Steps On How To Accelerate Virtual Hiring And Employee Development Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak The coronavirus breakout is encouraging remote hiring and greater flexibility for working from home for existing employees and new hires to accelerate development in businesses

By Siddhartha Gupta

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Employers are proactively searching for innovative alternatives for conducting recruitment in a way that is social distancing-compliant and does not compromise on the benefits that the traditional and physical setting offers and technology is an excellent medium for business sustainability in the light of pan-India lockdown amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Employers and institutions today have the option of leveraging a range of virtual hiring tools to direct Human Resources (HR) activities to tide over this uncertain period. For instance, they can revamp their recruitment processes by integrating digital solutions like online proctoring to conduct virtual exams and use state-of-the-art virtual hiring platforms to enable a seamless virtual screening and interviewing experience.

But recruiting new profiles is not enough. Business leaders also need to focus on retaining the existing talent to avoid disruptions to business processes which, under current circumstances, can deal with a considerable blow to the organizational well-being. To prevent this, companies under lockdown can utilize virtual employee development tools to conduct effective learning and development (L&D) programs for fresh hires as well as existing employees.

Advantages Of Virtual Recruitment Solutions

Besides meeting the current business needs, the digital solution suite also provides a superior experience than their traditional counterparts. For instance, a tech-based online ecosystem allows recruiters to source, screen, select candidates, offer job offers and engage them post joining virtually using a diverse new-age talent management platforms.

For sourcing the right kind of candidates from a huge blend, virtual hackathons, contests and ideathons can be conducted to get a hang of candidate's right skills and competencies. A range of virtual assessments like psychometrics and domain tests could be leveraged for screening candidates like gauging the aptitude, attitude, cognitive skills and subject knowledge of the candidates. Not limited to these, online assessments can also simulate real-life business and coding simulators which can quickly test Java, C++, Python or any other technical language abilities.

Next in the hiring order is candidate selection which has to go digital too during this time to ensure that the quarantine acts to limit physical movements but not the business operations. There are multiple virtual platforms designed to manage the end-to-end interviewing experience to deliver a well-modeled and structured interview experience built around a set of weighted skills mapped to the job role. These tools also allow recruiters to make consistent hiring decisions based on competency-driven scores, while faster hiring and flexible scheduling enhance the time-to-hire metric with on-the-go screening. Such virtual solutions can also be extended to campus hiring and lateral hiring within the organization.

Advantages Of Virtual Employee Development Solutions

At the same time, businesses can now remotely drive the L&D plans for their employees, both new hires and existing workforce on the back of 360-degree online feedback tools which include digital feedback surveys, among other things. Further, Virtual Assessment Centers simulate real-world Assessment Centers, Development Centers exercises for effective succession planning strategy and plans. Companies can also access online hackathon platforms to create greater employee engagement and conduct end-to-end hackathons entirely on the virtual domain (Another use case of hackathons).

All such new-age recruitment and L&D solutions are effectively backed by remote proctoring solutions wherein manual or auto proctors can invigilate thousands of candidates anywhere anytime and make such examinations credible, valid, scalable, and cheating-proof. Apart from its remote-enablement aspect, cutting-edge recruitment technology permits companies to evaluate the potential of their workforce with more efficiency on account of its easy scalability, logistical comfort and ease of access for candidates. Business and HR leaders can now continue to remotely identify high-performing, high-potential candidates who can unlock greater business growth.

Virtual platforms have rapidly advanced from being a catchphrase to being the most accessible and effective solution to the urgent challenges that businesses are currently facing against today's quarantined backdrop. By ensuring business continuity in the time of crisis by leveraging effective tech tools, organizations can emerge from the storm better, smarter and healthier.

Siddhartha Gupta

CEO, Mercer|Mettl

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