The Business Case for Virtual Recruiting in 2022 and Beyond
Amid the pandemic, virtual recruiting platforms emerged as an effective way to support ongoing talent acquisition activities while helping everyone stay safe. As we see a gradual increase in in-person gatherings—from parties and concerts to onsite work—many talent acquisition leaders are wondering when it will be time to shutter their virtual recruiting efforts. But should they? In short, we say never—and that’s not just because virtual recruiting is our business. It’s because, as we watch more employers adopt virtual recruiting strategies (in conjunction with in-person events and tactics), we become even bigger believers in the advantages and benefits that virtual recruiting has to offer hiring managers, TA professionals, and job seekers across the board.
Talent experts tend to agree. A majority (81%) of talent acquisition professionals say they will continue to use virtual recruiting for the foreseeable future, because of the ways it makes talent acquisition faster, more efficient and more cost-effective, all while improving the quality of their hires.
Virtual recruiting offers your hiring team benefits you can’t get any other way—speed, scale, efficiency, candidate experience, reach. Brazen’s platform helps customers reach 40% more candidates—especially in rural and other hard-to-reach areas—and 72% of recruiters say their time to hire with virtual recruiting is as fast or faster than in-person recruiting alone.
Here are five reasons that the virtual recruitment experience will endure as a valuable part of talent acquisition strategy throughout 2022 and well into the future.
Prove your ROI with a Host of Metrics
Virtual recruiting has helped Brazen customers improve a wide range of KPIs including time to hire, cost per hire, and candidate experience. Virtual recruiting tools allow you to collect more data on candidates and their interactions with you, and make it easier to analyze that data in useful ways by allowing you to pull reports and illustrate trends from their virtual experience throughout the candidate’s journey. All this data means you can learn what’s really happening, and you can measure the impact of your choices to better influence the outcomes of future virtual career events.
Here are two powerful examples of virtual recruiting’s benefits at work. First, consider our customer AdventHealth, a healthcare company that employs over 65,000 team members at 50+ hospitals and healthcare sites across nine states. AdventHealth reduced their time to hire by over 10 days after implementing virtual recruiting strategies. Speeding up the recruiting process allows employers to better compete for candidates, who may be likely to accept the first job offer they receive. Second, let’s look at another Brazen customer, Arup. This sustainable design, professional services, and business consulting firm operates in more than 140 countries with a team of 16,000 designers, advisors, and experts. Like AdventHealth, Arup has enjoyed the benefits of speed and their time to hire has shrunk. Arup is also using virtual recruiting to aid in its goal of reducing emissions by 30% by 2030 to hit net zero.
Virtual Recruiting is More Flexible & Scalable
Virtual recruiting events reduce the need for travel, allowing you to involve more people in the process at the right time for the right candidate (on top of the environmental benefits). And because they’re so much easier to put together than hosting in-person events, you can host virtual events more frequently and for more specific pools of talent, giving you effective strategies for targeting your ideal candidates and talent niches as broadly or as narrowly as you need, such as recent graduates, job seekers with neurodivergence, or Black women software engineers, to name a few.
One common misconception about virtual recruiting technologies is that they only work for remote positions—but this simply isn’t the case. Even when the majority of positions will be onsite, talent acquisition teams are shifting to digital tools and hybrid recruiting events to gain efficiencies of scale, deliver a quality candidate experience, and shorten time to hire. Our customer Neiman Marcus hired 1500 people for onsite positions in a matter of weeks with virtual hiring events—an achievement that might have taken months by relying solely on in-person events.
Virtual Recruiting Provides a Better Candidate Experience
According to recent TalentBoard research, candidate resentment saw its largest spike in a decade, up 75% in North America in 2021. This signals a need for employers to work swiftly to improve the candidate experience. Virtual recruiting makes the recruiting process faster, more engaging, and consistent—all of which help boost the overall quality of the interview experience for job seekers and recruiters alike.
In its 2021 Candidate Experience Report, Talent Board found that organizations that move candidates more quickly through the recruiting funnel have higher levels of candidate satisfaction. Improving the speed and efficiency of your recruiting process may also reduce candidate ghosting, helping you engage more effectively with high quality candidates and—most importantly—fully evaluate them for your open roles before your competitors can.
Employers need other proactive strategies to improve the candidate experience and combat candidate resentment, too. Virtual recruiting enables employers to expand their reach, tap into new talent pools, and evaluate candidates more quickly than ever before. Leveraging the power of a sourcing marketplace can help you get even more out of your virtual career fairs by making sure they're well-attended, thus optimizing your virtual recruiting process and increasing your odds of landing the best talent possible.
The convenience of virtual hiring events is also highly attractive to job seekers, both active and passive. They can easily navigate the recruiting process from their mobile device in a short amount of time—say, on a break from the job they want to quit. This ease of use with virtual events means you can tap into more of the potential candidate pool and reach job seekers who may not be able to (or have the desire to) spend the time commuting to your in-person events.
Virtual Recruiting Defies Limitations of Site-based Recruiting
Considering a return to the days of only hosting in-person recruiting events means embracing the limitations that come with that model. Virtual recruiting smashes those limits, allowing you to cast a wider net. This enables you to build a larger, more diverse talent community, more effectively fill remote positions or consider candidates for relocation, and find the ‘right’ candidates rather than just choosing from those who are conveniently located and available to attend your in-person events.
Remote is Part of Our ‘New Normal’
Prior to the pandemic, many employers believed that job seekers wouldn’t be comfortable attending online career fairs and engaging in video interviews. But as we all know, technology played a huge part in maintaining some semblance of ‘normal’ life during the health crisis, from remote work and telehealth to online ordering and contactless pickup. Employers that adopted virtual recruiting early in the pandemic quickly learned that job seekers not only respond positively to this application of technology, but that virtual recruiting enabled them to reach more candidates, meet more diverse talent, and more effectively engage with job seekers throughout the recruiting process.
So what’s next for the workforce? Remote and hybrid work are certainly here to stay. According to FlexJobs’ 10th Annual Survey published in 2021, 58% of workers want to be full-time remote employees post-pandemic while 39% prefer a hybrid work environment. That’s a combined 97% of the workforce who want some form of remote work.Remote and hybrid work will be part of the employment landscape for the foreseeable future and the talent acquisition process needs to reflect this culture shift as well. Using virtual recruiting helps employers demonstrate a commitment to employees’ preferences and the capacity to change and evolve with the times.
Regardless of your organization’s work arrangements, virtual recruiting offers the flexibility that candidates need in today’s world. Even for on-premise roles, virtual interviews and virtual recruiting events are still a better way to reach candidates early in the hiring process, a strategy that Neiman Marcus employs to quickly screen job seekers online before inviting prequalified candidates to onsite recruiting events as part of their hybrid recruitment strategy.
Invest in Business Agility with Virtual Recruiting
Adopting virtual recruiting is an effective way to accelerate and complement your in-person recruiting strategy while feeding your recruitment funnel. Our customers also report that investing in virtual recruiting prepares them for any challenge that might arise in the future—the next health crisis, the next talent shortage, the next growth opportunity, the next whatever. This kind of business agility is the closest thing you can get to future-proofing your talent acquisition efforts and your virtual recruitment process, so don't ignore it until it's too late.
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