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Virtual Recruitment

How to recruit employees online

While the headlines may focus on record unemployment caused by the pandemic, that doesn’t mean hiring is at a standstill. Many sectors of the economy—from healthcare to trucking to IT—are searching for their next team members right now. And when the economy improves, more hiring is sure to follow. But it’s unlikely in-person recruitment practices, such as attending or hosting job fairs, will rebound as quickly. Like most things during the pandemic, every step of employee recruitment has been taken online.

If you’re wondering how to recruit employees online, you’re not alone. Only 16% of HR professionals say they are ready for full virtual recruitment. We’ve pulled together ideas for for capturing prospects’ attention and wooing them to your virtual doorstep.

Host a virtual job fair

The pandemic may have forced us to get more creative in our recruitment efforts. But knowing how to host a virtual job fair—even when you go back to the office—can open the door to a larger pool of candidates, thereby increasing your chances of finding the perfect fit. Since the pandemic, 54% of employers have added virtual events to their recruiting toolbox.

What makes this such a great tool and, arguably, better than the face-to-face option?

  • You have the opportunity to connect with more candidates—no matter where they are located.
  • You can build the event the way you want, with webinars, guest speakers or videos, all branded for your company.
  • You can measure the results—more than just how many “attend.” You’ll get metrics on video views, unique and recurring visits, jobs that interest those who visit and more.

You can use event platforms that also offer the ability to chat and interact with candidates and for job seekers to upload resumes and participate in a screening interview. Or, use online communication tools to develop an experience of your own (check out our blog about online business communication tools for details).

Get search engine optimized for virtual recruiting

Getting seen when people are searching for jobs is more effective when you implement an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Update the careers or jobs section of your website with keywords potential candidates are using. And, do the same to your job descriptions before launching them to your site or any third-party job sites. You may be surprised to find that your content and searches don’t align exactly.

There are a variety of free keyword research tools available, as well as Google Suggest™. (That’s the list of other suggestions at the bottom of a Google search results page.) Use these tools to discover how candidates are searching for jobs like yours.

Try social media recruiting

Of those who are recruiting during the pandemic, 58% are connecting with candidates on social platforms. Even Instagram® is becoming a recruitment favorite. If you haven’t tried social media recruiting, now’s the time to dive in. As potential candidates are hunkered down to avoid the coronavirus, they’re spending more time online. It’s the perfect time to meet them where they are. And that can be on just about any platform—it’s estimated the average internet user has profiles on five social platforms.

Posting open positions on your company’s social platforms is a good start. But there is so much more you can do! Here are a few tips to capture more attention:

  • Choose the social platform that fits your potential candidate. The more popular platforms, like Facebook® and LinkedIn®, are always a good bet. But, think smaller. Some of your best candidates might be found in niche industry forums. Need a developer? Try StackOverlow. A crack digital marketer? They share knowledge on forums like Moz®. Start engaging with them. They may not be job hunting but that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in what you have to offer.
  • You may also find candidates in social communities. Be active in Facebook and LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry or the candidate you seek. Here, too, you might find the right fit in someone who wasn’t even looking.
  • Get your employees involved. Ask them to help spread the news by engaging with and sharing your social posts.

Take your paid advertising online

SEO and social media recruiting are great tools. But their reach can only go so far. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising using Google Ads™, Microsoft Advertising® or social media advertising can extend your reach to target audiences. Google and Microsoft search ads are based on keywords people are using to search for jobs. And if you play your strategy cards right, your ads will be shown above organic search results. Get even more reach with retargeting ads that are shown to internet users who have clicked on your search ad or visited your website.

PPC social advertising allows you to target specific demographics or job titles. These visually engaging ads can put you in front of passive candidates—those who aren’t actively looking but who may be intrigued by your job opening.

Bring your brand to life

Your ads and job descriptions are written to attract a specific type of candidate. But what’s often overlooked—the right candidate is assessing your online presence just as closely. What you say on your website and in social posts can give candidates a peek into your culture. Showing them your culture through video takes it to another level.

Produce a recruitment video that features your team—and possibly customers—talking about your culture and what it’s like to work at your company. Include a virtual tour of the office (even if you are all working remotely right now) and perhaps photos or videos of your culture in action. Think beyond day-to-day meetings. Include footage from holiday parties, volunteer activities and team-building events. Give them a taste of what life is like for both remote and in-person work.

The power of video is strong—80% of respondents to a survey said video would improve their understanding of a job opportunity. Post your video on the careers section of your website and to your social channels. Send it to potential candidates. And to friends of potential candidates.

To get even more bang for your buck, try a Facebook or Instagram Live video to announce you are hiring. It’s a genuine way to interact anytime, but it can be especially refreshing as we social distance. Plus, you’ll likely get more bang for your buck from a Live video—they average three times more engagement than pre-recorded spots.

Need virtual recruitment help?

Do you still have questions about how to recruit employees online? We can help. Working together with you, we’ll develop an online recruitment strategy that will get your company a larger online presence and attract candidates to your virtual doorstep.

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