As COVID-19 changes the way we do business, we’re bringing our audience expert advice on how to adapt to the new normal. The rise of virtual events presents as many opportunities as it does drawbacks— if you know how to take advantage of what they have to offer.
This insight comes from Christina Wells, an advisor to the recruiting event management software company FloRecruit, and VP of people at PLANOLY. FloRecruit’s platform enables companies to host a group of candidates in a single video room, or 1:1 for more personal interviews.
This year presented recruiters many challenges and one of them is we had to quickly establish a virtual recruiting program if we didn’t have one already. One of the key benefits of having a virtual program is your company can extend their reach and get in front of an expansive candidate pool. In-person recruiting events and career fairs can be a challenge for some to attend— whether due to lack of transportation, finding childcare, or time spent traveling.
Hosting virtual recruiting events opens up the doors for anyone and everyone to attend. Being more inclusive with your virtual recruiting program enables more diversity to exist in the candidate pool. Diversity in the workplace brings creativity, inclusion and different perspectives to the table where strategy and business decisions are made.
We learned that running a virtual recruiting program is taxing. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help keep you energized for your virtual candidates:
1. Be strategic with your virtual interview schedule.
As a virtual recruiter, it’s your job to meet, greet and build relationships with every candidate you meet. It’s exhausting staring into the computer camera for hours a day. We’ve all experienced the interview domino effect where when one virtual interview ends a few minutes late which results in the next one getting off to a late start. If your calendar is filled with virtual interviews back to back for hours at a time, it’s easy to get behind on work, emails and ad-hoc priorities. Find a rhythm that works for you. My endurance for attending consecutive virtual interviews is 1.5 hours with no breaks. After that, my productivity goes down and I need at least 30 minutes to recharge and squeeze in a brain break.
2. Interview during your most social hours.
Pay attention to when you are habitually more social. Are you quiet in the morning? If so, avoid scheduling a long string of morning interviews when you’re expected to be jovial and chatty. Do you find yourself more energized after your mid-afternoon snack? Perhaps that is a better time to take interviews. Give candidates a chance to meet with you when you are your best social self. Spare them the challenge of trying to persuade you that they are a great fit for your company when you’re hungry or distracted.
3. Block off your calendar to tackle non-interviewing tasks.
Just like booking times on your calendar for virtual interviews with candidates, block off concentration time for actual work. After a block of interviewing, reserve a block for jotting down notes and organizing the candidate pool. Block time to review resumes and to schedule interviews. Every step of the virtual recruiting process is just as valuable as the actual virtual interviews. Make dedicated time for each milestone equally to ensure you are smoothly moving candidates through the funnel.
4. Show gratitude for the time spent.
Interviewing is time consuming for candidates and it’s always a good idea to give candidates who interview a token of appreciation. The goal is for every candidate to walk away with a positive experience regardless if they get the job or not. For candidates who meet the panel but do not get the job, mail them a small branded item or a giftcard if your company offers a consumer product or service relevant to the masses. For candidates who accept a job offer, send a branded welcome package filled with branded goodies like a t-shirt, branded airpods, drinkware, desk supplies and more. Companies like Swag.com can handle the logistics and distribution making it easy to send swag from one central location one box at a time or in bulk.
5. Reward yourself.
Most importantly, take care of yourself. High volume interviewing — especially in a virtual setting — is draining. Set goals and create personal success metrics. Once you hit them, do something you personally enjoy.
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