Pardon the cheesy metaphor, but one could liken the rise of hybrid recruiting (or hybrid work, as a whole) to a phoenix being reborn from the ashes. Was that cheesy but also a true reflection of the facts? Definitely. As the pandemic led to the widespread adoption of remote work and the cancellation of most in-person activities in 2020, talent acquisition professionals had to quickly adapt to meet their organization’s hiring needs. Therefore, the shift to virtual recruiting arose as a need, but eventually transformed into a valuable and beneficial method of recruitment.
As the pandemic took hold of our lives, traditional habits could no longer sustain itself. We embraced being remote and let go of traditional habits such as commuting to work, teaching in a classroom, dining at a packed restaurant, hitting the gym, and going on weekend trips. Over the past two years, we have been forced to make major adjustments to our lives and grow comfortable with hybrid virtual approaches to continue our routines. Hybridisation works because it allows us to remain flexible, curbs the risk of unnecessary exposure, and enables us to continue to move forward towards our goals.
Similarly, hybrid recruiting arose out of the necessity for alternate methods of talent acquisition, due to the adoption of remote work and cancellation of in-person activities. Upon its adoption, recruiters discovered the value of hybrid recruiting many benefits. And an overwhelming majority of 81% of talent professionals agree that virtual recruiting will continue post-Covid. Hybrid recruiting may well become the new standard.
What is hybrid recruiting?
“Hybrid recruiting is the combination of virtual recruiting and in-person recruiting tactics as part of an overall talent acquisition strategy that yields better results than each approach on its own.”
Hybrid recruitment doesn’t solely refer to the in-person and online interview process, but also encompasses the full range of recruitment, including placing job ads for sourcing candidates, selecting them, communicating with team members, and collecting candidate feedback. With the pandemic shutting down all in-person activities, companies sped up technological adoption in the recruitment space. However, although hybrid recruiting gained a lot of attention in 2020, the approach was adopted by organizations well before the pandemic.
Using virtual recruiting tools such as recruiting chatbots, virtual hiring events, text recruiting, video interviewing, and professional networking platforms among others, helps organizations reduce hiring costs, speed up time to hire, enhance candidate experience, and opens up the potential of variance in each of the recruiting steps. From sourcing to onboarding, any of components of the recruiting processes can be digitized, paired with in-person strategies, and offer myriad benefits of hybrid recruiting.
Virtual recruiting takes over
Companies have dabbled with virtual recruiting technologies like video interviewing and remote assessments before, but the realities of Covid-19 led to a wide-spread rush of adoption to meet recruiting demands. According to 70% of talent professionals, end-to-end virtual recruiting processes have become the new standard. In the same way that a hybrid workforce is going to become the standard, the hybrid recruiting process which combines virtual and in-person elements will become the norm.
Companies have realised the advantages that virtual tools serve for their recruiting and retention needs. 55% of employers saw higher-than-usual applications per job opening in 2020, and recruiters stated that filtering through a high volume of applications and reaching through to a niche applicant people was going to be some of the biggest recruiting pain points in 2021.
By adopting recruitment technology, the challenges for organisations will be to balance and refine virtual processes with a touch of human. Businesses will have to refine their hybrid recruiting strategy by deciding when they’ll use virtual and when they’ll use in-person, how they can optimize the candidate experience, and how to improve the efficiency of virtual recruiting.
With the power of virtual recruiting platforms, many organizations have been able to continue their recruiting programs without missing a beat, and has actually led to widespread adoption of it. A study by Brazen found that nearly 66% of companies say their time to hire has either stayed the same or decreased ever since they shifted to virtual recruiting.
In the race to remain competitive in the talent acquisition market, virtual recruiting aids in enhancing the speed of market processing, helps recruiters meet their goals in less time, as as such, should be a company’s ongoing talent acquisition strategy.
The evolution of top deciding factors for candidates
As we discuss the topic of hybrid recruiting, it is impossible to alienate one of the critical of the process: Candidate experience. Ensuring a great candidate experience must be a top priority of an organization’s employer branding strategy. With the massive presence of the Millennial and Gen-Z workforce, the evolution of employee need, and the advent of social networking, the brand which employers portray to the world is paramount. Today, competitive salary (73%) and benefits (58%) continue to be the top aggregators of talent attraction. However, all the expert-talks, candidate & employee voices, and recruiters unanimously agree: company culture has risen to be the prominent factor that job seekers consider, other than salary, when choosing a new role.
But considering the fact that we’re discussing virtual recruiting, it is only logical that the top deciding factors for candidates while choosing a new role goes through an evolutionary shift, too. These include:
- Company culture
- Responsibilities & projects
- Flexible schedule
- The option to work remotely
- Faster recruiter response time
Competitive salary and benefits continue to be the leading talent attractors. However, what will really set companies apart from other competitors is how they adjust their offerings to new candidate demands, and how these are effectively translated through the virtual hiring process.
Will hybrid recruiting make sense in a year? Or five?
I’d like to recall the cheesy metaphor of the phoenix rebirth that I mentioned at the beginning of this article. Hybrid recruiting has certainly transformed the talent acquisition business. Virtual recruiting tools, networking platforms, and virtual career fairs are here to stay. When these technological tools are strategically combined with in-person recruiting, it broadens the scope of recruitment and helps keep organisations competitive.
With hybrid recruiting, organizations can be flexible in their recruiting strategy and stay agile in the face of changing circumstances. While we hope to bring back in-person events and in-person recruitment in the future, recruiters are now privy to the fact that hybrid recruiting is the most effective strategy for remaining competitive in the talent market for the foreseeable future.