Hiring in 2021? Here’s how to up your remote recruitment game

Recruitment and technology have always been wedded

Hiring in 2021? Here’s how to up your remote recruitment game

Since the dawn of the digital era, recruitment and technology have always been wedded. Hand in hand, the two sectors dominate the talent industry, helping employers source the very best in top tier candidates. Never has this been truer than now – in our emerging post-pandemic world. As remote hiring really comes into its own, HR leaders are left with a smorgasbord of global talent – able to hire any one from any where at any time.

But, like a kid in a candy store – where should employers begin?

HRD spoke to James Lord, SVP revenue operations – North America at Xref, who revealed some key considerations employers need to look out for when recruiting remotely.

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“Over the last 12 months, COVID-19 has changed everything,” Lord told HRD. “Obviously, this pandemic is something we’d have much rather gone without, but it’s interesting that people are now starting to see the silver lining amongst the clouds. Take for instance remote work. The pandemic became a catalyst for the adoption of virtual working – it pushed organizations to properly consider the benefits of WFH. I personally believe that remote working was always an inevitability, but COVID-19 really helped accelerate this.

“When it comes to fast hiring, the options have really opened up for both candidates and employers. Suddenly, we're in a digital, borderless world. This has only expanded the potential talent pools, giving employers much more choice in hiring remotely.”

One of the most endearing leadership traits to emerge from the pandemic was a focus on compassion. Not typically a characteristic you’d associate with the C-suite, empathy has become a necessity for any company looking to thrive in 2021. Not only has this impacted how we interact with our teams, its also revolutionised how we scout and hire talent.

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“Another aspect employers need to pay attention to here is recruiting for culture, fit, and mindset,” added Lord. “There’s the old adage that you can teach skills, but you can’t teach attitude. And, I wholeheartedly agree. I've hired for my own teams in the past based on attitude, not skills – because, after all, skills can be learned.”

This is where the tech comes in. Employers in 2021 really are spoiled for choice when it comes to reference and hiring tools. Xref, for instance, is a reference checking platform - going far deeper than just ticking boxes. From a compliance perspective, they understand how the core competencies of individuals align with company values.

And yet, despite the fact that most companies would never have survived 2020 without investing in tech, some more traditionally-minded operations are still slow on the uptake. Lord spoke to HRD about these unfounded, misconceptions around recruitment technology.

“There’s this idea out there that you can’t get to know a candidate without seeing the whites of their eyes, so to speak,” explained Lord. “It’s the same myth around reference checking – namely, that you can’t collect a reference without hearing the reference’s tone of voice. That’s totally untrue. Xref has been around for over 10 years – in that time we’ve expanded to operate across seven different countries and have seen literally tens of thousands of reference checks every single week. By leveraging technology to help in your recruitment processes, you’re eliminating human bias and remaining legally compliant. It’s a win win. Personally, I’ve hired two new people this year – both remotely, both without sitting across from them. And they’re both absolutely awesome at their job.”

But fear not recruiters – you’re not being ousted by the robots just yet. Lord was quick to point out that technology can never fully replace the human touch in recruitment – but it can improve it.

“Tech helps HR leaders avoid any potentially discriminatory questions or hiring practices, allowing us to work smarter not harder.”

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