Ten tips to virtualise your hiring process

Like everyone around the world I am watching the COVID-19 situation evolve. I do not yet know whether the assessor training and bias workshops in advance of assessment centres that I have in my calendar over the next month will be delivered face-to-face or virtually. The level of ambiguity and the shift required for many companies in how to work and continue to deliver business outcomes is absolutely dramatic.

Companies such as LinkedIn are releasing a series of articles around how to be productive when working from home. But what are the implications on your recruitment and assessment activity when your workforce and candidates are working virtually? The need for technology has become glaringly apparent in the last few weeks and it can play a significant role in mitigating the disruption being experienced by organisations all over the world.

Recruiting and assessing virtually

It’s likely that you won’t have to reengineer your whole process and can quickly put in place a relatively simple, practical and effective virtual recruitment process. Both individual assessment and group assessment can be moved to a virtual environment with a few practical considerations: 

  1. Do your competencies and behaviours work for remote assessment? Check your competency matrix and behavioural indicators – can the behavioural indictors be observed via a virtual assessment centre? There may be some indicators that may be hard to see virtually and so may need to be reviewed.
  2. Do you have assessors available? In person-assessment is being disrupted by travel-lock down and the availability of assessors to work face to face. The interview stage can be adjusted to remove the need for face-to-face interaction, by utilising virtual facilities or taking this one step further by using asynchronous video interviewing technology.  
  3.  Can you monitor for bias? Many firms recognise that it is absolutely critical to train assessors in how to assess, as well as how to understand and recognise their own biases. But how do you train people to assess virtually? Considerations need to be factored into training to ensure your processes remain solid and robust.
  4. Can you maintain your desired level of candidate care?  While moving to a virtual environment we need to ensure the hiring process doesn’t lose the human touch. There are  strategies can you employ for connecting with candidates and allowing them the opportunity to ask questions about your organisation, such as drop in Q&A sessions either before, during or after you virtual assessment centre.
  5. How do you ease the administrative burden? You’ll need systems and processes in place that can be used for ensuring candidates and assessors are in the right virtual rooms at the right time – and ensuring that other candidates do not accidentally enter this room.
  6. Does your timetable allow for flexibility? Experienced assessment centre managers can quickly adapt to a delayed or shifting timetable when face-to-face. However, running your schedule on time is critical when delivering virtual assessments and processes need to be in place for when everything does not go exactly to plan.
  7. Can you collect and collate data remotely? Digital Assessment Centre technology allows assessors to record and submit their observations and scores in real time. Avoid the pain of having to chase assessors to enter their data in a spreadsheet or physically post paper forms.
  8. Are you able to offer candidate feedback? Automating candidate feedback via Digital Assessment Centre technology will ensure candidates get something back in return for their time, without requiring additional resources.
  9. Is your virtual process as through as in person? Maintaining equivalence of the process and the rigour of decision making is an important consideration when moving to a virtual environment.
  10. Does everyone have connectivity? Everyone involved in the virtual assessment will need to be using a strong and reliable internet connection. Ensure that everyone know the process and steps to follow should they lose connection.

Advice for in-house recruitment teams

A unified, technology-led recruitment environment can offer much more long-term cost benefits than we have recognised before. This can be in the form of identifying the attributes that make for a ‘star hire’, which will ultimately bring about the biggest benefits by boosting the success and future-proofing the business. We all know this is going to be crucial for our businesses as the economy recovers. Further, this approach enables data and insight to be shared and integrated with the long-term strategy of the business, meaning that as we bounce back from this you will be using data in onboarding and development – across the full talent lifecycle.

My advice to in-house recruiters is to find a pragmatic solution to minimise disruption in the current climate. Candidates, your peers and likely your managers will be assessing how you respond to this situation. Are you able to flex, adapt and embrace virtual ways of working to provide business continuity? If we get this right, we could be changing the future of recruitment.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly on +61 426 691 012 or via email: abigail.scott@sovaassessment.com if you would like any advice on the considerations of virtualising your assessment centres and the practicalities involved in this.

You might also be interested in listening to our on-demand webinar where we will be discussing how you can look to virtualize your recruitment processes and minimise disruption. Click here to listen.

Abigail Scott
Managing Director, Sova APAC

You can read more about moving from the fragmented tech-stack towards a unified approach to assessment in our latest white paper The Power of One.