It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on recruitment. During the early stages of the pandemic, vacancies dried up and others were left unfilled. As things began to settle down and companies showed themselves more resilient than many had at first expected, recruitment began again.
There’s no escaping, however, that COVID-19 has not only changed the way that recruitment happens, it’s also changed the expectations people have about their working lives. Flexibility is now key, and that starts at the interview stage
Online recruitment is becoming the norm
Online or virtual recruiting is rapidly becoming the new norm, particularly in places that have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Scheduling face-to-face interviews have been difficult during a period when the regulations to tackle the pandemic have been constantly shifting. In response, more firms have embraced online recruitment. Research by the analysts Gartner, has found that 85% of firms surveyed are using new technology to recruit and induct new employees.
As a practice it’s well-established, but prior to the pandemic it was seen as the second-best option, or to be used when candidates lived at a considerable distance from the employer. Increasingly, employers are recognising the benefits it can bring in terms of flexibility, convenience and widening the potential talent pool from which they can recruit.
What are the advantages of virtual recruiting?
There are a range of advantages for employers in recruiting virtually, which is why it’s likely to become a much more mainstream part of the recruitment process. Firstly, it ensures recruitment continuity even during challenging circumstances such as those we’ve just been through. Companies that were already geared up to recruit online found that their recruitment plans were much less disrupted than those who had to adapt rapidly.
Online recruitment saves time and protects schedules, allowing for more candidates to be seen in a shorter space of time. A well-designed virtual recruitment strategy allows companies to automate a range of manual tasks. The entire process can be streamlined and optimised, ultimately making the process more cost-efficient. Interview expenses, particularly travel costs for out of town candidates are radically reduced.
Virtual recruitment has also been shown to reduce instances of unconscious bias, creating a level playing field for a broader range of different applicants. Great candidates who might once have been overlooked are gaining new opportunities.
Are there any limitations?
Whether you’re being interviewed online or face-to-face the process will always contain limitations. It can be hard to gauge a culture fit, from both the candidate and the company perspective. It’s often during the interview process that both parties get a better understanding of what the other is all about and how they might fit together. A video CV can be helpful from an employer’s point of view when it comes to assessing the personality and attributes of a candidate prior to the interview stage.
Other limitations might be that the personal approach is lost to some degree. Video conferencing technology has improved greatly, but over the last year or so we’ve all encountered its limitations as well as its benefits. Sometimes, the dynamics and non-verbal cues of an in-person conversation are hard to replicate online. That said, interviews are already artificial situations with their own unique set of rules and expectations.
What this means for the job seeker
Whether you’re being interviewed face-to-face or virtually, many interview principles remain the same. Good preparation and presentation will give you the best platform for your talents and aptitude to shine. Learning a few online interview techniques is time well spent.
The move towards greater online recruitment, allied to increased remote working, is likely to widen the pool of potential vacancies that job seekers can apply for. The interview process will become simpler, less time-consuming and arguably less stressful.