Employers make ‘remarkable’ pivot to virtual hiring

Employers are turning to virtual hiring and onboarding due to COVID-19–and many plan to continue post-pandemic due to its success, according to a new study.

Three-quarters (75%) of 2,800 senior managers surveyed by staffing firm Robert Half say their companies conducted remote interviews and onboarding sessions during the pandemic. More than 60% implemented these practices only since the pandemic began, and 12% did so before COVID-19 started.

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“Organizations have transitioned to virtual hiring and onboarding incredibly quickly–the pivot has been remarkable,” says Richard Deosingh, a district president for Robert Half. “While there has been substantial growth in the practice of using video for interviewing and onboarding, there are many companies that have been using video for initial interviews with candidates even before the pandemic, and for them, the change was much easier.”

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Not only has the implementation of the practice been successful, but so have the results: Sixty percent said their companies shortened their hiring processes, and the same amount say they expanded their talent search geographically to attract a wider pool of workers.

In general, video has become a part of most people’s personal lives, so the shift to the business world has been quite seamless, Deosingh says. “It speeds up the process for everyone involved by eliminating travel and fitting in with schedules more easily.”

While Deosingh says it’s hard to say with certainty what employers will do in the future, it’s likely employers will see the benefits of virtual hiring and onboarding and continue to embrace them post-pandemic.

“Though it may have been hard to adopt or adapt to using video before it became necessary, this trial by fire has opened eyes to the time it can save during the hiring and onboarding processes. They may choose to adopt it as a practice moving forward, despite being back in the office,” Deosingh says.

Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.