Virtual hiring

Talent Acquisition for a Virtual Environment

Like most events and interactions during COVID-19, recruitment and talent acquisition have gone completely virtual. Whether you’re hiring right now or pausing your recruitment efforts due to the economic circumstances, our present world demands know-how of virtual talent acquisition.

If you’re anything like the organizations we polled, you and your team are somewhere on the spectrum of hiring. Although 38% of the attendees are not hiring at all, 61% are either hiring some or hiring at full capacity. Regardless, HR departments need to adapt as our world shifts to remote work.

Below is the replay of our webinar on virtual talent acquisition with Ascend Indiana. Manager of Employer Engagement Shelby Ervin discussed – whether you’re hiring now or in the future – how to connect with qualified candidates and create an equitable virtual hiring process.


Click on the chapters in the bottom right corner of the video player to fast forward to a desired section.

Prepare to hire once you’re ready

Maybe you’re not hiring right now and can’t envision recruiting new hires any time soon. Although the need isn’t as pressing, virtual hiring may be a reality for organizations across the country, including yours, for months and years to come. In the meantime, here are some tips for getting your team back on track to progress.

Ensure safety when returning to the workplace

First Person offers a Safe Return to Office Buildings, Safe Return for Sales and Service Operations and Safe Return for Manufacturing, Logistics and Warehousing.

It’s crucial that you, as an HR professional at your organization, consider all facets of the workplace experience when returning. Health and safety are paramount, but site governance, transportation and your typical communication practices must all be reviewed.

Lastly, Marion County’s Ready to Restart grant program offers reimbursements to most small businesses that apply for its PPE, dividers, hand sanitizer, washable menus and more.

Financial resources for you and your workforce

While others have rebounded to their original progress before COVID-19, some organizations are reeling. Here’s some guidance on financials as you fight through the most difficult days.

Federal SBA programs have helped thousands of organizations across the United States rebound from the sever economic impacts that COVID-19 caused earlier in the year. If you seek loans from the federal government, you have several options for extra cash in the door, including economic injury disaster loans, express bridge loans and debt relief.

The state of Indiana also offers training grants for your workforce up to $100,000 per employer.

When you’re actively recruiting

Yes! Your team is growing, and you need some advice on a virtual hiring process. You’ve come to the right place.

Consider diversity, equity and inclusion when creating your virtual process

Before simply virtualizing your normal hiring process, your human resources team may want to ask itself some important questions, such as:

  • Why does our organization care about this?
  • What does a more diverse, inclusive organization look like?
  • How might more diversity help our organization?

It’s important to set a vision and break down any unintended barriers before beginning your hiring process. When you understand who you’re truly looking for, you’re far more likely to get the best possible candidate.

Virtual hiring and onboarding

Diversity, equity and inclusion practices don’t have to stop after hiring a candidate! Continue training, educating, advocating and incorporating best practices into your team’s daily work.

Over-communication is key when hiring virtually. Throughout the hiring process, be sure to frequently set expectations for timing, messaging, culture, team dynamics, etc.

Emphasize your brand and culture often throughout the process so you send the right message about your team. That way, candidates continuing in your recruitment flow will understand how they might fit in the organization.

Virtual methods of interviewing, training then communicating with new hires are plentiful. Our personal favorites are Zoom, Lessonly and Slack, respectively. Read more about our new way of working remotely.

Early-career perspective: Virtual and seasonal positions

Let’s flip the virtual hiring trend to the actual hires’ perspective. Student demand for jobs and careers is high, given the economic situation.

However, many students are moving home and may even delay full-time employment until the economy rebounds completely or they’re certain they’ll be safe and secure when finding a new home.

Recent grads may be open to alternative plans, including virtual or seasonal internships or jobs. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an incredible rise in remote working, and the graduating generation is most familiar with this style of working.

How Ascend Indiana can help

Our partner and friends at Ascend Indiana have recently revealed a new network to help current students find internships and recent grads get connected to full-time careers across the state. The network offers several benefits to your organization, including:

  • Free online database of pre-vetted job seekers
  • High percentage of candidates from underrepresented backgrounds to increase diversity in your organization
  • Content created and managed by the Ascend team

If you’re interested in participating in their free network of talented, young individuals, learn more here.

Also, Ascend has partnered with EmployIndy to funnel talent from varying levels of educational attainment into jobs. Learn more about their partnership here.

Welcome to virtual talent acquisition

Empathy is key. Without understanding what job seekers on the other side of the screen are going through, it’s difficult to listen and relate.

Lean on resources that you can find in Ascend Indiana and EmployIndy, among others across the city of Indianapolis, the state and online. They exist to connect talented multi-level job seekers to a wide variety of jobs. Isn’t that what you’re looking for?

If you’re not currently hiring, hopefully you will be soon. In the meantime utilize the resources we linked above to help you return the office safely and financially stable.

When you do begin recruitment efforts again, consider inserting diversity and inclusion practices to maintain equity throughout your process. Engage candidates and new hires virtually using various tools and tactics. Finally, reach out to the Ascend team here to learn more about their qualified job seekers.

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