How to create a seamless candidate experience during virtual Hiring?
In the era of quarantine where everything from work to life has gone online, people prefer staying secure. Amidst this situation the world faces, there are predictions that there are high chances of not going back to offline mode, but following platforms of hybrid arrangements in work culture . During pre-pandemic times too, global software companies held international and domestic online conferences. Telework is now a permanent part of our economy and that has become a trend in our society.
As many Software Development companies have transitioned into a remote or hybrid work environment, some elements of the hiring process have moved online, face-to-face candidate meetings have been replaced with video interviews and online assessment tools that can help evaluate candidates’ skills. Providing a great candidate experience, however, can be a challenging part of the online hiring process.
While office tours, team lunches, and other in-person touches remain off the table, recruiters are looking for creative ways to improve their candidates’ experience and show why their Software Company is an incredible place to work all from their home office.
Here are a few best practices that can help improve online candidate experience.
1. Communicate with candidates about what the hiring process will look like
It’s critical to keep candidates informed about every step of the hiring process. This can start as early as the job post. For example, some companies are adding a few lines to their job descriptions to keep candidates informed.
Although many Software Companies already have a FAQ section about their hiring process, updating them with a COVID policy, remote work options, and return-to-office plans will go a long way in improving candidates’ experience. If the company doesn't have a dedicated FAQ section, consider adding a note or banner at the top of the career site to let candidates know your company’s policies and how it will affect them. Keep in mind that you’ll likely have to update this information regularly. Create something like a Google doc, and send candidates a link so that they can view it for up-to-date information.
You should also send email updates to candidates already in the process to keep them posted about any changes. Recruiters at TechDoQuest, for example, sent out the following email when the coronavirus situation made on-site interviews a health risk: “In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect our candidates’ and interviewers’ health and wellbeing, we will be conducting all Google interviews globally virtually via Google Meet or Zoom App for the predicted future.”
Proactively communicating changes to your hiring process and any hiring delays will help you avoid confusion and dramatically improve the candidate experience.
2. Give candidates resources to help them prepare for their video interview
For some software candidates, video interviewing may be uncomfortable, so it’s important to share advice or resources to help them put their best foot forward.
This can be as simple as sending an email with a few points like:
A link to your preferred video platform
What equipment they’ll need (e.g. a laptop with webcam enabled, or a smartphone or tablet on a stand if they don’t have a computer at home)
What to wear (e.g. a suit vs. business casual, depending on your company’s style)
Where to take the interview (e.g. a quiet room with a neutral background and lots of natural light if possible) and (especially if they’re at home with kids or pets)a reminder that candidates can always use the mute button when they’re not speaking.
What kind of questions will they be asked?
You can also link to some useful resources, like this ultimate guide to get noticed by recruiters. Offering some tips like these can make your interviews go more seamless and show candidates that you’re investing in their success.
3. Get creative to show candidates the company culture
When you’re able to bring them onsite, it’s often easier to show candidates the Software Company’s culture, while remote and hybrid work provides an opportunity to get creative.
To start, gather all the materials you have about the company culture, including any videos, podcasts, or culture decks that you’ve already created. If you don’t have anything pre-made or just want to strengthen what you have, put a call out to employees to send any pictures or videos they’ve taken of team events or activities.
Once you have pictures or videos they’ve taken during the team events or activities, think about the best way to share it with candidates. This could involve sharing photos or presentations during your video call to showcase the company’s culture.
You should also make time for informal conversations. If the team would usually take them out for lunch, you could replicate this virtually by arranging a call and sending everyone vouchers to order food delivery and if you were taking candidates on a office tour, you might leave them to chat to the people they would be working with, so consider setting up a group video call with the rest of the team. This approach gives candidates a chance to get to know their team, and shows them your IT Company thinks outside the box.
4. Provide feedback to candidates who don’t get the job
Whether they get the job or not, every candidate deserves a great experience with the Top Software Company. One way to provide it is to offer feedback to candidates that you don’t hire. Most candidates want to receive feedback after an interview. Following this in all companies, can let them know what they did well and give some actionable tips to help them do better next time, like suggesting some skills that help in developing. That way, they’ll appreciate that the company has taken time to point out things, where on the other hand, candidates get something valuable from the experience.
Learn from others, because
The pandemic has caused a lot of major changes to happen very fast. But while it certainly poses challenges, this global experiment in working and hiring remotely has its upsides like helping your company better prepare for what the future holds.
This situation is new to everyone, so some trial and error will be involved. A few small falls are inevitable, so it's better to be kind to yourself and your teams about them. More than anything, try to be patient and accommodating. Many candidates are dealing with new circumstances and anxieties. Showing them that you understand and care, will speak volumes about how things work at the company and will help you provide a great remote candidate experience.
(Author: Abirami Vellayappan is a curious cat and a social media writer at TechDoQuest, which is an IT Recruitment Company.)