- Virtual hiring strategies have become widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 75% of senior managers surveyed by staffing firm Robert Half saying their companies conducted remote interviews and onboarding sessions during the pandemic. More than 60% implemented these practices only since the pandemic began.
- The results indicate major changes to recruiting operations at most companies. For example, 60% said their companies shortened their hiring processes, and the same amount said they expanded their talent search geographically to attract a wider pool of workers.
- Overall, more than half of respondents hired full-time or temporary staff remotely since the pandemic began, Robert Half said. Sixty-one percent said they advertised fully remote jobs during this time, and nearly half had implemented this practice since the pandemic began.
As with many areas of HR operations, recruiting has been significantly altered by COVID-19. The lack of face-to-face interaction due to public health measures, in addition to the impact of the pandemic on the job market, created an environment that looks nothing like it did in January.
Some recruiters even saw their day-to-day tasks impacted. A survey recently conducted by Lever found more than half of recruiter respondents had navigated other HR tasks, including administering paid leave, in the wake of hiring freezes. Some in the survey said they had worked with departments outside of HR.
Larger companies operating in industries deemed essential were particularly affected by the need to hire more staff, even as competitors and those in other industries struggled. Walmart, for example, shortened in March its hiring process to as little as 24 hours for certain store associate positions. The company sought to meet a massive May hiring goal of 150,000 new store associates.
In the ensuing months, employers have received answers to numerous questions about how virtual hiring might look moving forward. For example, employers still must comply with Form I-9 requirements and may continue to do so remotely, thanks to a series of extensions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
There's also the use of new technologies that enable employers to conduct traditional hiring standbys, such as interviews, virtually. Vendors have launched products with this vision in mind. Indeed introduced virtual hiring events in which clients may automatically pre-screen candidates and manage RSVPs, as well as hold virtual lobbies and waiting rooms for candidates. Others, including LinkedIn, have launched similar products.
A broader shift to remote work at many organizations has since spurred increased adoption of recruiting automation technologies, sources previously told HR Dive, and the movement toward virtual hiring formats may be permanent for some. Officials at CVS told HR Dive that candidates have reacted positively to virtual interviews, praising the format's convenience and speed.