The rise of virtual recruiting...and how to do it right.

As large corporations reevaluate the costs of campus recruiting and try to discover more effective ways to connect with potential millennial talent, virtual recruiting is on the rise.

Cutting out traveling, the number of recruiters needed to cover a territory, and the expenses related to hosting events at college career development centers and replacing it with an online hiring process where most of the candidates seem to spend their time sounds like a good idea, right?

Yes, but with a few asterisks.

One of the defining traits of millennials and Gen Z is that they’ve grown up in the age of technological innovations. With multiple reports suggesting companies up their digital game to increase employer branding and add more effectiveness to recruiting efforts, a logical response says not only is the digital recruiting route more effective cost-wise, but it’s where millennials are — and because the solution adds ease to their recruiting process — it’s where companies should want to be.

However, it’s important to look at how millennials currently use technology and understand the behavior shifts and perceptions that come with executing an online-only process. After helping an NYU junior prep for an internship interview for a company with a virtual recruiting process, my initial thoughts when observing how some companies were implementing this tool were confirmed. Below are a few things to keep in mind when rolling out your virtual recruiting plan:

  1. Understand the ‘more than a number’ desire. For large companies using a 100% virtual recruiting process you could be feeding into the existing perception that millennials will be treated like a number. As millennials desire value and purpose in the work that they do, they also want to feel as if they are unique (similar wants that everyone in the workforce desires.) Being mindful that a start-to-finish digital recruiting process from virtual info sessions to interviews could associate your company with being ‘out of touch and too big’ make sure you still have a presence on campus and opportunities to interact uniquely and intimately with students. As you build a stellar employer brand online, it’s equally important that those efforts translate to experiences with students and millennial prospects in person.
  2. Address negative associations. Students can still recall the painful monotony of applying to internships and positions online — referring to it as the ‘big black hole.’ After years of seeing online applications as useless, the focus was put back on personal connections: connect with an alum that works there, ask upperclassmen who have interned there, meet the recruiter in person at a campus event, etc. Now with companies bringing efforts back to The Worldwide Web, it’s important to educate prospective millennial and Gen Z employees of how this new initiative differentiates from previous online processes.
  3. Factor in the learning curve and compensate for it. Navigating the recruiting process is already a stressful time for students. Factor in a brand new online only recruiting process — and you can imagine the added stress piled onto that. As you roll out a new digital recruiting process, phase in ‘what’s new’ sessions with clubs, career development centers and campus influencers. Invite influential student club presidents and board members, along with your organization’s alumni of that school, to learn the new process and spread the information along — understanding that prospects will reach out to fellow students and alumni for interview advice first.
  4. Be mindful of the gap. Being on campus one year and then absent the next could be detrimental to your employer brand as the noise from other company recruiting events and corporate school partnerships increase every year. Therefore, understand the gap you leave. Still have a strategic presence on campus. Be at every event and sponsor every conference in sight? Maybe not. But having a relationship with organizations and students to identify worthwhile and unique opportunities to maintain a strong employer brand on-campus is important and key. (Especially if you’re in an industry that’s struggling to attract and retain talent.)

Interested in learning more about how Yvolve (e’valv) can innovate your recruiting efforts, feel free to contact us at info@yvolve.co.

Jasmine Clark