Virtual recruitment will be a key fixture of the hybrid workplace

Written by Nicolas Speeckaert, co-founder and director of skeeled, a provider of AI predictive talent acquisition software.

Shifting to a hybrid work model

Many companies are planning how their employees can safely return to the office. If the UK government’s roadmap out of lockdown is successful, restrictions on social contact could be removed by 21 June, which could indicate a good point in time where legally companies can ask their employees to return. But what will the future workplace look like?

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated flexible working trends, supported by technology and, as research tells us, this is likely to continue.

Many companies are talking about adopting a ‘hybrid working’ model, where some people are in the office and others at home. BP recently announced that its 25,000 global employees will be expected to work from home for two days per week after the pandemic in a permanent shift to flexible working. Metro Bank has also announced that it is developing a ‘hybrid model’ for its staff.

It appears to be what employees want too. A recent survey from digital workplace firm, Claromentis[1] revealed that after the threat of the pandemic subsides, almost three quarters (73%) of UK knowledge workers want a ‘hybrid’ working arrangement, splitting their time between home and the office.

Of the 73%, the average employee wants to work from home for around two thirds (64%) of their working week and spend around a third (36%) of their time working from the office.

Virtual recruitment trends

To move seamlessly to a hybrid model, companies may need to review their processes and the technology it uses to support their business.

One key area where technology is already proving invaluable is recruitment. Offices may have been closed, but hiring has continued online, with companies interviewing, hiring and onboarding new recruits over Zoom or Teams without ever meeting them in person.

The pandemic was the ideal testing ground for virtual recruitment and showed employers that it is possible and effective with the right tools.

Using digital recruitment solutions employers can now streamline many of the repetitive and time-consuming processes, particularly in the early stages of recruitment in attracting, sifting, and selecting candidates for interview.

Working in different locations does not need to be a barrier to recruitment or slow down the process. Many companies embraced digital recruitment throughout the pandemic and are now set to continue recruiting this way as they are finding it particularly useful for global hiring.

Insights from LinkedIn[2] at the start of 2021 highlighted that 81% of talent professionals believe virtual recruitment will continue post-Covid and 70% say virtual recruitment will become the new standard.

Last year, recruitment outsourcing company Cielo[3] also highlighted that most employers are now comfortable using technology for talent acquisition, with 82% of hiring managers saying they will continue to interview using video once the pandemic is over. Two fifths (41%) are happy to onboard staff virtually and 32% are not concerned about making job offers without meeting candidates face to face.

Going digital is helping companies save money and hire the right talent

Businesses are adapting to the new normal and we are seeing demand grow for virtual talent acquisition solutions.

Moving part of the recruitment process into the virtual world can remove the resource intensive and costly stages of recruitment when candidates are screened and selected for the first interview. Often it can also benefit candidates who are more relaxed being interviewed from home.

With more people chasing jobs and employers seeing high volumes of applicants for each job role advertised this can be a real advantage. Technology can save companies hours of time and cost and ensure a more fair and objective selection process.

We expect virtual recruitment will become the norm for many companies in the future, working in tandem with more traditional recruitment methods and complementing the overall recruitment strategy.

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About the author:

Nicolas Speeckaert is Co-Founder and Managing Director, skeeled. His LinkedIn profile is; (2) Nicolas Speeckaert | LinkedIn


skeeled is a predictive talent acquisition software that leverages the power of behavioural science and AI technology to help you make successful hires. A powerful, user-friendly solution, skeeled uses AI-based technology and workflow automation to optimise every step of the talent acquisition process, and predictive analytics, pre-employment assessments and structured interviewing to help you find the right person for each role.