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Megan Zolnierowicz is the Director of Marketing at Spark Hire. Spark Hire is a cloud-based video interviewing platform for HR departments and staffing professionals with options for one-way pre-recorded interviews or live interviews. With industry experience spanning nearly 10 years, Megan is a pioneer of digital marketing and advertising.

Here’s our fifth edition of Expert Corner with the focus on the best practices of hiring remotely, written insightfully by Megan Zolnieowicz.

When it comes to hiring, everyone needs a plan. But with the rise of remote work during this ongoing crisis, nobody really planned for this extreme. Luckily, it’s possible to source, screen, interview, and hire employees with virtual recruitment. With the right tools and processes coupled with good communication between team members, you can keep your hiring process moving without hassle. 

For a virtual recruitment process to succeed, follow these steps:

1. Create an Ideal Candidate Profile

The time and effort that a virtual recruitment process takes is no more than your normal recruitment process, but it’s important to remember to work as efficiently and effectively as you can. One of the biggest components to this is to be targeted in your virtual recruitment efforts.  

Effectively targeting your recruiting efforts involves building an “ideal candidate profile.” This means you’ll need to consider what makes a candidate successful in your open role. An Ideal Candidate Profile includes the motivations and skills needed for the job, but it can also expand to include hobbies, interests, and other characteristics that indicate a good fit for the role.

These other characteristics might indicate a candidate’s preference for working with a team vs. independently, personal drive, or a cultural fit. Create an idea of what sort of professional groups your candidate might join, where they might live, or where they might spend their time. These details will help with the next steps of the process.

2. Outline the process

During the job hunt, uncertainty is a state of being for your candidates. One of the best ways to help them feel more secure is to publish your hiring process either on your careers page or in an automatic email response when candidates complete an application. Outlining the process allows candidates to better understand where they are and what’s next. Then, they can take the initiative to prepare more appropriately, and they won’t anxiously follow up on the “status of their application” nearly as much as they may have otherwise. This allows you and your team to spend more time reviewing applicants, interviewing, providing feedback, and hiring.

3. Write an attractive job post

It’s most likely that your candidates will come from online. So this part of the virtual recruitment process isn’t very different from your normal operations. You’ll need to collaborate with the hiring manager to create a job post that details the most pertinent and necessary skills required for the position. This serves the organization very well because you must articulate what you’re looking for in a candidates once you move on to screening and interviewing.

For candidates, you’ll need to use the ICP from step 1 to describe the job and its required skills in ways that appeal to the person. Consider what their motivations might be and how they’d prefer to work. This enables your job ad to resonate with the candidates you’re looking for, attracting them to your open position and organization.

4. Announce the opening and post on relevant job boards  

With your job post drafted, your next objective is to attract applicants. This means announcing the opening on your careers page, social media, and job boards. The question of which job boards and what social media to use can again be answered by your ICP. Where do your ideal candidates like to hang out? Are they sporty adventurous types who are likely to post their frequent travels on Instagram? Are they a business professional who will scour LinkedIn for new opportunities?

Use these questions and the ideas you’ve gathered in your ideal candidate profile to determine if sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, BuiltIn, and other job boards will help you reach the best candidates where they’re looking for employment.

5. Use an ATS  

Once candidates apply for your positions, where do those applications go? It’s crucial to compile your applicants within an organized system. For a successful virtual recruiting process, you’ll want to stop using spreadsheets, email, and paper resume files and start working with a cloud-based applicant tracking system. This is a software that organizes your applicants based on where they stand in your recruiting process. When you find one that is cloud-based, you, your colleagues, and your hiring managers can access applications and candidate data from anywhere, giving you the flexibility your virtual recruiting process will demand.

6. Use one-way video interviews  

Up until this point, it’s incredibly easy to maintain a virtual recruitment process. But the screening step is where some organizations have their first in-person interview. You could use a phone call, but you won’t gain nearly as many insights as you would with an in-person interview. Instead, consider a happy medium: one-way video interviewing. One-way video interviews are an asynchronous system where you set up your interview questions ahead of time, send them to candidates, and they answer your questions on their own time on video. This alternative allows you to preview candidates and how they conduct themselves while granting these candidates deeper insight into your company and its culture through intro and outro videos and video questions.

7. Solicit feedback from colleagues and hiring managers  

After you’ve received responses to your one-way video interviews, you’ll have to stretch your communication muscles with colleagues and hiring managers. Send them a shortlist of candidates you think would fit best for the open role. Have them fill out a candidate scorecard through a document sharing application or even a digital form. This way, you can easily compile their feedback and choose who should move on to the next step of the process.

8. Complete a live video interview  

The shortlisted candidates who advance to the next stage should progress to a live video interview with your virtual recruitment process. Depending on the structure of your organization, this two-way video interview may be with the hiring manager or a member of your team. Either way, be sure they stick to insightful and critical interview questions. You can even add additional feedback during this interview by inviting other decision-makers to watch the recorded interview.

9. Conduct a background check and check references  

There are a plethora of services which can provide you with background checks virtually. Additionally, you’ll want to check a candidate’s references. Do this virtually by creating a quick question list for references and deliver them either through a quick phone call or even an email.

10. Make an offer!  

Last, you’ll want to send an offer letter to the final candidate. One great way to make this more impactful for candidates is to create a congratulatory video message from the potential employee’s future boss. Illustrate what stood out about the candidate and why the team is excited for them to join.  

With these ten steps, you’ll be able to create a personalized, efficient, virtual recruitment strategy. Furthermore, you’ll be able to continue with it when back in the office!