Virtually possible: The benefits of recruiting online

Virtual recruitment looks set to stay: we look at ways to embrace the new normal

Virtually possible: The benefits of recruiting online

The hiring process can be challenging at the best of times – and the pandemic has only exacerbated the pain points. When US publishing firm John Wiley & Sons surveyed over 3000 hiring managers last October to find out how recruitment practices had changed during COVID-19, it was clear virtual interviewing presented new complications. Just over 60% of respondents had concerns relating to “challenges getting to know a candidate without meeting them in person, difficulty assessing if they’ll succeed in a virtual environment (for example, whether they can be productive with limited supervision), and even just adapting to virtual interviews”.

However, virtual hiring is no passing trend. According to the Wiley survey, The State of Hiring, the vast majority of companies are now interviewing online, with 87% of organisations having conducted virtual interviews since March 2020.

It’s no longer a matter of having to get by, but of adapting to a new reality. At this bizarre point in history where we’ve experienced the paradox of being more digitally connected than ever before yet more geographically isolated, recruiting online makes logistical sense. Further, by enabling businesses to recruit across borders, it allows access to a bigger, richer, more diverse pool of talent.

Importantly, digital recruitment provides an opportunity to do things not just differently but better - to improve outcomes for both employer and employee. Hand-in-hand with the virtual interview we’re seeing the rise of virtual onboarding thanks to e-signatures, and employee assessment tools - AI applications and platforms that test candidates’ skills and suitability to specific roles so that decision-making becomes data-based rather than subjective.

For Jenny Whall – Client Services Manager at Intégro Learning Company – this latter benefit is crucial. Intégro is Wiley’s Australian Authorised Partner for PXT Select™, a multiple choice, online pre-hire assessment that measures a candidate’s cognitive abilities, behavioural traits and interests to see how well suited they are to a particular role. Most importantly it provides additional reports beyond the hiring process for onboarding, coaching and employee development.

When asked the first words that come to mind related to the phrase ‘good hiring process’, the most common reply from Wiley’s survey was ‘structure’ and ‘fair’. For Whall, the use of psychometric assessments in virtual interviews ensures a fair recruitment process by eliminating that very human trait: personal bias. “For example, you might be drawn to someone because they remind you of yourself, or you’d easily hang out with them outside of work. But are they necessarily the right fit for the role? Objective, reliable data helps to avoid unconscious bias so you can make informed decisions to confidently hire, manage and retain top talent,” she says. With 65% of hiring managers saying they rely on instinct over data when hiring, a pre-hire assessment can certainly provide that much needed insight.

“During a virtual or phone interview you are not seeing someone face to face, you are not seeing all of their body language or non-verbal cues; you are not getting that full picture.” Again, a pre-hire assessment can help fill these gaps.

Virtual hiring and onboarding offers tangible benefits for both employer and employee. It enables time and cost saving, and with the right tools, can offer an enhanced employee experience, says Whall, which in turn reflects well on the company’s culture and values. With PXT Select, for example, even if the candidate doesn’t get the role they applied for, there is a positive outcome; they have access to constructive feedback reports. “They might have interviewed well but are just not the right fit for the role. You can retain their assessment results on the database to be matched to different or future roles if need be.”

With virtual recruitment no longer a trend but a fact of life, it’s all about finding ways to embrace it. And selecting tools that won’t just iron out the virtual glitches but make the recruitment and onboarding process a positive experience for employer and employee alike.

To find out more, go to Integro's Pre-Employment Assessments.

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