Upgrade your process and meet your talent goals with these five tips.

The pandemic has changed recruiting and hiring. Just like newspaper ads have been replaced by job boards, and spreadsheets replaced by applicant tracking systems, traditional hiring methods are being adopted to fit the virtual reality. 

But the lack of in-person interviews and experiences poses major gaps in understanding your candidate. How well a candidate performs during a video call or online interview does not necessarily relate to how well they will perform on the job. You need more data to make more informed hiring decisions, digital tools to speed hiring, and create an HR stack that will give you a competitive advantage when hiring virtually. 

Here are five tips that will help you build a successful virtual hiring program. 

Tip #1: Optimize your HR tech stack 

According to research in HR.com, 84% of HR professionals are worried about the strength of the HR tech stack at their organization. Now that you and your team are busier than ever, make sure you are utilizing HR technologies that make life easier for your team and the candidates you want to bring onboard. Look to automate routine tasks so you can focus on tasks that drive the bottom line. Integrate your HR technology, so that you don’t need to waste time repeating key steps. Deliver digital first hiring experiences. The more streamlined your virtual hiring process is, and the more tailored it is to the candidate’s needs, the better candidate experience you will provide, ultimately helping you meet your hiring goals. 

Tip #2: Add digital reference checks to make more informed hiring decisions

Employers who rely solely on resumes and interviews don’t have complete information about job candidates and are likely to make hiring mistakes.  Nearly all information used to make hiring decisions comes from the same data source: the job candidate, who is naturally practicing and putting on their best presentation of themself. Traditional hiring tools don’t capture the critical dimensions of job-related behaviors. Employers who rely solely on resumes and interviews don’t have complete information about job candidates and are likely to make hiring mistakes. 

There are a few ways that information directly from the job candidate can lead you astray: 

  • Resumes: Candidates often embellish positive information and/or omit critical negative information. 
    • Skills Tests: These tests generally focus on hard skills, which are important, but not enough. Popular online sites such as Youtube.com are full of test videos – complete with answers! 
    • Background Checks: It’s important to look at past history and affirm previous dates of employment. But these checks do not provide any information about the candidate’s ability to do the job, or their workplace behaviors. 
    • Personality Profiles/assessments: While valuable for understanding a candidate’s behavioral inclinations and motivations, personality assessments don’t measure actual performance on the job. Also, many candidates answer how they think the questions should be answered for a particular job, as opposed to how they really feel. 

Digital reference checks help talent leaders close the gap between the picture provided by the candidate and the actual skills they have demonstrated to their former managers and coworkers. It’s an adage that holds true: past performance is the best predictor of future performance. Using a technology that automates the process not only helps organizations get reference feedback faster, but makes it easier to obtain deep insights about a candidate’s soft skills so you can be confident you are hiring the best fit for any position, whether onsite or remote. 

Here are 10 things you should consider when looking into an online reference solution.

Tip #3: Boost interviews with behavioral questions that focus on job-specific soft skills 

For most employers, there is a gap in their understanding of a candidate’s qualifications and competencies. To truly understand a candidate’s potential to succeed in a job, employers must understand the candidate’s past job performance in terms of the skills, values, and behaviors that have been exhibited over time.

At a minimum, organizations want to understand the critical four dimensions of job-related behaviors: professionalism; interpersonal skills; problem solving and adaptability; and personal value commitment. Certain positions also require positive behaviors for managing others and leadership.  Moving reference checks up earlier in the process on your top finalists can give you valuable information to probe during interviews.  Behavioral questions that ask candidates to share real examples can help you better understand candidate’s past experiences.

Tip #4: Use digital recruitment marketing to source talent and automate referrals

The key to successful recruitment marketing is to leverage technology to continually nurture your talent pipeline with effective, creative content that keeps your brand and potential employment opportunities top of mind. Make it easy for job candidates to express interest and join your talent pool.  Consider new channels to find new candidates – that means recruiters should wear their “sourcing” hat at all times – even when reference checking.  Digital reference checks can provide automated tools let you invite references to join your talent pool with a link and landing page once they’ve completed the online reference feedback survey.

Tip #5: Automate post-hire feedback

Candidate experience and hiring manager satisfaction should be among your top recruitment metrics. In today’s virtual world, employee engagement is even more difficult. It’s important to collect early and ongoing feedback from employees and their managers to foster long-term success and prevent turnover. Identifying problem areas in key stages of the employee life cycle – like recruitment, onboarding, and the 30/60/90+ day marks help talent leaders to keep abreast of employee feedback and boost engagement metrics before it’s too late. Gallup research finds that organizations that score higher on employee engagement nearly double their odds of success compared to those in the bottom half – don’t let your organization fall behind. 

Implementing these five tips into your virtual hiring program will reduce manual processes and help you hit all your hiring and retention goals in 2021 and beyond.