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Recruiting processes have transformed overnight as companies are forced to redesign their hiring strategies to accommodate their shifting needs during the pandemic. For talent acquisition teams, especially those at tech startups, this presents a unique set of challenges. Our latest webinar revealed how some of the top companies now approach talent acquisition as our panelists shared their secrets for creating an outstanding candidate experience. Between their expertise and an array of great questions from the webinar’s live audience, recruiting professionals left with a treasure trove of actionable tips and insights.

Webinar link

Hosted by Josh Goldstein, Underdog.io's Co-Founder, and Mary Morelli, Underdog.io's Customer Success Manager, the panel featured the following guests:

  • Catherine Cashin: Director of Talent, Roblox

  • Cat Hernandez: Partner, Primary Venture Partners

  • Marley Hyman: People Person, The dtx company

  • Madison Olson: Senior Technical Recruiter, Codeacademy

In case you missed it, check out the webinar recording here. If you’ve only got a few minutes, here are a few of my favorite takeaways:

Personal connection should be a top priority

Companies having hiring success in today’s climate are focusing on relationship building. By approaching recruiting as an investment and not a transaction, they’re enriching the candidate experience and resonating with candidates who provide the strongest fit.

How do you do this now, without leveraging the benefits of in-person interaction? Our panelists suggested using this time to create new collateral that showcases how your team stays connected while they’re physically distant. That might be a silly video of you and your colleagues on Zoom, or a peek into what the day-to-day of a team looks like now that everyone is fully remote. Investing in branding and cultural collateral will ensure that anyone exploring the job market sees how your company offers a welcoming environment.

When it comes time to connect with a candidate, adapt the personality of a startup. Virtual tours help your company stand out. Sending swag is a helpful tool. Creating a centralized page of information and resources for a new hire to read as part of pre-boarding can make a world of difference. Casual video chats with a prospective candidate, even if it’s a quick coffee, are a great way to stay in touch. Even a tactfully executed Zoom surprise to welcome the new hire is a fun way to make a remote hiring process feel more human. For executive and C-suite recruiting, approach these as if you’re an enterprise sales manager that prioritizes connecting with a candidate over time.

Applying these techniques can lead to a decrease in time to hire, which can be vital in this moment where operational agility can be such a benefit to your team. If you’re focusing on diversity, stay dedicated to cultivating the best candidate pool possible.

Webinar link

Adapting to remote hiring presents unique challenges. Embrace them.

To improve internal processes, communication is paramount. This is a great opportunity to ensure your interview processes follow structured hiring guidelines, and that each touchpoint you have with a candidate is purposeful. Each step in your process should aim to enhance your understanding of how that candidate would perform in the role in question. Give your interview team the information they need to run an effective interview and schedule regular recruiting round-ups to ensure you’re staying on the same page throughout the process.

Remote hiring processes have quickly embraced technology - but it’s important to remember that Zoom fatigue can wear out interviewers and candidates alike. Evaluate whether each touchpoint needs to be held via video chat. Our panelists mentioned take home tests and phone calls as ways to evaluate candidates while reducing the number of video touchpoints. In addition, candidates may require more flexibility now in interview scheduling than they have in the past. They may be working full time and juggling childcare, or caring for a sick relative - be sure to check-in, and keep their needs in mind when scheduling.

This is a time where the touchpoints in talent acquisition require a deft touch, as well as a focus on empathy, to get to know the person on the other end of the video chat.

Bring humanity and empathy to this new virtual process

Getting to know the candidate pool, whether it’s by offering a helping hand to someone who has found themselves on a layoff list, or by initiating a targeted conversation with a prospective executive, is a vital part of today’s process. We’re all behind our computers at home more than ever—it’s naturally difficult to rekindle the personal touch that makes great recruiting so impactful. Remember that the candidates you’re interacting with are human, too. They’ve likely been impacted by the pandemic in a myriad of ways. Approach conversations with empathy and care, and you’ll be best equipped to stay competitive in the hiring market.

The companies having hiring success in tech or other industries are the ones who understand the importance of prioritizing human connection. Talent acquisition teams that foster a connection with job seekers and ease the stress of job searching are the ones thriving amidst the pandemic.

Watch the full recording of the webinar.

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