One of the many repercussions of COVID-19 in the world of work and HR right now is an increase in virtual and online recruitment.

The digital transformation trends that have defined the 21st century mean these methods were already on the rise, but the pandemic has clearly accelerated their adoption as more businesses have taken a remote approach to hiring.

If virtual and online recruitment are relatively new concepts to you, it's worth thinking about how you can make the best use of your time and resources, and ultimately increase your chances of hiring success.

1. Optimise for mobile

Much like most other key areas of business - sales and marketing, for example - recruitment has been steadily transformed by mobile technology.

Research has shown that 89% of candidates think mobile devices play a critical role in the process of finding a job, while 45% use their phone to search for opportunities every day. It's vital, therefore, to ensure that the various channels and platforms you use to engage with job seekers are optimised for mobile devices.

Your website is certainly a good place to start. Making your entire site - or at the very least your job listings, careers pages and contact information - mobile-friendly will help to ensure you're delivering the best user experience and giving candidates easy access to the information they need.

It's also worth thinking about how you can utilise mobile-specific methods like text recruiting, which is possible with modern solutions such as AllyO.

2. Leverage social media

The increasing dominance of the mobile channel is related to the growing importance of social media in modern recruitment, considering the clear connections between these two cornerstones of the digital world. Research has shown that practically all social media users (99%) have accessed their accounts by mobile.

Where recruitment is concerned, the enormous reach and exposure provided by social platforms can help you ensure your current openings are seen by the right people, including passive candidates.

What's more, networks like LinkedIn make it possible for people to apply for roles with a single click of their mouse or a tap on their phone screen. 

The immediate, real-time nature of social media can prove particularly useful when you're looking to directly engage with individuals and establish the foundations of a relationship with them.

Studies on the use of social media for hiring have shown:

  • 79% of applicants use social channels in their job search
  • 84% of organisations recruit via social media and 9% are planning to start doing so
  • 70% of recruitment managers say they have successfully hired through social media

Social media tips:

  • Share content that is relevant and interesting to your ideal candidates, but also reflects your brand identity and casts your organisation in a positive light.
  • Harness the proven power of video to engage and convey the right messages to your audience.
  • Get your existing employees involved in creating and sharing content.
  • Take the opportunity to show a more human, personal side to the business.
  • Provide quick responses to questions and get involved in conversations.

3. Host virtual events

If in-person events are traditionally an important part of your recruitment strategy, you might be thinking about ways to replicate this experience virtually or online. There are various technologies that can support you in these efforts, such as Brazen, which facilitates virtual careers fairs, interactive networking events, live webinars and more.

Virtual events can also be a good way to give candidates a clearer insight into your business and what it's like to work for you. Prospective hires can embark on video tours of your workplace and 'meet' hiring managers and some of the people they could be working with if they join your organisation.

This can also provide good opportunities for people to pose questions to existing employees and get more of a personal insight into the role being advertised.

4. Utilise video

Video technology is an indispensable tool for modern recruiters, which has become even more important as a result of COVID-19.

There are various ways you can incorporate video into your hiring process and a range of benefits that can be gained from it. Video interviewing, for example, can make it much easier to arrange times that are suitable for all parties and removes the need for anyone to travel. Both interviewer and interviewee can also access recordings of the event for future reference.

You could choose to have the leader of the relevant team provide an introduction or ask the first question, to give the applicant an initial view of who they could be working with.

Incorporating video into the recruitment process can also open up new ways for you to assess candidates, possibly by asking people to create and submit recordings that show their skills in action.

You might even want to consider adding video content to your job descriptions, which can bring your advertisements to life and give a more compelling, attention-grabbing account of the role.

Video interview tips for employers:

  • Strive for the same professionalism you would want to achieve in all interviews. That means using a presentable space without any background noise or distractions.
  • Make sure you're lit from the front to avoid appearing as a dark shape on the screen.
  • Test the technology in advance and make sure the interviewee is familiar with your chosen platform and knows how to use it. Provide instructions if necessary.
  • Prepare your questions in advance and be ready with some 'ice breakers' to help both parties get used to the format and the nature of the audio and video.

5. Work on your employer brand

The increase in remote practices and recruitment activities triggered by COVID-19 means candidates will be even more reliant on online research and digital sources of information to learn about your employer brand.

Consequently, it has become more important than ever for you to refine your branding materials and to ensure they convey the right messages about your organisation and your employer value proposition.

It's worth taking a fresh look at your website, as well as your social media profiles and other off-site content, to make sure you're giving candidates the right impression of the company and what it stands for.

Questions you should ask yourself:

  • Does your website give a clear impression of the employer brand message and identity you want to present to candidates?
  • Are your various social media profiles consistent in the way they express your values and articulate your company culture?
  • Do you know the story your organisation wants to tell, and the most compelling way to tell it?