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Virtual Hiring: Slow the Spread, Not the Process

June 29, 2020 | Posted at 7:01 pm

Virtual Hiring- Blog pot photo

Written by Jayleen Quevedo and Joanna Davis

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, once said “change is the only constant in life.”  With the onset of Covid-19, this quote has certainly rung true over the last few months.

While there have been numerous changes in the staffing and recruitment industry, a significant change has been the transition for many companies to a completely virtual recruitment and hiring process. Though some employers have previously made “virtual hires,” video interviews were not generally standard operating procedure. Whereas the hiring standard used to include a first level phone screen followed by a traditional in-person interview, employers have had to modify processes to fit new social norms. In our current environment of social distancing, wearing masks, and taking additional precautions with high-touch surfaces, a completely virtual interview and hiring process has become the new normal and significantly increased. This shift has allowed employers to not only remain competitive in the market, but to bolster their recruitment plans and continue to attract talent.

Rewind to this time last year, one of the challenges that employers encountered was losing top talent due to a potential lag time between levels in the interview process. The modus operandi of finding a time for an in-person interview in a hiring manager’s busy schedule meant that an employer often ran the risk of losing qualified talent. This could potentially result in starting their course to hire from the beginning stage.  To that end, the virtual process has allowed hiring to be more streamlined, and we have seen a faster and more seamless hiring process.  Additionally, virtual interviewing has generally allowed interviews to be scheduled more quickly, and candidates to be more readily available to interview last minute. In theory, this allows the timeline of extending an offer to a potential candidate to be shortened when compared to the multi-level in-person interview model.

While managing this current remote workplace landscape, a solid hire is only part of the paradigm.  Once a hire is made, employers have had to improvise and create methods in which they are able to conduct new hire orientation and onboarding on a remote basis.  For decades employers were continually ensuring that new hires were provided tools to be successful in their new position, welcoming and integrating the new employee face-to-face with managers and coworkers.  In the current work environment, employers have had to develop and utilize new strategies that support a strong remote onboarding process.

The necessity for companies to continue to interview and hire for positions during a time when many are quarantined has resulted in recognizing the ability to leverage technology and move the virtual component to the forefront. With communication software programs such as Zoom, WebEx, and Microsoft Teams being used frequently for virtual interviews, firms are also seeing the value in utilizing other various tools these platforms can offer. They have been an effective means of not only conducting video interviews but possess chat functions that allow remote new hires to easily call or chat with managers and be trained through screen sharing tools.

While we do not know what the future holds, it’s evident that many employers have recognized technology as an effective tool in hiring. Unlike previous industry transitions that have occurred over time, the immense push for virtual hiring methods has been implemented in an extremely short time frame and will continue to transform and evolve in the coming months. When Covid-19 is safely in the rearview, the virtual approach to recruitment will likely continue to be utilized to complement the in-person interview, hiring and onboarding process.

Authors’ Bios:

Jayleen Quevedo is a Staffing Coordinator with Legal Placements’ Support Staff Division.  She joined LPI in 2019 and transitioned into the staffing industry after working in a law firm for over five years. Jayleen is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. She can be reached at Jayleen.Quevedo@legalplacements.com.

Joanna Davis is Director of Sales for the Support Staff Division of Legal Placements, Inc. She has been working in the staffing industry for many years and has been a member of the LPI team for over 22 years.  She is an active Business Partner with the Capital Chapter Association of Legal Administrators and a member of Law Firm Vendors Association.  Joanna can be reached at joanna@legalplacements.com.