7 Virtual Hiring Challenges and Effective Ways to Combat Them

- By Ajay Kumar | August 5, 2022
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Before globalization became a norm, most organizations preferred a traditional hiring process that was only limited to in-person and walk-in interviews. However, with the advancing technologies and the necessity to expand boundaries, firms started hiring talent from across geographical boundaries. Thus, virtual hiring became the new trend.

This trend was accelerated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic when work from home was mandated worldwide.

As a result, almost every organization switched to virtual hiring to maintain business continuity in the new normal and stay ahead of the competition.

However, with ease and convenience, virtual recruitment puts forth an array of challenges like- communication gaps, time zone differences, difficulty assessing candidates’ credibility, etc.

If not managed effectively, these bottlenecks can jeopardize the firm’s reputation and ruin a candidate’s first experience.

Hence, talent managers must address these issues and implement a smooth and streamlined hiring process.

This blog explains various virtual recruitment challenges in detail and some proven solutions to mitigate them.

Let’s begin with the benefits. Gain Access to Global Talent And Hire the Best-fit Resources

Benefits of virtual hiring in organizations

According to a survey, companies from all different sectors, whether- commerce, IT-ITeS, science & technology, and telecommunications, exhibit a higher readiness (82%) for virtual hiring. Here’s why: –

Provides access to global talent

The virtual recruitment process enables employers to hire the best-fit candidates from across the globe. This access to global talent helps maintain a competitive edge and also procures cost-effective candidates with the right competencies.

Reduces the hiring time

The virtual hiring process helps in minimizing the commute time of the candidates. So employers can schedule the assessments or other interview processes at any time according to their and the candidate’s convenience, lowering the hiring time.

Fosters a fair and inclusive recruitment process

During virtual hiring, the HR professionals use multiple tools to sort and filter the candidate’s application based on the required criteria. The process automation eliminates any bias towards candidates such as race, gender, religion, etc., fostering diversity and inclusion.

Lowers hiring and onboarding overheads

Traditional hiring required firms to spend on the candidate’s commute, meals, etc. On the contrary, virtual interviews helps save money, for example, reimbursement for travel and accommodation expenses, etc., thus lowering hiring and onboarding overheads.

Streamlines multiple processes with the right tools and tech

During virtual recruitment, multiple processes can be streamlined using the right tools and technology. For example- Using ATS, one can keep a record of different applications and filter the best fit resource within seconds. Further, using conferencing apps, the interviewer can record the whole session and later evaluate each candidate and select the best one.

Having learned about the benefits, let us understand some of the challenges an organization faces during virtual hiring. Future of Resource Management Softwar

7 virtual hiring challenges faced by organizations

As easy and seamless virtual hiring seems, it has its own set of bottlenecks such as time zone difference, credibility assessments, and more.

Some of the most prominent ones are enlisted below-

Difficulty in assessing candidate’s soft skills

Soft skills are the interpersonal attributes a candidate must possess to blend in the workplace. One can assess these by body language, communication skills, non-verbal cues, etc. However, these non-verbal cues cannot be seen or evaluated in a virtual setup. Thus, interviewers cannot understand if the candidate is the right fit for the work culture and environment.

Connectivity & technical issues

During virtual interviews, it is commonly observed that either the candidates or the employers face connectivity issues that result in disturbance, lagging, or worse, call drop-outs. This can lead to a bad hiring experience for both parties. As a result, employers can even miss out on a potentially good employee.

Time zone differences hinder interview schedules

During online interviews, if the organization is hiring a candidate across a geographic area belonging to a different time zone, then finding a standard hour of convenience gets difficult. This becomes all the more challenging when there are few overlaps between the time zone, thus leading to interview scheduling issues.

Read More: Eight Signs That You Need Better Resource Scheduling

Conflicting priorities of the interviewers

It’s fairly simpler to walk over to the interviewer’s desk and request them for a time slot to conduct the interview. However, when interviewers are dispersed across locations, there can be conflicting priorities or clashing meetings, resulting in delays in interviews and often losing a good candidate.

Inability to provide a seamless orientation process

The traditional orientation process entails a walk-through of the office premises and a one-on-one with teammates, department heads, etc. However, these lines are blurred during virtual orientation. Candidates may even lose a sense of belonging and feel isolated if employers fail to set the stage.

Communication gap between the new employee and existing team

After the interview process has been completed and the new employee has been onboarded, a lack of ice-breaking sessions can create a communication gap between the new employee and the existing team. This may cause them to feel disconnected from the organization, which will also affect their sense of belonging, eventually hampering their work and productivity.

Inability to assess the credibility of the candidate

Sometimes, during the virtual recruitment process, candidates use unfair means to pass the interview rounds. For example- Someone else might help the candidate with the answers or might be solving the test on their behalf, and there are no easy means to find this out, making it one of the difficult challenges during virtual hiring.

Now that we know some of the different virtual hiring challenges let us look at the solutions that will help mitigate them.

Read More: How to Create an Effective Hiring Strategy

Steps to combat virtual hiring challenges

Here are some of the steps HR managers can use to mitigate virtual hiring challenges-

Use the STAR method to assess candidates’ soft skills

The STAR is the acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Results. With this assessment method, interviewers can determine how candidates will react in certain situations related to their roles and responsibilities.

S: Situation

Explain a problem or dilemma and tell the candidates to share their past experiences of a similar kind.

T: Task

The “Task” component explains the candidate’s role in this situation. What was his/her task in that situation?

A: Action

The “Action” in a STAR answer reveals how the candidate actually approached that task, and the steps they took to solve the problem.

R: Results

The “Results” included in a STAR answer should explain the outcome of the candidate’s actions. For example, how did the candidate’s results differ from the expected results?

For example- rather than asking the candidate, “What is your strength?” Instead, you can ask – “Give a situation- where you displayed your strength.”

During online interviews, this method will help employers analyze candidates’ soft skills such as problem-solving or analytical thinking and ensures they are the right candidate for the job.

Ensure that the technical tools are up to date and plan a backup

To minimize technical hiccups and enhance candidate experience during virtual interviews, ensure that all the technical tools are up to date. Begin with a double or triple check and verify that the signal strength is adequate, and precheck the microphone and camera setup before beginning the interview.

Further, the HRs should advise the candidates to do the same prior to the interview and join 10 minutes early to prevent such occurrences. At the same time, unexpected errors or glitches can occur during the interview, so keeping a backup conferencing platform handy is equally necessary.

Read More: How Outdated Resource Management Tools are Hurting Businesses?

Create a powerful pitch about the company’s culture

Candidates look beyond reasonable compensation and perks. Several reports suggest they will likely stay longer if the work culture is conducive and supportive. Thus, creating an attractive pitch about the company’s work culture and employer brand before beginning the interview can set the right tone.

This will help the candidate understand what they are signing up for. Additionally, to build the brand, companies should create a commendable online presence. Therefore, they should ascertain that their website, social media channels, etc., portray employee-centricity. For example, one can add employee testimonials, photos of different celebrations of festivals to foster and exhibit inclusion, etc.

Plan and prepare a template for a seamless onboarding process

To ensure smooth virtual onboarding and a great experience, HRs can devise and implement a systematic onboarding template. This template will provide a comprehensive view of all the induction and training stages, thus giving clarity on the new joiner’s onboarding status.

For example, if the candidate has completed training 1 with trainer A, then updating the template will help the other trainers plan their training sessions accordingly. Similarly, if there’s a delay, the concerned authorities will be kept in the loop. Additionally, this streamlined process helps employees navigate through the company’s work process and understand it better.

Read More: Why an Effective Onboarding Process is Essential for Employee Satisfaction

Proper engagement with the interviewee

One of the typical risks of virtual interviews is losing your candidates’ focus and attention. Thus, during the virtual interview, employers should ensure a constant exchange of dialogue between both parties to maintain engagement. Moreover, the interviewers should ask questions in a non-intimidating tone to keep the interview stress free and make the candidate comfortable.

Once the interviewees feel comfortable answering the question, they will stay engaged during the whole interview and be more objective. This will also enable the interviewers to understand the candidate’s way of conducting themselves and hire the right talent for the organization.

Using the right interview scheduler software

The right tool inventory goes a long way to ensure the virtual hiring process offers a seamless experience to the interviewers and interviewees. Once the assessments are done and it’s time to schedule the interview, HRs can equip an interview scheduler software.

This will help them avoid issues such as conflicting priorities or the unavailability of any interviewer. In addition, the scheduler can automatically capture everyone’s schedules, block the meeting hours and only show available slots, and send timely reminders. These tools also enable recruiters to view a candidate’s time zone and avoid scheduling errors.

Assess candidate’s technical skills through live testing and video mode

To check the credibility of a candidate during virtual hiring, interviewers can ask candidates to demonstrate their aptitude capabilities and assess technical skills in real-time. In other words, they can use the method of live testing by leveraging any conferencing platform, like- Zoom, Skype, etc. In addition, it allows you to stay online throughout the live assessment and ensure they’re not using unfair means.

Additionally, different proctoring software can block web browsers or platforms, preventing candidates from searching for an answer and adopting unfair practices. These practices will help HRs to assess not only the candidates’ technical abilities but also their credibility.

Read More: How To Implement Top Talent Strategy in Your Organization?

Conclusion: Virtual hiring is here to stay!

With remote work and globalization becoming an ongoing trend, virtual hiring is here to stay. So, organizations must strive to get it right as it sets the first impression for the new candidates and defines their overall experience. The above-mentioned best practices and strategies, paired with the right tool inventory, can help you streamline the process and hire the best candidates.

Do you follow a virtual hiring strategy within your organization?

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