People have had to be even more creative during these uncertain times, as coronavirus has made it incredibly difficult to carry on with the recruitment processes that are familiar to us all.
For obvious reasons - such as physical distancing and reducing the number of people you expose yourself to, normal steps in the recruitment process such as face-to-face interviews cannot take place safely.
Now, this doesn't have to be all bad. Many companies have adopted virtual and contactless methods in order to ensure their hiring times are not effected and still run as efficiently as possible.
For example, the introduction of a two-step telephone interview stage. By focusing more on telephone conversations at the interview stage, not only does this abide with social distancing rules and regulations, but also saves money and time. A win-win scenario for both parties involved.
Figures from analyst firm Gartner show 86% of businesses have been conducting virtual interviews during the pandemic, and 85% are using new technology to onboard employees.
By conducting the second part of an interview on a video calling app such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, companies are able to interview candidates much more productively, as onboarding can take place much quicker.
Care home provider Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare has had to ramp up the hiring process to fill more than 1,000 roles in recent weeks, according to HR director Sharon Benson - and by using virtual methods, they are able to do this a lot easier.
Interviewing isn't the only thing that's gone virtual. For example, caregivers are now training online. Videos are used to show how certain activities should be carried out in practice, and employees can also access extra e-learning modules.
Going forward, certain steps in the recruitment process could be virtual forever.
Sharon Benson stated that "as part of our virtual interview process, we have built in some behavioural competencies, which we score and assess. These will definitely be included as part of our face-to-face interviews in the future.”
“During this period, we’ve really strengthened our processes and centralised some aspects of our recruitment activity, such as the initial telephone screening. This had led to double the conversion rates from application through to offer stage,” says Benson. “As part of our virtual interview process, we have built in some behavioural competencies, which we score and assess. These will definitely be included as part of our face-to-face interviews in the future.” Doing everything virtually has created an audit trail of data and everything has been documented more formally, she adds, which is an opportunity for the team to gain better insights into the candidate journey and make long-term improvements to each stage.