Virtual Recruitment : Adopting a Virtual-Ready Hiring Strategy

The recruitment landscape is changing rapidly. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that companies are equipped with necessary and beneficial tools to keep their recruitment functions on track. Virtual hiring and virtual readiness are critical for organisations to remain competitive, profitable, and thriving. This article will discuss how things have changed in the past year for talent acquisition, current challenges in recruitment, and how to adopt a virtual-ready hiring strategy.

How things have changed

This year, the world was shaken by several unexpected events. Across the globe, COVID-19 has impacted corporations, private businesses, and non-profit organisations. Similarly, the civil rights movements in 2020 are changing the ways companies think about diversity, equity, and inclusion. In response to the many catastrophic events, businesses and industries are transforming, and the future of business practices may never be the same.

Just last year, recruitment was fairly standard and routine for most organisations. Now, with the global pandemic and an ongoing demand for workplace equity, recruitment teams are being driven to change long-term hiring practices. Human Resources departments have been called to rapidly employ modernisation to fulfil their hiring needs.

For example, diversity and inclusion policies are being adopted at a rate higher than ever before. Personnel are enrolling in unconscious bias trainings, utilising grassroots hiring, and executing ongoing, uncomfortable discussions about diversity hiring. Not only is up to organisations to implement equity and inclusion policies internally, but also, candidates are prioritising roles with companies who have firm DEI policies in place.

Likewise, most companies who were not previously remote have had to shift their daily operations to a virtual space. While some businesses and organisations had already embraced virtual strategy to accommodate work-from-home roles prior to this year, face-to-face interviewing and procedure was still common. From team meetings to quarterly planning, virtual work is renovating how companies operate, especially in talent acquisition and recruitment.

Current challenges for virtual hiring

One of the biggest issues recruitment teams are tackling as they move to a fully virtual workspace is simply not knowing where to begin. Moreover, companies who are inexperienced in remote work may not know what a virtual hiring process should “look like,” or how to move forward effectively. Talent acquisition requires many steps, from application collection and review to scheduling time for interviews and making informed hiring decisions. A specific challenge for hiring at this point is losing the face-to-face experience with candidates. In a virtual setting, it is much more difficult to get a “gut feeling” about which candidate is right for the role.

Overall, the burden of expanding a talent acquisition toolkit is large, and the challenges that come with new processes are varying.

Tools for implementing virtual recruitment

Below, we have put together six robust suggestions on how to get started with virtual recruitment and how to sustain it long-term.

1. Revise standard interview questions

Hiring decisions are already taxing as it is, and adding a virtual component to the process can complicate interview time. Hard skills and education are crucial to evaluate in any recruitment process, but discernibly, interviewees should be considered beyond job-specific skill sets. Behaviour and personality evaluations are now taking a front seat in recruitment processes, especially since the face-to-face component of hiring is shrinking. It can be tough to evaluate behaviour from a remote interview.

Consider revising standard interview questions by incorporating a blend of behaviour-based questions. It is just as important to know how someone will respond to a situation behaviourally, as it is to know if they can respond to it based on their hard skills. Moreover, it gives hiring personnel an opportunity to review if the candidate’s personality is a good fit with the existing team and company culture.

According to Workable’s resources, here are a few questions to consider asking from a behavioural standpoint:

  • What is an example of a time you made a process more efficient? How did you do it?
  • Have you ever missed a deadline and why? What would you do differently next time?
  • How do you prioritise work when there are multiple projects going on at the same time?
  • What’s the most stressful situation you’ve faced at your previous job? How did you handle it?
  • What happened when you disagreed with a colleague about how you should approach a project or deal with a problem at work?
  • Tell me about a time your team didn’t meet a goal. How did you give feedback to your team members and how did you present the situation to your manager?

2. Consider gamified psychometric testing

Gamified psychometric tests are a new digital tool being utilized in virtual recruitment settings on a global level. Similar to the components discussed with behavioural interview questions, gamified psychometric tests are a way for employers to assess both skills and personality at one time. Psychometric test scores help employers navigate the challenge of picking the “right” hire. Additionally, gamified psychometric testing may add an extra layer into recruitment processes, but it gives employers and hiring teams an extra peace of mind when they cannot meet an individual in-person; it can serve as a replacement to the “gut feeling” that ensues during on-site meetings.

As OWIWI puts it: “[This] cutting-edge blend of science and gameplay [can] help to find the right hire, [using] gamification to enhance the recruitment experience, turning it into a skill-revealing journey of self-knowledge. On WikiJob UK, 9 free psychometric tests are offered to employers who want to try it out.

3. Illustrate company culture

Since most have lost the ability to introduce their business teams or office headquarters to candidates on location, it’s essential to showcase company culture virtually. Candidates want to know what businesses offer beyond the open job role, and are becoming more interested than ever on company culture.

According to Forbes, organisational culture is important because “A strong company culture attracts better talent and, more importantly, retains that talent. When people feel like they belong to an organization, they’re more likely to stick around for the long term. That means lower turnover, fewer new hires to deal with, and better chemistry among your team.”

To accurately display company culture virtually, story-telling and creative presentation are critical. Use existing tools like email marketing, website design, and social media. These platforms and channels can help tell the story of “who” a business is and what it’s like to work there. Creative content gives candidates an idea of workplace tone and ambience—be it professional and serious or light and relaxed. Last, consider highlighting rock star employees each week on Instagram, or do a “virtual tour” of your company on TikTok.

4. Communicate clearly and frequently

In the same vain, reflect on existing communication strategy for recruitment, and contemplate where improvements can be made moving forward. Throughout COVID-19, we have seen just how important effective communication can be—from the impact of long-form articles to the influence of individual word choices.

For virtual hiring, elevate your email and phone communications with candidates by letting them know each step of the process. Moreover, consider writing manual or automated thoughtful messages to each candidate, letting them know what stage of the hiring process they are currently in. As Mac’s List suggests: “During a difficult time, small kindnesses go a long way. Throughout the virtual recruitment process, give candidates the courtesy of clear, consistent communication. Follow up in a timely manner and let candidates know where they stand in the process…open, honest, and empathetic communication will set you apart as a remote employer.”

5. Enroll in best practices training

It takes a hefty amount of perseverance and resilience to create new criteria for hiring, especially in a new format like virtual. Nevertheless, several experts have put together basic resources on how to get started. Consider light and time-sensitive training, such as tuning into a quick webinar. People Scout recently put on an informative webinar on how to recruit during these unprecedented times called “Going virtual: Recruiting in the age of COVID-19.” Or, listen to trainings on-the-go by checking out a few popular recruitment podcasts, such as “Recruiting Future” with Matt Alder or “The Renegade Recruiter” with Terry Edwards.

6. Work with an expert

Ultimately, the best way to get going with virtual recruitment is to hire an expert. For more thorough and systemic training than webinars or podcasts, a recruitment strategist is the best option. Hiring consultants and strategists know which tools need to be sharpened in a talent acquisition toolkit, and will bring new solutions to the table.

More companies than ever before want to be remote ready and employ virtual recruitment strategies, but are overwhelmed by the many changes it takes to revise regular practices. Working with an experienced consultant can lessen obstacles and difficulties. Moreover, an experienced consultant can answer questions about the most effective strategies in implementing and sustaining virtual recruitment.

Working with a consultant who has abundant experience in virtual recruitment in multiple industries across the globe is essential. If your company is ready to go virtual in strategic recruitment efforts, while radically increasing success in hiring efforts, reach out today. We’re here to help.


Alder, Matt. Recruiting Future with Matt Alder. 2020. Podcast.

Alton, Larry. Why Corporate Culture Is Becoming Even More Important. n.d. Web. 22 September 2020.

Behavioural interview questions. n.d. Web.

Edwards, Drew Edwards and Terry. About. 2020. Web.

OWIWI. 2020. Web.

Prichard, Mac. Virtual Recruitment: How To Hire, Train, and Onboard in a Remote World. n.d. 22 September 2020.

Psychometric Tests: 9 Free Practice Tests 2020 update. 25 August 2020. Web.

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