Creating a robust online recruitment process
6 minutes | Posted 08 September, 2020

With so many disruptions in 2020, organizations were forced to switch to digital processes (including recruitment!). But is this a chore, or an opportunity? With physical distancing regulations still in place and many team members still working from home, digitizing your recruitment processes is a great opportunity to increase your organization’s agility and adaptiveness, and create a greater candidate experience.

The most robust recruitment processes are highly digital, allowing organizations to be more agile. Many digital recruitment processes use best practices, with customized automation and procedures that are more convenient for recruiters, hiring managers and candidates.

But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

Organizations have different structures, locations and existing processes. However, you can map out a digital online recruitment process, while still considering candidate expectations at every stage.

Here are our best tips for creating a robust online recruitment process.

Online recruitment advertising & screening

Many organizations already advertise and screen candidates digitally, so simply follow best practices to manage and screen applications. Use an Applicant Tracking System, make use of auto-statuses to filter unsuitable applicants, use screening questions to quickly assess your top candidates, and communicate with candidates throughout the process with branded templates so they all have a positive experience with your organization.

If you use an Applicant Tracking System, start screening as soon as possible so all candidates receive timely communication. If you use candidate statuses, assign appropriate filters to indicate any action you’ve taken (for example, “contacted”, “interview booked”, etc.) Sort candidates by their overall rating to determine your frontrunners for interviews.

Online interview scheduling

Today’s candidates are tech-savvy and value convenience, so being able to schedule your interviews digitally makes you instantly more desirable as an employer. The majority of millennials hate phone calls!

So if this demographic forms the bulk of your applicant pool, scheduling interviews digitally instead of over the phone will improve your overall candidate and help you secure those in-demand candidates in a timely manner. Not to mention, it’s far more convenient for you and your hiring managers.

After you’ve determined your top candidates’ from their applications, schedule interviews as soon as possible. (Some candidates in high demand and may be interviewing with multiple organisations.)

Choose the right tools to send invitations and schedule interviews, preferably giving candidates some options to choose from. Here are some ideas for digital scheduling tools you can use:

  • Recruitment software/Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – Your recruitment software should have the functionality to schedule interviews online and give candidates a few times to choose from.
  • CalendlyAlternatively, if you don’t have an ATS, this low-cost scheduling tool is used by salespeople, marketers and recruiters alike. It provides a portal to manage all your interviews and calls, and allows candidates to choose times that suit them.
  • MixMax – This tool is another low-cost tool that offers candidates to view your email and choose times that work with them.
  • Google Calendar – One of the simplest options for creating calendar invitations, Google Calendar allows you to create and share interview times with candidates; however, it can be more limited than the above options.

Many candidates can get lost due to scheduling gaps and miscommunications. Having a smooth interview process gives candidates a positive first impression of your organization and allows you to set and manage their expectations.

Online initial interviews

The faster and more structured your interview process, the better your odds of landing that your ideal new hire. In creating an efficient online recruitment process, you may opt to use digital initial interviews for your first round of screening, instead of immediately jumping to face-to-face interviews. (That’s not to say face-to-face interviews aren’t still an important part of the process, but you can still create a great online recruitment process without face-to-face meetings in the preliminary stages.)

Phone interviews can be an effective form of preliminary screening, particularly if you’ve received a large number of applications. However, unlike face-to-face or video interviews, this has its limitations, as it can feel a little impersonal and you can’t make eye contact and observe your candidates’ body language or demeanour.

Many organizations conduct video interviews during their initial stages of screening, as they are an easy way to save valuable time and resources. Choose the platform you’d like to host your interviews on, such as Skype, Facetime or Zoom.

Communication is critical

While you might easily integrate digital screening into your recruitment process, it can still be new and unfamiliar to some candidates. Be sure to give your candidates all the information they need to be prepared for a virtual interview (including usernames, meeting invitations) and be prepared to get in touch with them to ensure they feel comfortable about the process. Interviews are already stressful experiences, so you don’t want your candidates to feel stressed if they haven’t used the platform before. Include clear instructions in your invitation email to give them the opportunity to represent themselves in the best possible light.

Create an interview guide for you or your hiring manager.

Use standardized behavioural-based interview questions tailored to the position you’re hiring for.

Tip: Immediately schedule follow up interviews with the strongest applicants, when appropriate.

As we shared in our guide to shortlisting your talent pool and selecting the right candidate, two-way recorded video interviews are a great way to “see” candidates and allow them to get to know you too.

Online behavioural assessments

Behavioural assessments can form a valuable part of your online recruitment process. If you conduct these assessments prior to your interviews, the additional level of information can allow you to ask candidates better questions.

You may already use your own online behavioural assessments. (At Scout Talent, our Shortlisting & Selection Specialists use McQuaig behavioural assessments to assess candidates’ job and cultural fit.)

This can provide you with deeper insights and a greater understanding of candidates without having met them in person.

Second-stage interviews

With physical distancing regulations starting to ease, your organization may decide to proceed to face-to-face interviews.

Follow best practices for second stage interviews, including using your online scheduling tool to book interviews and using insights from your initial screening (i.e. don’t ask candidates the same questions they have already answered in their application or initial interview!).

Online reference checking

Many organizations ask us if reference checks are still worthwhile. The answer? Yes!

11% of job applicants misrepresented why they left a previous employer (Hubspot).  

Nearly one-third of job applications list dates of employment that are inaccurate by more than three months (Background Profiles).

Reference checks help you uncover these inconsistencies. To request contact details for your top candidates’ professional references, seek the most recent and relevant references (in terms of industry and position), and prepare your questions before you reach out to them to add more perspective and assess consistency.

Sending digital offers

So, you’ve found a great candidate and want to extend an offer. Congratulations! It’s an exciting time, but don’t let candidate experience fall by the wayside. If you want to get your candidate excited about your organization and opportunity, keep in mind that printing and signing documents isn’t very fun!

Onboarding software is a great finishing touch to your online recruitment process, reducing administration pressures and increasing offer acceptance rates.

Electronic signatures remove the barriers to acceptance, so candidates can sign anywhere, any time. You can also create simple contract approval workflows to ensure appropriate stakeholders and procedures aren’t missed. You can also use branded templates for your digital offers and other onboarding documentation to continue to build your employer brand.

Sending candidate feedback

Even after you’ve made an exciting new hire, the rest of your applicant pool still needs care too.

It’s time to notify all candidates about the outcome and thank them for taking the time to apply. If you have an Applicant Tracking System, you should be able to create a professional branded template with personalized tags to send this final feedback. For candidates who have taken the time to complete an interview, a personal phone call or voicemail message is ideal.

Additional tip: Talent pooling

Finally, we would be remiss to talk about online recruitment and not talk about talent pooling.

Talent pooling is a beneficial, proactive approach to talent acquisition allowing you to prepare for future challenges and reduce your overall recruitment spend. With many candidates in the market, ask people to submit an expression of interest form and create pools based on roles you’ve previously advertised, even if you’re not able to hire them immediately. You can reach out to them with honest, authentic messaging to nurture them and keep them engaged with your employer brand. Then, when you’re hiring again, you can notify them of your new opportunities.

Once you’ve established an online recruitment process, it will become second nature for you and your team! But remember that for candidates, certain aspects will still be brand new. They may have questions, so be open with your communication, map out the process and ensure you’re delivering a great candidate experience.

If you are currently struggling with any aspect of what we discussed in this article, please reach out to us at or call us on 1 844 772 3302.

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