In a virtual working world, these talent leaders provide human connection

Man working at computer in home office 1

Today’s working world is changing rapidly. The pivot from in-person to virtual working strategies has impacted nearly every aspect of hiring: from interviews and presentations to informal conversations and everything in-between. When it comes to hiring, companies may understandably have a lot of questions and concerns about this shift and, more specifically, wonder how their recruiting teams are handling these changes with candidates.

For example, how should talent teams share their company’s mission, values and culture, within the scope of virtual work? What about remotely showcasing their employer brand to attract the right candidates at the right time? And once candidates are in the pipeline, how do recruiters nurture and engage them without an in-person conversation?

In our recent webinar in partnership with Glassdoor, we offered insights to answer these questions and more alongside top talent acquisition leaders from Niantic and WillowTree. Read on for an overview of the discussion.


Part one: Sourcing candidates

Starting with employer brand, moderator James Parker, Sr. Manager, Talent Acquisition at Glassdoor asked speakers to discuss some of the creative ways their companies have approached this new normal with candidates.

“Branding is so important in order to position yourself in the right way with candidates,” said Tegan Wild, Talent Acquisition Strategist, Business Operations and Executive at WillowTree. “We make sure that our core values are clearly presented on our careers page – putting our best foot forward.”

Tegan also explained that his team highlights their culture awards, such as Inc. 5000 and Glassdoor Employees' Choice Awards, to showcase their brand with candidates.

Jacqui Maguire, Director of Talent Acquisition at Greenhouse, agrees. “We make sure to show the authenticity of our brand by letting the employees tell the story. Whether that’s within a blog post on our website or employee highlights or on Glassdoor, we focus on real stories from our employees.”

It’s also important to communicate your company’s mission and values. But doing so virtually means reframing traditional strategies.

“When it comes to expressing our mission and values, we try to emphasize what we already have,” said Jessica Choi, Recruiting Operations Lead at Niantic, Inc. “Our partnership with The Muse resulted in a number of employee testimonial videos and photos that we now link to from our site. We also promote recent content pieces such as podcasts and articles when following up with candidates.”

“Even though you can't fully recreate an in-person onsite meeting virtually, sharing videos and photos really helps,” agreed Jacqui. “We put together a Greenhouse brand deck with photos of our teams and offices to help show candidates who we are.”

James explained that his team is encouraging hiring managers and their teams to leave reviews on their platform so that candidates can get a fuller picture of the company while remote. “Leveraging our reviews really helps capture a lot of information we would normally offer to candidates in person,” said James.


Part two: Nurturing and engaging candidates

Next, the panel discussed what comes after a candidate has been sourced and placed into the hiring process. With so many hires taking place remotely, James began by asking for tips on managing the recruiting pipeline.

“Alignment of timelines between your company and the candidate is key,” said Tegan.

Being transparent upfront is important, especially in today’s environment where time is precious to find new opportunities.
Tegan Wild, Talent Acquisition Strategist, Business Operations and Executive at WillowTree

Tegan added that staying in touch with your leadership team in order to align to your company’s business drivers can enable recruiters to be as efficient and proactive as possible in their outreach. “It might also be a perfect opportunity to put candidates into your CRM for prospect posts. Keep in touch and foster those relationships for the long term,” said Tegan.

“We do use Greenhouse as our ATS and we love the tagging feature,” said James, before asking Jacqui how Greenhouse is utilizing their CRM or ATS right now to keep prospects engaged.

“We’re leveraging our CRM to keep track of strong candidates,” said Jacqui. “If you do have roles that are on hold and have a pipeline of strong candidates you don’t want to forget about, it’s important to keep track of those candidates in a structured way, such as a CRM – and not just rely on our memories.”

When it comes to keeping candidates engaged, an all-virtual working process can be challenging to say the least. But with a strong strategy in place, many companies are aiming to master this new way of hiring.

“At Niantic, there were some challenges we faced in the beginning when we moved to all-virtual that we quickly solved for. For one thing, we had different Zoom links for every interview, which wasn’t ideal for candidates. Now, our account supports one Zoom link for all interviews for a candidate,” said Jessica. “The next challenge was preparing our interviewers with the resources they need, such as interview checklists and do/don't ask guidelines for virtual coffee chats.”

Jessica also explained that interviewer delays, where a previous call might run over into the next, was also addressed. Now, Niantic has new processes in place to make sure the candidate is always given a warm handoff to the next interview, even from miles and screens apart.

Finally, while it may seem as if a virtual working environment would allow for additional time to foster relationships with candidates, extra time isn’t often the reality. James asked Jacqui the ways in which she minimizes the tedious aspects of scheduling outreach and ultimately maximizes human connection.

Going back to the basics of structured hiring allows you to have more empathy and human connection in your process.
Jacqui Maguire, Director of Talent Acquisition at Greenhouse

“Having a system built out where you have a scorecard of attributes necessary for reaching success in a role and couple that with a clear set of structured questions enables alignment and efficiency," said Jacqui. She explained that structured hiring creates the freedom to be more flexible and human with candidates, such as asking them how they prefer the interview be scheduled (one longer interview or several shorter interviews), depending on their own personal situation.

"In this way, structured hiring gives you a lot of room for more human connection and empathy throughout the process," said Jacqui.

The panel went on to discuss these topics in even more detail, as well as answer live questions from our attendees. To access the full webinar and gain insights into these topics to improve your all-remote hiring strategy, visit Excellence in candidate experience: How to provide human connection in a virtual world.

Marnie Williams

Marnie Williams

is Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Marnie has been in the thought leadership content space for 10 years, previously at WeWork and Oracle. She has a master’s in marketing from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s in English from Colorado State University.

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