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How to recruit digitally
Episode 1328th April 2020 • The Talent Scout • Scout Talent
00:00:00 00:07:48

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Today we’re going to talk about how to recruit remote workers and how to do it digitally. As the world maintains varying levels of lockdown and social distancing recruitment can now only exist digitally. 

A couple of caveats before we get into the nuts and bolts of this topic. The first is that if your organization plans to survive this crisis then you are by default planning to recruit again because companies that are succeeding are recruiting. 

The second is that if you’re maintaining a hiring freeze until all of this blows over, cool. That’s certainly an approach and it might pan out well for you and then you can go back to a more traditional in person recruitment approach. But if this new world of social distance and quarantine becomes the new normal and lasts a bit longer than any of us are comfortable with, you may be glad that you put in the work now to develop a fully digital recruitment process. 

The third is that highly digital processes being operated by good recruiters are better, they’re way more candidate friendly, can easily promote your Employer Brand, and they often make a recruitment process more efficient. 

So with that all in mind, you can view this forced shift to digital as a chore or an opportunity. This time can be used to make your recruitment process better and more robust. Or you can resist against change and hope that things will go back to how they once were. Maybe they will. 

Now, with all of that context out of the way, let’s get down to business. Our recruitment cycle goes from a need being established, to a job description drafted, a recruitment marketing campaign is then deployed, you get your candidates and shortlist them, you run a couple of rounds of interviews with stakeholders, you check the background and references of your ideal candidate as well as offering them the role, fingers crossed they say yes and once they work their notice they join their organisation. Then you spend the next however many days trying to onboard them. Even just listing all of that was exhausting. But where are the challenging areas when it comes to digital?

Writing job descriptions and developing advertising campaigns is a relatively digital process for most of us now. If it isn’t, if you rely on adverts in news papers and billboard adverts you may need to rethink your strategy. Those approaches weren’t cost effective before all of this and they certainly aren’t now. Headhunting through digital mediums is also a very useful addition to advertising campaigns at the moment; if you’re looking for something specific you don’t want to be spammed by resumes that don’t meet your qualifications by posting on a job board – that’s where headhunting comes in to play.

The one area I’m sure we’ve all identified as a challenge for the digital world is interviews. Face to face interviews can still exist. But we’re going to be carrying them out over Skype or Zoom now. The important thing here is communication. While, if you’ve been doing this for a few weeks, you may have carried out hundreds of video interviews – this may be all new for your candidates. So communicate with them clearly and openly. I had a friend who was recently hired for a role that told me after her initial screening call she was sent a calendar invite for an interview and she didn’t know if the interview would be over phone or through a visual medium using the internet right up until her mobile phone was called and the interview began. Tell your candidates what they should expect from you. Make it clear to them what your expectations are and how that even though they’re doing this interview from home, it is no different from any other interview they’ve ever been part of. 

Equally, when it comes to moving your recruitment process to something more digital, another big challenge is onboarding. Now some recruiters don’t consider onboarding to be a part of the recruitment process but we know that up to 20% of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days. A good onboarding process helps mitigate this and stops us from having to fill the same roll over and over again. But how do we do this digitally? Again communication is key. You’ll need to send team emails, have frequent zoom hangouts , and create training videos that you’re new hire can avail of. If casual chats with team mates around the water cooler aren’t an option, how are you going to help your new hire get to know the wider team? There are lots of different virtual games and ice breakers you could set up from a weekly happy hour to a team quiz. Be creative and be frequent in your communication. Your new hire is going to be feeling particularly isolated so you’ll need to work twice as hard to help alleviate that feeling. 

While it’s important at the onboarding phase, communication and setting expectations is going to be key at every phase of a digital process. Candidates are as unsure of how to navigate this new world as we are, so make your expectations clear to them and make yourself available to answer their questions. Sign off your email with your mobile number and an open opportunity to answer any questions they may have. Be there for you candidates so that they can see why they should join you as an Employer and be engaged in the process. 

Underpinning any good digital recruitment process is a strong Applicant Tracking System. We’ve talked at length about them in another podcast episode but if you want an agile and robust digital recruitment process then you need a good applicant tracking system. Excel or email just isn’t going to cut it. You’ll miss out on some excellent candidates. You’ll also struggle to keep track of where your candidates are in your process. The heartache and frustration you’ll endure are not worth the measly savings you’ll make avoiding an applicant tracking system. 

As always, if you need any help transitioning any part of your standard recruitment process to something more digital then please do reach out. Our experts here at Scout Talent are always happy to jump on a call and try to find a solution for the recruitment issues you may be facing.

Stay safe everyone, and let’s keep our eyes on the horizon. 



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