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How To Drive Efficiency When Recruiting Remotely


This article is a guest post and was written by Olivia Coughtrie, Director at Oriel Partners PA Recruitment.

Remote working is on the rise.

An increasing number of people were embracing remote work at the beginning of 2020, but the pandemic has accelerated the trend. In the week beginning June 11th, 49% of people either exclusively worked from home or worked from home alongside travelling to work, according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

As hiring managers, how can we drive efficiency when recruiting remotely, especially in a marketplace that has become so candidate-driven?

Without the right systems in place, even hiring under "normal" circumstances can prove time-consuming. In fact, the average time from a job posting to an interview was 38.2 days, according to the 2018 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey.

In this remote recruiting guide, we share our top tips for how to make the process as efficient and successful as possible.

The Challenges We Are Faced With When Recruiting Remotely

In the absence of face-to-face contact with candidates, robust systems are a must and existing processes need to be adapted for the virtual environment. It can be more challenging to build a rapport with candidates over video because deciphering body language and non-verbal skills is difficult.

Also, collaborating with your hiring team can also be harder online, especially if you don't have access to a CRM and rely on spreadsheets to share and update information. If you aren't already, you need to think about implementing online systems and communication tools that can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

How Can CRM Tools Maximise Productivity And Time?

In many ways, the secret to how to recruit remotely can be found in the technology and apps that take care of tasks that would otherwise be performed by humans. Cloud-based CRM platforms enable you to access and update your candidate database from anywhere - as long as you have a device and an internet connection.

CRMs enable you to capture candidate information automatically and nurture them through each phase of the journey remotely through automated reminders and notifications. Recruitment CRM software can also help you to re-engage with candidates who may have temporarily fallen off the radar and social media integrations can help you craft more personalised messages to candidates through platforms like LinkedIn.

Efficient Recruitment Remotely - Our Top Tips

Aside from investing in a quality recruitment CRM and signing up to remote collaboration tools like Slack and Asana, here are a handful of things you can do to ace remote recruitment.

Tip 1: Craft Questions for the Virtual Space

It's important to ask the right questions regardless of the context, but when spontaneity and non-verbal cues are reduced, asking pertinent questions is even more critical. To get the most out of your virtual interviews, carefully plan questions that will give you the insights you need to build a clear picture of the candidate. Be sure to ask open questions and quiz candidates on aspects around workplace culture, especially if you're recruiting for an in-house position. People can react negatively to natural pauses in conversation via video, so be clear from the outset that it's fine if they want to take a few moments to think before responding - even if it feels a little awkward to do so!

Tip 2: Embrace Video Interviewing

Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Hangouts enable us to interview hundreds of candidates in a comparatively short timeframe.

If you've been hesitant to use video in the past, now's the time to embrace it. It's a bit of a learning process so it helps to be prepared. Practice interviewing via video with your team to get your head around how your chosen platform works first. Nothing's completely failsafe when it comes to technology, so always have a contingency plan - like the candidate's phone number - in place if you get disconnected for more than a few moments.

Tip 3: Promote Company Culture

Even if you only recruit for remote roles and don't have an office, now's the time to fine tune your company culture and brand identity. Think about what you stand for as a hiring manager and how you want potential candidates to perceive you.

Once you've outlined your values, think about how you're going to communicate them to an online audience in an authentic way. It'll help you get your name out there and if done in the right way will encourage only the most appropriate/ qualified candidates to apply.

Start by reassessing the content on your website, optimise it for SEO and start rejuvenating your social media communication strategy.

Tip 4: Plan Your Onboarding

Attention must also be paid to onboarding when recruiting remotely. Be sure to introduce new hires to their team well before their start date and create a schedule of virtual meetings. Also facilitate social online events such as a virtual fika, or "coffee and chat". You may also want to consider introducing online mentoring programmes for remote onboarding.

Tip 5: Produce video content

Keep candidates engaged and informed throughout the virtual recruitment process by creating video content for your brand.

These useful videos could take the form of previous candidate testimonials, tips and advice for virtual interviews from hiring managers and case studies with clients. Videos needn't be high in production quality, especially if you plan to use them on social media platforms and the like.

All you need is a willing participant with access to a smartphone and a neutral space in which to record their video.

Tip 6: Craft your digital assessments

Again, if you aren't already making use of digital assessments to screen candidates, now's the time. Online assessments can simplify and speed up the process for everyone involved and you can link the results to your recruitment CRM. If you need to fill a role very quickly you can easily adapt the online assessment to make it shorter.

Tip 7: Reconnect with referrals

Word of mouth is still, arguably, the most effective form of marketing. Encourage candidates and clients to submit reviews following successful placements and revisit your referral programme. Reviews and referrals are a comparatively cost-effective way to drive efficiency by keeping people engaged with your recruitment brand.

About the Author

Olivia Coughtrie is Co-founder & Director at Oriel Partners a PA and administrative recruitment consultancy based in Central London. Olivia is passionate about making a positive change to the recruitment process.

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