Overcoming the 5 most common challenges of recruiting online
No doubt, we are living in a world that has just been turned upside down. Thanks to Covid-19, we’re incredibly restricted when it comes to face to face interactions, which can make tasks like hiring employees seem impossible.
At WeAreDevelopers, we have long believed that online recruiting is the future – a scenario that has now arrived. But if you’re new to online recruiting, it can seem impossible at first: how can you really get to know a person online? Or get a feel for the company if you haven't even been to the office? Even if you’re a seasoned online recruiter – you might want to improve your productivity and success rate.
We can assure you that online recruiting is not just doable, but essential, and it will save you a lot of time and money along the way. We also know that you will face some challenges; so here’s our step by step guide to overcoming the 5 most common ones:
1. Attracting the right candidates
Hiring online has a lot of advantages, but one significant disadvantage you might also face is that you attract applicants, who are not a company fit or are lacking in skills.
To ensure you attract the right candidates:
Implement a pre-screening round
You can filter out the wrong candidates quite efficiently at the beginning of the process by letting them fill out a brief survey, answer skill-specific questions, or by hosting a brief 15 minute touch-base video meeting for pre-screening. In this round, you should be asking knock-out questions, such as do you have a permit to work in this country? This something our in-house recruiters always carry out at WeAreDevelopers when they are looking to hire the next best talent for one of our clients.
Ensure your job description is on point
A mistake we see companies making a lot is taking the lazy route and copy-pasting a job description online – without adjusting it to your actual company’s and team’s needs. Ensure you talk to your team, find out what skills and experience you actually need. Then go through the job description line by line ensuring all of the information is included, yet at the same time keeping it to the point and avoiding an extended description that’s difficult to wrap your head around. All of this is even more important online because your job description is the first impression a potential candidate will get of your company.
Get your brand’s personality across
Branding ideally should envelop the personality of the company and the people running it. It gives people a feeling of what they might expect when they deal with or work at the company. Closely related to this is your positioning; what is your company known for? – especially your company skill-set.
You can actively work at creating and shaping your employer brand. How? By setting up an employer profile on platforms such as WeAreDevelopers, where you can add stories, videos, pictures, descriptions and relevant links to provide a full picture of your company. You can also link to social media channels which can be a great way to show some behind the scenes footage of what it’s like working at your company. Your website can be the place where you show off your skills and what projects a future employee can expect.
On all of these channels it’s important to get your company’s personality across. It’s essential to avoid being overly perfect and polished, yet keeping things professional. It’s not about creating a curated image, but creating content that truly shows what the people behind the brand are like.
2. Navigating online recruiting tools
There’s an absolute ton of tools you could be making use of in the online recruitment process. Ideally, they should empower you – to save time, become more productive and mainly make keeping track of candidates and the stages of the hiring process more manageable.
The number of tools, and whether you need them, will depend on a lot of things, such as how many people there are within the company, how many open positions you have, and who is responsible for hiring. Navigating the jungle of online tools for recruiters can be overwhelming. We’ve put together our favorites and the most essential ones you can start using today.
Tools to keep an overview of candidates as a recruiter
Having several applicants at different hiring stages will have you feeling overwhelmed and disorganized quite quickly. We recommend using an applicant tracking system – where you always have an overview, can leave comments for others involved in the hiring process, and can move a candidate through the different phases.
WeAreDevelopers has an integrated applicant tracking system – which makes things a heck of a lot easier. So if you’re looking at hiring developers, you’ve got everything in one place, and you know where to go.
Scheduling interviews online
Calendly is a great way to schedule an interview without sending 15 emails over and back to find a time and day that suits.
Conducting interviews online
Everyday video interview tools for online recruiting
If you’re not a seasoned recruiter, we recommend using more common video conference tools such as: Google Hangouts or Zoom.
By inviting a candidate to a video interview, they will get a link to access a private conference call where you can proceed with a personal interview.
More advanced video interview tools for online recruiting
If you’re a seasoned recruiter or have a ton of interviews to get through, you might want to try something a little more advanced:
Tools such as: VidCruiter or Spark Hire involve a lot more features where you can prepare for interviews with interview question templates, rate the candidates, and more.
Staying productive as a recruiter
Keeping track of passwords
Lastpass will help you keep track of your passwords.
Toggl will help you track your time and identify what processes you’re spending most of your time on. You should try to find a tool to automate those repetitive tasks that are eating up your time.
Avoiding social media distraction
Nudge will keep you off social media and any other distracting websites.
Noisli offers you a range of calming and focused background sounds such as raindrops or crackling fire-side noise - sounds weird, but you would be surprised how quickly you can rattle through applications when you’re in the zone.
Making things look pretty
Need to create social media content or graphics to start attracting talent and have no clue how to go about it?
Our go-to tool is Canva – a simple to use online tool, with lots of templates that will make creating employer branding content as easy as pie.
3. Staying on top of your emails
When you receive a large number of emails for an application, especially if it’s an unsolicited one, you might lose track at some stage.
A great trick to ensure this doesn’t happen is to start creating dedicated folders and labeling emails under ‘recruiting’ or ‘recruiting backend’.
If you’re using Gmail you can find out how to do that here.
4. Expanding your reach online
How can you make sure that not just the right people see your job ad, but a lot of people see it to increase your chances of landing the right candidate?
The answer is expanding your reach online. You can do so by posting your ads on:
Promoting your job ads via social media such as LinkedIn
Talking to your current network or tapping into past applicants
Looking for talent amongst your user-base
Encouraging your team to share and get the word out
Expanding your reach by being present on several channels is very important, but be sure to choose those channels wisely – to make sure you attract the right talent (back to what we were saying in challenge 1.)
5. Losing a candidate because of a lack of time
If there’s one thing that we have experienced time and time again why companies fail to hire great candidates – it’s the fact that you’ve got time working against you. Because, while you’re sorting through applications and scheduling interviews, your best candidate may already be in the negotiation process with another company.
If you’re not a recruiter and your day-to-day practice isn’t hiring – chances are you’re quite inefficient. So why not have someone with experience handle it? So you can focus on what you do best?
Get your free guide to employer branding in the dev space!