Socially distanced, virtually engaged

Socially Distanced, Virtually Engaged: Recruitment in the Age of COVID-19

Written By Neha Ahmed

Lockdowns and social distancing guidelines in response to COVID-19 have propelled an inordinate number of industries to shift their operations to virtual overnight. Talent acquisition managers are now facing the prospect of either throttling down and freezing their hiring or conducting the full hiring process – from assessments to interviews to onboarding – virtually.

Re-Imagining Recruitment

Now as recruiters try to reimagine recruitment in a virtual world, they proactively look for ways to keep their talent pool warm and intensify their efforts to meet the increased demand. However, here’s the trickiest part: employers need to ensure they find innovative alternatives to conduct their recruitment in a way that is social distancing-compliant. This is where HR technology presents itself as a remarkable medium for business sustainability in the wake of the novel Coronavirus Pandemic. Now with digital assessment tools, you can ensure the practice of social distancing and virtually engage with candidates.

HR vs COVID-19

Human Resources can harness the power of virtual hiring tools not only to keep their head above the water in this uncertain period but also after life goes back to normal. For instance, they can upgrade their recruitment process by integrating digital solutions like virtual assessments. Additionally, employers can use state-of-the-art virtual hiring platforms to enable a seamless virtual candidate screening and interviewing experience.

Now that in-person meetings are off the table, job interviews have to be carried out remotely, either by phone or videoconferencing. A great number of tech giants, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, have already been doing this for some time. Others companies are also following in their footsteps, adopting video calls as a common form of communication.

Technology can be found empowering a new breed of recruiters who have a digital-first mindset, and are quick to adapt to digital ways of working. The expectations of a positive experience are higher than ever before. And the companies that are quick to embrace these virtual platforms are the ones that will manage to win the top-notch talent they need.

What is a Virtual Assessment Centre?

A Virtual Assessment Centre (VAC) is an online variant of a traditional assessment center that leverages technology to achieve a streamlined hiring process without compromising its effectiveness and core pillars. It assembles role plays, presentations, case study simulators, situational judgment tests, personality and cognitive ability tests, interviews, and other such activities in the virtual environment to source top caliber talent in the organization.

With the complete set of online tools and new-age technologies, virtual assessment centers help organizations to discover the perfect fit for a particular role using an array of competencies.

Additionally, companies can also identify their potential employees’ strengths and skills needed to successfully perform in a role. These online assessments and interviews are followed by automated reports (in the case of assessments), which removes the hassle of managing data, reduces manual effort and brings down the hiring costs without impeding the accuracy of the results.

The Perfect Blend

The simulations, research-backed neuroscience games and AI-powered assessments packaged in a Virtual Assessment Center along with the video-based interview or a business case-study presentation on a single platform assist in establishing an all-inclusive assessment package that is comprehensive in design.

It also involves gamified assessments that, like the traditional online tools, test candidates on their aptitude, cognitive skills and behavioral traits. Such a holistic platform provides an efficient output and credible results, and effectively picks out the most deserving applicants while also offering a fun and engaging candidate experience without compromising on the seriousness of the assessment process.

Why Use A Virtual Assessment Center?

Virtual assessment centers help organizations to stay ahead of the curve and achieve better results in a shorter span, all the while ensuring it is a win-win situation for all those involved in the execution, participation, and evaluation stages of the process. With technology acting as a facilitator, a virtual assessment center enables companies to extend growth opportunities to their potential employees in a streamlined manner.

Assess Candidates On Relevant Abilities and Skills

A virtual assessment center captures all the key information that is needed. For instance, it may have recruitment games that test candidates on their cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, personality traits, critical thinking and behavioral and analytical skills.

Similarly, the case study presentations may provide candidates with a series of fictional documents such as a consultant’s report, company reports, a new product research results, etc., which evaluate a candidate’s ability to work in a team and make business decisions based on the information. With virtual interviews, recruiters get a better idea of how the applicant thinks, communicates and might fit into the company, all the while maintaining social distancing.

Collecting data from various activities provides a comprehensive picture of a candidate’s true potential. Furthermore, applicants that participate in virtual assessment centers tend to be not only better qualified than the ones hired from recruiter-led interviews, they are also more motivated.

Reduce Hiring Costs

A traditional assessment can be pricey, which is why it is also unscalable and limited to a restricted candidate pool. Additionally, when going for a traditional assessment, a recruiter has to book a physical center – something that isn’t possible during the ongoing pandemic.

Virtual assessment centers, however, provide the same level – in fact, even better – level of engagement in a virtual environment at a fraction of that cost. Hence enabling companies to socially distance and virtually engage with candidates.

Save Valuable Time

Unlike the virtual assessment center, the traditional assessment center is time-consuming and unbearably long. It usually goes like this: scheduling, assessment execution, analyzing results, providing individual feedback to candidates and making the final decision. The whole process can be a substantial drain on time and other resources, especially if recruiters have multiple candidates in line. Due to extensive planning and scheduling constraints, they can take several weeks and months.

However, virtual assessment centers accelerate the process by riding on the wings of technology. Applicants can become a part of the virtual assessment center regardless of their geographical presence. Plus, since they solely depend on the internet, their implementation is easy and results are immediate.

Discard the One-Size-Fits-All Approach 

Organizations that use a traditional assessment center tend to have a holistic approach of employees, which results in them making decisions in favor of one person or group to the detriment of others. In contrast to traditional assessment centers that have a one-size-fits-all approach for its employees, virtual assessment centers offer a level playing field to all employees, thus elevating employee satisfaction.

Enhance the Candidate Experience

A lengthy, tedious application process is likely to spur candidates to abandon their application before completing it. A virtual assessment center evaluates candidates on their competence in a fun way using different activities rather than judging them solely on their resume.

This digital tool is also remarkable for recruiters seeking candidates of diverse backgrounds and spread across geographies, thus giving each candidate an equal opportunity to shine and giving you a fast process with global consistency. Moreover, it also minimizes the risk of stress affecting a participant during the assessment, presentation or interview due to any discomfort or the physical presence of an assessor.

Build a Robust Employer Brand

In order to chase top-tier talent, hiring managers shouldn’t only put together a recruitment process that draws them in but also showcases their employer brand in a memorable way. Virtual assessments solve this issue. They provide an engaging and immersive experience and a realistic job preview to the candidate as well as showcase your employer brand in a positive light.

Gamified assessments along with case study presentations and virtual interviews give a perception of your organization as innovative, tech-savvy and unbiased, showing you are truly eager to hire the best and right talent.

Wrapping It Up

Work as we know has fundamentally changed within a span of a few months. Tech-savvy recruiters are already harnessing the power of online channels to source candidates, but they need to add creativity to their recruitment process in order to stay afloat and attract the cream of the crop sitting in self-isolation.

As HR grapples with the new realities of remote hiring and economic slowdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, virtual assessment center presents itself as an excellent solution to deal with the hiring worries.

At The Talent Games, we strongly believe in the concept of “Socially Distanced, Virtually Engaged". Let us know your thoughts around it in the comments section.

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