The New Normal: How Virtual Recruiting is Shaping 2021 and Beyond


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Monday, January 11, 2021

COVID-19 has brought significant changes, such as the acceleration of remote working. While many recruiters are continuing to work from home, is virtual recruitment here to stay beyond 2021?

Article 4 Minutes
The New Normal: How Virtual Recruiting is Shaping 2021 and Beyond

The recruitment landscape saw a huge shift in 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home became the norm and the need for virtual recruitment was accelerated exponentially. The changes that we expected to see rising steadily over the coming years, instead, happened in just a few short months.

Now, as we enter a new year, many of these changes look set to stay, with 70% of hiring professionals saying that virtual recruiting will become the new standard. How is virtual recruiting shaping 2021 and beyond, and what can organizations expect from the coming months?

Businesses will be able to reduce their time and cost per hire

Virtual recruiting has several benefits for organizations. For example, it can reduce the time and cost per hire. Think about it, each time you interview a candidate you spend time preparing the meeting room, escorting them in and welcoming them to the office; offering them a drink, interviewing them, and eventually escorting them out. It might not seem that long but now consider how many interviews you've conducted - it starts to add up, right?

Virtual recruiting allows you to cut the fluff and conduct interviews without even having to leave your desk. It means you can conduct multiple video interviews in a shorter space of time. Ultimately, reducing the time it takes you to find the right candidate.

What's more, a slow hiring process leaves the position open for longer, which can be costly and a lengthy interview process will take up more time and resources. By reducing the time it takes to find your candidate, you also reduce the cost per hire.

Social distancing will continue to play a key role

While COVID-19 was a hugely influential factor in 2020, the pandemic is still impacting countries across the globe, with many still campaigning for strong social distancing measures. Virtual recruitment makes it possible for organizations to continue hiring talented professionals while keeping human contact to an absolute minimum, something which will continue to be important in 2021.

The hiring process will improve for both recruiters and candidates

Interviewing endless candidates without finding the right fit can be draining for any hiring professional. As for candidates, a long drawn out job search can leave them feeling like they're never going to land a role. But virtual recruiting can offer a more enjoyable experience for both sides.

Hiring professionals can interview from the comfort of their desk or chosen location. They can also reduce the time it takes them to find the right fit for the role. Similarly, candidates won't have to travel for interviews and they'll likely receive a response much quicker than they used to. This also means that they can apply for more remote roles, opening them up to a much bigger range of opportunities.

Organizations can further embrace diversity

COVID-19 wasn't the only huge news story in 2020. There was also a huge global movement for equality. For organizations who took this on board and want to embrace diversity further, virtual recruiting offers the perfect platform to do so.

When it comes to diversity practices and being more inclusive, often geographical diversity is overlooked. But when you think about it, location plays a huge role in who we are and whether we're building a truly equal workforce.

And why’s diversity so important to businesses? Firstly, it leads to creativity and innovation, and secondly, it can lead to increased profitability. In fact, companies with a diverse team are 33% more likely to outperform their competition in terms of profit.

The good news is, virtual recruiting and remote work means you’re no longer bound by location or time zones. It offers complete flexibility to reach out to wider talent pools and build a more diverse workforce. So using virtual recruitment, organizations can embrace diversity in 2021 and in years to come.

It will be easier to standardize the hiring process

Virtual recruitment and automation tools also present the opportunity to standardize the hiring process, thus eliminating bias.  

Whether we like to believe it or not, we often have unconscious bias that we might not consciously act on, but it still exists. For example, imagine you're making small talk with a candidate, and you find out they dislike your favorite film or that they come from a town you once visited and didn't particularly like. These things might sound frivolous, but the truth is they could unconsciously impact your hiring decision later on.

While virtual hiring can’t completely remove these biases, video interviews and screening tools certainly can help assess the candidate more objectively. The use of a video interview means there’s less likely to be small talk and with one-way videos, you can standardize the process to ensure that all candidates are asked the same questions. You can then assess the candidate based on their answers alone, uninfluenced by their small talk.

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