Virtual Hiring Events: 5 Important Things Employers Should Know

Virtual Hiring Events: 5 Important Things Employers Should Know Publié le 18 June 2020 Par

Job fairs, career expos and similar events help employers connect a large number of job seekers quickly and efficiently. Now that many offices, companies and industries have transitioned into remote working arrangements, it’s time for job fairs to follow suit. A virtual hiring event lets employers and job seekers safely come together for interviews, discussions and applications, all so that qualified people can find good opportunities where they can grow and succeed. 

For employers, dealing with such a large pool of candidates in such a setting can seem daunting, especially considering the tech-heavy nature of it. By taking a few simple steps, however, employers can greatly improve their chances of finding the right candidates. Before their next virtual hiring event, here of 5 important things employers should know:

  • Be upfront with job details
  • Look for transferable skills
  • Send important tech info beforehand
  • Ask unconventional questions
  • Consider global candidates

Be Upfront with Job Details

Job candidates deserve to know what they’re getting into when considering taking on a new job. Don’t release a vague outline of a job that only hints at the details. If there are exact credentials that are required, it is best to put this information out immediately so that an applicant’s time and effort is not wasted. 

Avoid generic announcements with only vague details, like:

“Hiring IT Professionals”

Instead be as specific as possible: 

“Full-time/Remote Opportunity – Programmers and Developers (UX/UI) with 4+ years experience”. 

This will make it clear to prospective job candidates that a business is hiring for specific job roles, not simply fishing for resumes. An HR manager typically receives 250 resumes or more for every open position, and the nature of virtual hiring events means there will likely be an even greater number. Employers need to be prepared to sort and organize them as efficiently as possible. By including specific information and skills in the initial job posting, it will be easier to search through applications and see who has made it a point to address these requirements.

Right now, being upfront with job details also means specifying if the job is office-based, remote or a mixed of the two. The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of people in Canada and around the world switching to remote work. Many people would like this to remain the standard work arrangement for several reasons, including the reduced cost, extra time and safety concerns. Just because a virtual hiring event is online, however, it does not mean that every job position presented there will also be a work-from-home job. Make sure that candidates know right up front if they will be expected to commute to the office for this role, if it can be performed remotely in the comfort and safety of their own home or some combination of the two.

Look at Transferable Skills

While every job has specific requirements and prerequisites, employers looking for the best candidate for the role cannot overlook the importance of transferable skills. These are the “soft skills” that develop over the course of a career and can be transferred from job to job. While hard skills are specific programming knowledge and familiarity with sales markets, for example, soft skills include problem solving, openness to collaboration and leadership abilities to name a few. Strong transferable skills are valuable to a company because they make up a person’s general attitude and mindset towards their professional goals. Candidates with strong transferable skills likely have a growth mindset, meaning that it will be easier for them to learn hard skills and adapt to meet the hard requirements.

Given the strict time limits and confines of a virtual hiring event, it can be difficult to determine if a job candidate has strong transferable skills. This is one reason that successful HR managers know to search a resume for accomplishments and achievements, not just a list of responsibilities. Employers looking for signs that job candidates will work to grow beyond their role and move the company forward should always look for indications of strong transferable skills, even during the short time frame of a virtual hiring event.

Send Important Technical Information Beforehand

With millions of people suddenly transitioning to working from home for their job roles, it has led to a proliferation of apps and programs designed to make remote communication as simple and efficient as possible. For virtual hiring events, there are multiple video conferencing apps available for employers looking to connect with job seekers. Zoom, Houseparty, Google Meet, Messenger Video, and Skype are just some of the most popular options. Each of these apps have their own setups and interfaces that require a little bit of work beforehand in order to run correctly. Job seekers looking to connect should be provided with all the technical specifications before the virtual hiring event begins. This will give them the time to download apps, create accounts and familiarize themselves with how each program operates. An effective way to do this is to send out video links beforehand, which can also be used to download and sign up for the correct program.

Given the limited amount of time that job seekers and employers typically have together during a hiring event — sometimes as little as 2-3 minutes — minimizing the likelihood of technical mishaps and glitches during a virtual hiring event should be a priority as to not waste everyone’s time. From an employer’s perspective, take the time to make sure that the HR department is equipped to talk to a high volume of people in relatively quick succession. If part of the interview process will be having candidates complete a test or practice assignment, have these materials ready in different formats so they can be sent right away after a successful interview. 

Ask Unconventional Questions

A virtual hiring event and job fair is a lot like a blind date: there’s a very limited amount of time for people to get to know each other and see if anything clicks. While getting through the basic information about the job requirements and candidate’s skills and experience is necessary, some of the short time available should be used to learn about the candidates attitudes at a deeper level. 

One effective method of doing this is by asking unconventional questions during their interview. A job candidate should arrive prepared to talk about their credentials and past requirements, but if the interview only stays on these topics it will be like watching a rehearsed speech. Throw in a couple unexpected questions, and the response will help HR managers get a better look at a candidate beyond their prepared answers.

Consider Global Candidates

The benefit of a virtual hiring event is that anyone with a computer and an internet connection can join. Given the high level of freedom this provides, use this as an opportunity to connect with employers from around the world. Traditional hiring events and jobs fairs – and many traditional job roles themselves – limit the pool of candidates to the city or general area where the office is located. A virtual hiring event removes this barrier, so there is no reason to block off an entire world of candidates. If a company is considering offering permanent remote work roles, as over 40% of global businesses were already doing at the start of 2020, the goal should always be to fill them with the most highly qualified people that can be found, and they may not be in the same city, country or even continent.

A global workforce will strongly benefit a company. When a workforce is made up of people with unique and different experiences, backgrounds and points-of-view, it will make for stronger collaborations. When people can view an issue or project from multiple different angles and draw from their own particular experiences, it results in a greater wealth of ideas and possible solutions. With a global team collaborating together, it puts a company in a better position to set themselves apart from the competition. A virtual hiring event is the perfect opportunity to start building a global team that will help a business succeed.

Virtual hiring events are a great opportunity for employers to connect with a large amount of prospective employees. Employers can improve the effectiveness of these events by being upfront about the specifics and nature of a job, considering important transferable skills, sending tech info beforehand, asking unconventional questions, and considering candidates from around the world who bring unique experiences and different perspectives to the team. With many people looking for work, a virtual hiring event could be just the chance to find qualified job seekers ready to jump onboard and help move the company in exciting new directions.