Virtual Recruiting Strategies in a Pandemic-Hit World


The global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought digital onboarding to the fore in a big way. The initial process of virtual screening over the phone has extended to other parts of hiring.

Face-to-face interviews, and in-person verification and onboarding journeys have moved completely online due to restrictions on mobility and safety concerns. Unsurprisingly,companies adopting digital onboarding are reporting higher efficiency gains, better candidate experience and access to a more qualified talent pool. While digital hiring and onboarding is the biggest trend of 2021, let’s look at other trends that will shape the future of work.

Database-Driven Verification

Pandemic-driven disruption allows employers to draw from a talented pool of resources across the globe. To reap benefits of a wider network, however, the employers must tackle latency in onboarding journeys. Database-driven instant identity checks, education checks, previous employment checks etc. all help deal with verification delays that are bound to happen during traditional in-person verification and onboarding, especially when the mobility is restricted. The use of OCR, data analytics and face match technologies coupled with API-integration with applicant tracking systems have shown us the potential of these databases in building real-time, scalable, and reliable onboarding journey.

Use of People Analytics

As employees become more empowered, the new age of work will be all about measurable impact of people strategies on employee hiring, welfare and development. With talent analytics roles growing way beyond the 111 per cent (a LinkedIn report) since 2014, data analytics will finally enter every stage of employee journey, from pre-hiring to hiring to onboarding, retention, and attrition. This data will become crucial for HR teams for not only course correction but to also build a business case for impact on the bottom line. This will go a long way in making the work of HR teams more qualitative and to get HR teams a seat at the big table.

Mobile-based Onboarding Experiences

The average screen time of Indians increased by 25% to come to 6.9 hours a day during the pandemic. With potential and current employees spending so much time on their phones, organisations will look to create mobile-first onboarding journeys that will reach candidates/employees where they are. This will not only cut through mundane, paper-based,and time-consuming onboarding processes but also deliver onboarding at fingertips, helping candidates get started faster. With verification and onboarding technologies going mainstream, integrating mobile-based experiences in the onboarding process will also become quicker, easier, and more economical.

Rise of Remote Work Culture

Work from home has been in the limelight ever since the pandemic broke out. With social distancing norms and a nation-wide lockdown in most of the countries,88% of business organisations all over the world mandated and encouraged all their employees to work from home,according to a global survey conducted by Gartner Inc. Even as we enter the new normal, companies will look to amalgamate work from home with the traditional in-person work environment. The Indian government announced simplified guidelines for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT Enabled Services (ITES) players to reduce the compliance burden for these industries and to facilitate ‘Work from Home’ and ‘Work from Anywhere’.Global companies like Google, Microsoft, and Twitter have taken the lead in announcing hybrid models for the corporate sector.

Growth of New Economies like the Gig Economy and Real Money Gaming Sector

As per a report by research and markets, India real money gaming market is estimated to grow to become a $3.8 billion market by 2022, creating new job opportunities for game testers, visual effects artists, software developers, animators and more. Moreover, the gig economy will create up to 90 million jobs in India post pandemic, a Boston Consulting Group and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation report, and four to five million traditional jobs could become gig jobs over the next three to four years as per a report by AT Kearney. This,in addition to creating exciting job opportunities in these industries, will also bring regulation to these under-regulated industries, further bettering employment prospects in these sectors.

Use of Emerging Technologies for Diversity and Inclusion

The introduction of AI and virtual reality to hiring will replace face-to-face interviews, assessment, and onboarding with a focus on creating more immersive experiences using virtual spaces.Level and reward-based gamified onboarding experiences, with a potential to improve employee engagement by up to 90%, will be impactful in appealing to the millennial with short attention spans and used to technologically advanced digital experiences. Facial recognition, brainwave mapping, video interviews, and emotion tracking will not only find space in everyday recruitment, but also be trained to match the diversity and inclusion goals of an organisation. As employees increasingly make career choices around organisational core, a positive work culture, centered around diversity and inclusion, will become a top priority.


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