Hiring during a pandemic - a guide to hiring and onboarding remote workers

By Mark Baggs, Head of Global

remote worker on laptop

What is virtual recruiting?

Virtual recruiting is hiring talent purely through using digital technologies. From the talent acquisition stage, to the interview, onboarding and the work itself. Recruiters rely on technologies for video interviews, virtual events, surveys and for feedback processes.

What are the advantages of virtual recruiting?

While there are still many benefits of face-to-face interviewing, when done right, virtual recruiting can enable a company to recruit with social distancing measures, and provide access to a wider scope of candidates when canddiates are purely remote workers. Other benefits of virtual recruiting include:


Even if you don’t continue to hire virtually post pandemic, having the processes in place mean that should the situation arise where it is required again, you will be ready. By not being prepared, businesses can find themselves lagging competitors and losing out on valuable talent.

Saving time and money

Through turning the process online, you can automate several elements of the recruiting. Plus, it means candidates may be more likely to apply when they don’t have to spend money and take time commuting to the office.

Reduces bias and increases diversity

Office working means reducing your net of candidates to a particular radius. Therefore, when this is removed you’re inviting a wider variety of candidates from different locations. A way to reduce bias further would be to implement a same-set interview questions. Often, when interview questions are not structured, it can cause ‘similar-to-me’ bias. This can occur when interviewers find themselves preferring candidates who they share things in common with. Having a guide will ensure the interview follows the same structure, and any important questions aren’t overlooked. 

What are the disadvantages of virtual recruiting? 

Not able to gage personality and the ability to ‘fit in’ to the organisation

Lets face it, you can only really tell how well someone will gel with the team, when they have met them face to face. Video calls often don’t exactly make for smooth conversation. Therefore, it can be tricky to gage how well someone will fit into an organisation’s culture.

Misaligning a candidate to organisation fit, could lead to an early exit. This is not only inconvenient, but can be costly and time consuming.

Poor candidate experience

Office culture can sometimes provide an entertaining and sociable workplace. Team members can bond, and company values and culture can feel a lot stronger in-person than they can do over a video conference.

If a candidate feels detached and undervalued, this can not only lead to a lack of motivation, but also to an early exit. This can be especially common amongst millennials and Gen-Z,  who are have a median job tenure that’s two-third’s shorter than older generations.

How to hire successfully

Allow candidates to experience company culture

Although virtual hiring doesn’t include a tour of the office, company culture can still be experienced. Some ways to communicate the experience of company culture to remote workers include:

  • Highlight how the company makes an effort to bring people together socially, whether that be in person or virtual. Having a social side to job can be incredibly important to current jobseekers. Therefore, communicating these additional benefits like virtual events is important.
  • Encourage them to get in touch other members of the team. Fellow employees should make great advocates for your organisation. Therefore, putting these in touch with candidates or new hires can drastically improve their impression or onboarding to the organisation.
  • Provide a pack which provides information about the company including its values, mission and purpose etc.

Be transparent throughout the entire process

With zero face to face interaction during hiring, it can difficult to feel like you’ve made a connection with an organisation during the hiring or onboarding process. One thing that can impede this further is a lack of transparency during the process.

For example, if you know the chances are, feedback for a candidate could take up to a week, it’s important to communicate this. Or, should there be any delays in the process, not communicating this can lead to frustration from the candidate, and only reflects negatively on the organisation. By being transparent throughout the process, the candidate feels kept in the loop, and that the organisation is mindful of the often stressful period they are going through.

Create virtual events that enable team bonding and socialising

Virtual events are often the thing that slips through the cracks when it comes to hiring and onboarding remotely. Before the pandemic, alongside celebrating events like Christmas and the summer, events were a great opportunity for workplaces to celebrate successes and encourage more success. Without these therefore, employees can feel disengaged.

Gallup reports disengaged employees have a 37% higher rate of absenteeism. They have 18% lower productivity and 15% lower profitability. Based on those calculations, the cost of a disengaged employee could be 34% of their annual salary.

Great ideas for virtual events include:

  • Ask me anything sessions (AMAs): These typical involve a senior member answer the questions any candidates have about a job or a role available. These don’t have to just be done for external candidates. This can work well for big organisations, as there may be those interested in a career within the company who would want to find out more information about what different people do.
  • Information sessions: These are similar to AMAs but provide more knowledge about the company rather than the role. This helps introduce candidates to different areas of the business and provides a clearer overview than research from the website/social media.
  • Just chatting sessions: These can be a combination of the two events above. By loosely selecting a topic, but keeping it broad and informal, it encourages candidate to feel more at ease and enables a more human side to an organisation to be seen. By not presenting slides, the talk becomes more driven by the candidates and the conversation can be more authentic. This helps both the candidate get a better view of the organisation and vice versa.

Make candidates aware of career opportunities within the company

According to LinkedIn’s research on candidate trends, the number one reason for candidates leaving a job is career progression, and one of the most important factors in accepting a new job is career progression.

Therefore, during your hiring process and onboarding, it’s important to communicate potential for career progression. This can be done via virtual workshops or events. Alternatively, just having a conversation with remote workers regarding future and being transparent regarding processes for career development helps the candidate feel engaged and motivated.

If you need any help building or mobilising your remote workers, Procorre Global can set your team up in-country quickly and seamlessly with needing to set up an entity. Contact a member of our team today to find out more.

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