we at Jobvite held The Summer to Evolve, a 12-week programming series designed to help recruiters and talent acquisition professionals improve their skills, tactics, and strategies. Whether it means tuning in for a webinar, listening to an expert lecture, or watching a demonstration, recruiters everywhere should be taking this time to seek out ways to improve and emerge from this experience as better, more well-rounded professionals.
Recruiters can also participate in virtual career fairs and hiring events, which allow them to connect with job seekers online. Working within an organization to facilitate or create these events can be a great strategy to use in place of in-person recruiting events.
Not all organizations have paused hiring efforts, and companies like online retailers and healthcare organizations are experiencing urgent hiring needs. Those recruiting for in-demand roles have the potential to reach large quantities of qualified candidates given the current increase in the number of available people searching for employment opportunities. Recruiters should be ready to step up, build valuable networks, and improve their skills.
Become a Communication Tool Expert
It is imperative that recruiters learn to leverage multiple communication tools in order to effectively connect with talent and guide candidates through virtual hiring processes. Good communication with hiring managers and candidates has always been key to successful recruiting, but with the shift to remote work, communication now almost exclusively takes place through a screen.
Video conferencing has seen the largest growth during the pandemic, with more than 60 percent of recruiters now using video and online meetings to facilitate the screening, onboarding, and interviewing process, according to an April 2020 Jobvite survey. Communication tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Skype have all seen surges in use. For example, Zoom has seen a 354 percent increase in customers with more than 10 employees in the last few months, and Microsoft Teams has seen a 70 percent increase in daily active users since March.
Video conferencing may seem casual, but recruiters should always be prepared to properly conduct video interviews that ensure a positive candidate experience. Any meeting via video should be organized and well planned, following all the same professional standards as an in-person interview. That means making sure audio is working beforehand and preparing questions to ask ahead of time. Becoming a pro at video conferencing is not just about weathering the current crisis: Video is likely to become a permanent fixture in the future of recruiting.
While the surging use of video conferencing has contributed to significant changes in recruiting practices, recruiters shouldn’t overlook the other communication channels that matter to candidates. There is a time and a place to utilize every mode of communication, including:
- Text: For speedy conversations with candidates on the go, recruiters can’t beat using text. According to the April 2020 Jobvite survey, 60 percent of workers who received a text message after applying for a job preferred this type of communication over email or phone call.
- Email: Even though text has proven to be the fastest mode of communication, email remains a tried-and-true method. By leveraging text and email together, recruiters can more easily schedule interviews directly and reach candidates at the right time.
- Phone: Phone calls may take some effort to schedule, but once a recruiter connects with a candidate via phone, the job seeker is highly engaged. The April 2020 Jobvite survey found that use of phone calls has skyrocketed during the pandemic, with 55 percent of recruiters making more phone calls than before.
- Social media: More than 40 percent of Job Seeker Nation respondents found out about job openings on social media, which suggests posting jobs on a variety of social media platforms is a great way to reach talent. Social referrals are also an important component of the recruitment marketing process, as they offer an easier, faster, and cheaper way to source and hire candidates.
While the current recruiting landscape poses plenty of challenges, it has also provided many recruiters with unique opportunities to think outside the box and discover new ways to engage talent. Use this experience to improve your recruiting efforts and pursue continued growth and success.
Amy Hughes is senior director of customer enablement at Jobvite.