“Virtual” is quickly becoming a buzzword in the early talent recruiting world. As more and more employers aim to connect with students virtually, it begs the question: does virtual recruiting really require new tools? 

We asked the experts on Yello’s Customer Success Team for their insights. Our team works closely with hundreds of recruiting teams — including many that recruit “virtually” without dedicated virtual tools. We’ve compiled their tips, so you can keep recruiting without having to make major shifts to your strategy.

Creating a Virtual Event

Instead of attending career fairs on campus, employers can host virtual events to source candidates. Consider hosting Information sessions, candidate Q&As, and other types of presentations in a webinar format — or hosting more informal virtual events like coffee chats or networking sessions. Even if your “event” is just an online form that candidates can use to express interest in your company, you’ll still capture those candidates and be able to fill your pipeline for next steps. 

If your team already uses an events management software, you have all the tools you need to get started with virtual recruiting events. The one change you’ll need to make is replacing the location field with a webinar link. 

Engaging with Candidates Virtually

When advertising your virtual event, you should treat it like you would a traditional event. Reach out to candidates early and often via email or text campaigns

Ensure that your virtual events are added to your company’s upcoming recruitment events listing on your website, email signature and social media. Candidates will be coming to your website to look for these events — and you’ll be missing out on potential attendees if you don’t include virtual events with your traditional events. 

Also, you should feel free to engage with candidates virtually outside of events. Leverage email and text campaigns to promote company news and open roles. This will keep candidates engaged and aware of your employer brand. 

As a best practice, make sure you’re giving candidates the opportunity to opt in to your talent pool proactively. Empower candidates to pre-register for your virtual event or create dedicated talent communities — ensuring you capture candidates when they’re interested. Consider making the resume capture a required field on your registration form to ensure you collect as much candidate information as possible. 

Learn how Kearney engaged 77% more candidates — while cutting physical campus events by more than half. 

Phone Screens & Virtual Interviews 

After the virtual event, you’ll want to quickly invite top-ranked candidates to a first-round screening interview. Leverage interview scheduling software so that candidates can self-schedule. This streamlines the process and eliminates back-and-forth. 

As a best practice for phone screens, recruiters should consider creating one month-long event to which they can attach all of their phone screen conversations. Your team can create one event per recruiter or division and add ongoing calendar availability for candidates to self-schedule — eliminating the need to create new events or appointments for each day of phone screens. From a reporting standpoint, this also empowers teams to easily track how many candidates were interviewed by each recruiter or division each month.

While the first-round screen could take place over the phone, consider doing a video interview for later-stage conversations — especially if you’re not planning to do any on-site or in-person interviews. 

This won’t be too different from a traditional process after the virtual event, but you will want to make sure that you are communicating extremely often with your virtual candidates. Lean toward over-communicating with candidates on next steps, so they don’t feel lost in the virtual process. 

Evaluating Candidates Virtually 

Like your traditional events, your team should ensure that hiring managers and other staff evaluators have easy access to your candidate evaluations tool. At a traditional career fair, your team may be using mobile-friendly evaluation tools to leave reviews quickly — but they may prefer using a desktop platform to complete evaluations for virtual events. Ensure you’re listening to your team and giving them options to ensure the evaluations process is as seamless as possible.

Because staff will have less face-time with candidates during virtual events, you may need to make changes to your evaluation form. Some Yello clients have streamlined their traditional forms with a simple ranking system — making it as easy as possible for staff to track virtual interactions and make recommendations for next steps. 

As you’re approaching virtual recruiting for the immediate future or as a long-term strategy, know this: it’s less about the tools you have and more about how you’re adapting them. 

If you and your team are looking for more advice on virtual recruiting, get in touch with us! We’re here to help.