Today’s job market is almost entirely online. Even before the pandemic, younger generations preferred to do as much as possible, from job hunting to applications to skills assessments and even interviews online. Many even prefer to do their work online, which is part of the current push for maintaining remote work standards that have arisen during the pandemic and beyond.
Recruitment is a massive part of business, and shifting to a primarily online/digital/virtual recruitment process is the next big step many businesses need to take. Here are 30 ways you can make that transition.
1: Create a Robust Careers Page
Your website’s careers page is the go-to resource for virtually everyone looking into your company as a potential employment option.
Make sure to create a detailed and robust careers page with plenty of information about working for you, applying, pay and benefits, company culture, and anything else you can think to add. Keep it up to date annually, at a minimum.
2: Make Heavy Use of Social Media
Social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even newcomers like TikTok and Snapchat can all be excellent channels for marketing your company and jobs.
Keeping an active presence on social media is a bare minimum for digital natives to trust that you’re up to date with modern technology. It also helps a lot to be responsive to posts, questions, and chat requests from potential candidates.
3: Use Recruiting Tools on Social Media
Several modern social media platforms offer specific tools to business-class accounts that can help you with recruiting and hiring. LinkedIn is the cream of the crop here. Facebook also offers a whole careers and hiring portal and system for recruitment.
Other platforms have fewer or no dedicated tools but can still be used to communicate with potential candidates in a form they feel comfortable using.
4: Invest in Virtual Workplace Technology
In today’s virtual employment environment, it’s not enough to equip your hiring process with virtual tools; you need to invest in modern, updated technology throughout your company.
Someone hired on the promise of modern virtual tools will be disappointed to learn they have to come into an office and work on old machinery, for example. Your company must be unified.
5: Invest in Virtual Hiring Technology
Virtual hiring technology is easily accessible, from ATSs to communications platforms to candidate vetting and skills testing platforms. It can be tricky to transition to and set up such an ecosystem, but it’s well worth the investment.
The sooner you can invest in an all-digital system for your recruiting processes, the better off you’ll be.
6: Provide Detailed Candidate Resources
When an interested candidate wants to apply but they have questions, where do they go? A candidate FAQ on your careers page can be an excellent resource. It can lead them to anything from the application itself to a database of information they might find helpful.
Whenever a candidate asks for information you don’t provide, and it’s generic enough to be beneficial to more than just that candidate, find a way to provide it.
7: Build Company Authority and Leadership
Content marketing is a technique used to build authority, trust, and thought leadership for a company, usually in a B2B or B2C relationship. You can do the same thing, through social media, responses on Reddit and Quora, and other venues, with a career focus in mind.
Build trust in your company as an employer, not just as a service or product provider.
8: Understand and Target Real Job Titles
A common mistake made by many companies is creating “fun” names for jobs, like “skill guru” or “expert ninja.” While these may show company culture and can be clever, they also miss the point of digital SEO; the use of keywords to attract people to a role.
Most candidates aren’t going to be searching for guru jobs, they’ll be searching for senior developer, and if you don’t at least use those terms, you won’t be visible when they search.
9: Monitor Career Page Metrics
One excellent benefit to adopting a digital, virtual hiring process is the ease with which you can silently and automatically harvest information.
This information, from job posting impressions to click-through and application rates to success post-hiring and more, can be used to analyze your hiring process and optimize success rates.
10: Optimize and Remove Roadblocks to Application
Measuring metrics is good, but it’s just a start. Next, you need to analyze those metrics. Keep an eye on your hiring process and the candidate journey. Map it out, look for areas of friction where candidates drop off, and figure out how to improve your process.
This can be very complex, but it’s well worth the effort when you see the long-term results you build.
11: Build Company Reputation on Glassdoor
Glassdoor is one of the first places many people look for reviews of your company. It can be beneficial to embark on a little reputation management, solicit positive testimonials about your company, and respond to criticism in any way that you can.
You’re limited in your access, but you can still sculpt your reputation on the platform.
Many modern companies use social media, particularly graphical and video-focused platforms like Instagram and YouTube, to post and promote stories and testimonials from their employees.
By building a library of satisfied employees discussing their experiences working for you, you can create a compelling body of evidence to promote company culture and the benefits of working for you.
13: Build Employee Stories Online
In addition to posts on social media, you can build and feature pages with employee stories on your careers page and elsewhere.
Showcasing satisfied employees in any way you can will help you build a positive reputation and convince more people to apply.
14: Show Off Company Culture on Owned Media
Owned media is the channels you control, like your social profiles and website. You can use these to promote your company culture.
Whether it’s employee features, company initiatives, demonstrations of benefits, or unique incentives you provide to those working for you, showing them off can be very compelling, and it’s worth lacing your media sphere with them.
15: Host a Company AMA
Reddit (and Twitter, to an extent) allow you to host events called AMAs: Ask Me Anything. These are opportunities to put a high-up executive or hiring manager in a position to honestly answer questions anyone, from followers to critics to potential applicants, may have of you.
They can be great for marketing and convincing users to apply.
16: Host a Virtual Career Event
The pandemic canceled career/hiring/job fairs across the board, and while they’re slowly recovering, many people still feel uncomfortable with the prospect.
Luckily, many virtual versions of these events have sprung up and can be an excellent resource if you want to participate in a safe and geographically distributed way.
17: Attend Virtual Job Fairs
Hosting a career event can be a lot of pressure and a lot of investment, so you can also attend career fairs hosted by others.
It’s less work, though you will likely have to compete with many other businesses for the attention and time of your potential candidates, so you need to bring your A-game to the stage.
18: Promote Information Candidates Want to Know
Accessibility of information is critical for virtual hiring. Candidates have questions, and it’s your job to answer them.
Wherever you happen to host the information, make it as broadly available as possible, and always have someone on hand to answer questions when a virtual candidate sends a message along a channel like Snapchat or Facebook Messenger.
19: Use Multimedia Formats
The modern web is full of multimedia, so it stands out negatively if your careers page and jobs portal are mostly text and static.
Make use of video and audio (with accessibility options for those who can’t consume them), use plenty of good and compelling images, and make your application process a whole experience, not just a bland form to fill out.
20: Keep Updated on Current Trends
Technology, the internet, and virtual culture change every month. Keep on top of these changes, and strive to encourage your company to do the same.
In a way, something just a few months out of date is worse than something years out of date because it shows a more immediate decline.
21: Be and Promote Inclusive Culture
Diversity and inclusivity are substantial driving factors in candidates today, especially amongst some of the more sought-after candidates in the younger generations.
Both diversity and inclusivity are well worth the effort to focus on promoting throughout your organization and your marketing.
22: Offer Online Job Alerts
You don’t have to wait until you have an open position to accept applications. However, if that’s how you want to structure your hiring process, a useful option is to set up a special mailing list for people interested in working for you.
Allow potential candidates to sign up for job alerts, and send out messages when new roles open up for applications. Doing so can vastly accelerate your hiring process.
23: Allow Open Applications at All Times
Zappos is famous for many unconventional hiring practices, but one such practice you may consider adopting is allowing anyone to apply at any time, regardless of their skills, education, abilities, or intended roles.
Then, you have a broad pool of talented people you can sort through to find a good candidate for a job, rather than operating on a per-job basis.
24: Facilitate Employee Referrals Digitally
Employee referrals can be one of the best ways to get long-lasting candidates because of the many benefits built into the referral process.
It can help to facilitate this process by either adding a form in the application for a candidate to specify who referred them or by creating a specific referral application that candidates can use when they apply. Both can be done digitally, of course.
25: Find and Use Niche Job Boards
There are many different job boards out there; you aren’t always limited to the big names. Sure, those big names can get you the largest number of new candidates, but they aren’t always the best.
Niche job boards focused on specific roles, careers, or skills can be even more effective once you locate them. Here’s an example list of many different job boards you might investigate.
26: Be Flexible with Interview Formats
Interviewing candidates digitally can be tricky, especially if not everyone has access to the technology you would consider standard.
Being flexible with interview formats, between phone, live chat, video call, and even one-way interviews, can help you attract candidates who might otherwise not be able to go through the process with you.
27: Develop a Virtual Onboarding Process
Successful onboarding is a huge part of successful hiring, so it pays to invest in a modern process. Virtual onboarding allows you to onboard new employees without having to pull them into an office, deal with messy paperwork, or even wait until they’re moved and settled.
It’s also faster and can be at least partially automated, with review from HR, to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
When hiring remote workers, it’s common to encounter candidates from all around the world. You may need to deal with wildly different time zones.
“Share” the burden by splitting the difference rather than forcing the candidate to dramatically adjust their schedule to meet with you. It shows respect and accommodation for your candidates.
29: Don’t Hold Distractions Against a Candidate
One reality of virtual hiring is that not everyone has an isolated, distraction-free location or time they can use for an interview.
A candidate with a child or pet that distracts them shouldn’t have that held against them; judge them on their skills and abilities, not their home situation.
30: Be Aware of Adverse Impact via Technology
Remember, as well, that access to modern, high-end technology is a privilege and that you can inadvertently create adverse impact by requiring certain parts of a process that may not be commonplace.
It’s something to keep in mind as you develop a flexible hiring process.
Andrew Greenberg’s roots in recruiting date back to 1996. He has experience both on the agency-side and corporate-side of the staffing business, with a focus in the financial services space at companies like Bloomberg and UBS. He also has core experience with information technology staffing, and has worked for major software companies such as SAP Business Objects and IBM/Informix Software. To get in touch with Andrew, you can reach him by email or by phone at (800) 797-6160.