Remote work has increased in frequency with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the United States, it’s estimated that in 2020, “31 percent of workers who were employed in early March had switched to working at home by the first week of April,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Finding and hiring a great candidate for an open role is always challenging, even before the pandemic introduced different ways we work. We provide five tips for how you can enhance your recruiting style in a remote world and have included some valuable advice from PrimePay’s Talent Acquisition Managers.
1. Write specific and engaging job postings.
One of the best ways to make a great first impression on future employees is to develop specific and engaging job postings or advertisements. Often, this posting is your first connection with a candidate so you want to portray the role and your organization in an authentic and positive manner.
The first thing you want to review is your job descriptions. Job descriptions should include an overview of responsibilities, requirements of the positions such as skills and experience, education level or special certifications, and whether the position is full-time, part-time, seasonal, or a freelance or internship position. It’s also a great idea to specify whether the position is remote, and if not, what location it is in.
Once you have an intriguing job description written and proofread, go ahead and create a job title. You could be thinking this step would have come before the job description, but you might want to consider having the job title be more descriptive as opposed to just posting the exact title of the position. Using the job description, go ahead and brainstorm a title. An example could be, “Remote Senior Web Developer for a High Growth Organization in Boston.”
Once you have the above completed, be sure to include instructions on how to apply to the job you have outlined. It’s important to make it easy for candidates by providing specific steps for them to apply. With the digital world nowadays, this is commonly handled online either by visiting a specific recruitment website and uploading a resume, or by applying through the company’s website.
Many job seekers are looking at multiple opportunities at once. This means they are typically doing a quick scan of a job posting so they can move on to the next. To stand out from the crowd, a well-developed job title and description is the key to attracting and maintaining their attention.
2. Promote on your company website.
Typically, to attract candidates, provide information on the following in addition to the available positions at your organization:
- A clear understanding of your organization.
- Insight into the employee experience at your organization.
- A sense of connection.
In order to do the above three things, utilize your company website to promote your job opportunities. With many functions being remote, it’s more important than ever to ensure your website is packed with this information.
If you don’t have a Careers or Opportunities section on your company website, you might want to consider creating one. When creating a Careers section on your company website, you’ll want to ensure you include information on what your company does, what it stands for, what industry it is in, etc. This is also a great spot to share employee photos, quotes, articles, videos, and more to help candidates better understand your organization’s culture and the employee experience. It’s also very beneficial to be transparent with your interview process. Providing as much information as possible will put the candidate at ease as you are making it easier for them to prepare.
If you already have a Careers or Opportunities section on your website, in addition to the above recommendations, here are a few suggestions to enhance it:
- Make it easily navigable. If you make it easy for candidates to find the job that they are looking for, you have a better chance of finding a great fit.
- Explain employee benefits early on. For example, professional development, training, benefits, growth, etc.
- Share a lot of photos, if you have the ability and approval to do so. Share pictures of teams interacting, share pictures of events you may have had in the workplace. Anything that positively and authentically conveys the experience at your organization, share.
- Provide resources. If you have videos, articles with interview tips, or just general career advice, put that on your website as well. This can help build that human connection as it shows you are not only eager to find top talent but to help job seekers learn as they search.
Being able to share and support the company's job page as a recruiter or a hiring manager helps increase visibility even more.
3. Get digital!
As there is still much uncertainty surrounding the future of remote work, it’s essential that you adapt your recruiting process to accommodate this working style.
You can start by taking a look at your current recruiting process, and see which steps can be enhanced on digital platforms like social media, email, direct messaging, video calling, and more.
Individuals are increasingly turning to social media platforms more to feel a connection with others. This is a great chance for you to place your positions in front of people you want to hire. To do so, find ways to determine which platforms your ideal candidates frequently use. The most commonly used social media platforms are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
LinkedIn is the top spot for employers looking for candidates. The platform’s job posting functionality allows you to share numerous positions and your posting will be visible in the jobs section for candidates to find. LinkedIn pulls data from multiple profiles to match the criteria of your job posting to an individual’s skills, experience, and goals, allowing for a more targeted approach to finding the best fit. Job seekers also have the ability to create alerts to receive notifications whenever a new job is posted under the criteria they input.
Facebook also has a job posting functionality. Candidates can search for jobs using the “Jobs on Facebook” section. This makes it possible to reach candidates as your job posting may catch their eye as they scroll through their feed.
Although Twitter and Instagram may not currently have job posting functionality, you can utilize these platforms to bring awareness to the open positions you have. You can also cross-promote and direct them to your LinkedIn or Facebook channels and connect there. Instagram is a great platform for featuring images of your company. You can post pictures of employee accomplishments, events, and more, all of which can be helpful in providing a glimpse into what your company is about so candidates can be more inclined to apply.
As a recruiter or hiring manager, consider implementing your own social media strategy of sharing company posts. Chances are, you have a large network as a result of your outreach in your role. This approach provides a broader audience and is more human-centric. Seeing a job post on a company platform may not appear as personal as it would coming from an individual who works for that company.
Erin Murphree, PrimePay Talent Acquisition Manager, has over six years of recruitment experience and shares her advice on how you can optimize your recruiting social media strategy, “Social media is such a powerful and incredible tool, and at times can be underutilized, especially when it comes to recruitment efforts. With that said, use it and be social! Specifically, I like to utilize LinkedIn as a tool to get your company name out there. LinkedIn allows you to reach an audience that you may not otherwise be able to reach. It also allows you to be a brand ambassador for your company by demonstrating your company culture, and of course, posting job descriptions. Consider posting videos, images, and informative posts. The most important thing is to show people that you can relate to them, and that you are human and not a robot.”
Overall, there are many strategies you can take with social media. From posting jobs and promoting them, to illustrating company culture and sharing general brand awareness. Putting effort into your social media promotions will make your company stand out in the job market and provide insight into what your company is all about. Also, be cognizant of the content on your organization’s social media platforms.
Take advantage of email marketing. It may be beneficial that you invest in an email marketing platform. Send out frequent emails to potential candidates with available jobs you have. In order to build your email distribution list, there are many methods. One method is if you have a career page on your website, you can add an email submission form on the page. You can entice the audience to submit their emails by using call-to-actions such as the following:
- “To never miss a job posting, sign up for our email alerts.”
- “Want real-time updates for when a new opportunity is available? Sign up for our email alerts.”
- “Be the first to know about a new opportunity. Sign up for our email alerts.”
For recruiters and hiring managers, consider communicating directly with your network via email. Email communication can not only help you stand out and remain top of mind, but is also a thoughtful way to stay connected and build relationships with potential candidates. Even if the individual is not interested in the opportunities you have to offer, they will most likely appreciate the gesture, and they could potentially pass the information to a friend or colleague.
Dan Krupansky, PrimePay Talent Acquisition Manager, has 10 years of recruitment experience and shares his advice when it comes to utilizing email as part of your recruiting strategy, “Email is a great way to promote your jobs. You can email links of jobs you have posted online to prospective candidates for them to review. I use email as a way of reengaging candidates who I previously interviewed who I feel are a fit for future positions that become available. I also use email to keep candidates engaged throughout the interview process. I will send candidates an email to let them know the status of the interview process and make sure they have the proper expectations while going through the process.”
Whether you decide to take the email marketing route, the personalized email check-in route, or both, you’ll be one step further in getting in touch with top talent.
Similar to email, direct messaging, whether that be on social media or another form of chat, can be a great way for recruiters and hiring managers to build relationships with potential candidates. This approach is more timely and an easy way to share videos and other resources. For example, if you know of a candidate that is moving forward in the interview process, you could send them a quick good luck note and potentially provide some meaningful advice or resources to boost their confidence.
Video Calling Platforms
Before the world became more digital, many interviews would include a smile, eye contact, and a firm handshake when meeting with a candidate for the first time. With more candidates and workplaces being fully and/or partially remote, video is a great alternative to utilize.
While you may not be able to determine the quality of a handshake, some factors to consider in a video call with a candidate are how they present themselves, how punctual they are, how courteous and attentive they are, and how open and confident they are.
Erin shares her experience using video calling as part of her recruiting strategy and states, “Pre-pandemic, my initial interviews were all via phone. In 2020, PrimePay as a team decided to incorporate virtual interviews in the first step of the process, and this is perfect for us to develop that social dynamic with candidates! I love interacting with people virtually via video. It makes it feel more real and adds that special touch that I felt was missing on the phone.”
Dan also has experience using video calling as part of his recruiting strategy and shares, “I enjoy video interviews because I can put a face to the person I am speaking with, and I can see the person’s reaction to specific questions I am asking, and how the candidate presents themselves.”
He also notes, “I recommend preparing for a video interview as you would any other interview. You want to be as prepared as possible for the interview, including researching the company and practicing responses to questions you could be asked. Dress professionally. Ensure you are in a quiet place away from any distractions. Test the system you will be using before the interview, as you do not want any technical issues at the time of the interview.”
On the other hand, it’s important to look out for the not-so-positive factors when deciding whether or not you’d like to move forward with a candidate. Some not-so-positive factors include the potential of the candidate being distracted during the call, tardiness, etc. Dan and Erin put together a great video to shine some light on this topic and provide advice to candidates on what not to do during a virtual interview. Click here to view the video.
Overall, video is a wonderful way to get to know potential candidates. If you haven’t added this into your recruiting process, you might want to consider it.
4. Don’t forget about phone calls.
As a recruiter or hiring manager, or even being an employer looking to grow your team, you may find yourself on the phone for a great percentage of your day sourcing candidates. Don’t forget about the importance and effectiveness of this recruiting method. Like checking in with candidates through email or direct messaging to see how they are doing, do the same with a phone call.
Phone calls not only are a great way to source candidates, but also a great way to build relationships with existing candidates.
Dan explains his method for phone calls, and how he’s adapted to today’s environment to make them more meaningful. He shares, “A lot of people in recruitment today do not pick up the phone and reach out. This is about 75% of what I do. I like to engage candidates, build rapport with them and make sure we are all on the same page. The quickest and most effective way to do this is by talking over the phone. Sending emails and text messages are good, but there is the chance of messages being missed or the information in a message being misunderstood. Talking over the phone gives the candidate and the company representative the chance to ask questions and get clarification if needed.”
All in all, be sure to keep picking up that phone to build your network and nurture your current one.
5. Get your employees involved.
Employees can be a wonderful recruitment resource. Consider implementing an employee referral program for your company, as these programs can be a great way to attract top talent.
There are many reasons to introduce an employee referral program, but the most common reasons include: lower costs per hire, high quality hires, decreased time to hire, and the opportunity to improve relationships with existing employees. On top of that, employees like to help their networks.
In addition to the referral program, motivate employees to share job postings to gain more exposure. The more networks your job posting can get in front of, the better.
It’s time to accommodate this working style.
The future workplace, and how remote working fits into it, continues to be an ongoing discussion. It is critical that you adapt your hiring process. We hope that the above tips and advice from PrimePay’s very own Talent Acquisition Managers help you to enhance your recruiting style in a remote world.
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Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding the specific application of the information to your own plan.