Creating virtual candidate and new hire experience

Recruiters worldwide struggle with translating the on-site candidate experience into the virtual world. Here are some ways that companies are solving this.

COVID-19 shook up the recruiting landscape and created additional hurdles both for talent managers and candidates. As we navigate the post-pandemic reality, one thing is becoming very clear: virtual recruiting is here to stay. 


Recruiters worldwide struggle with translating the on-site candidate experience into the virtual world. We have analyzed the main challenges the recruiters face in this transition and how the best companies overcome them. 


  1. Lack of information before, during and after the recruitment process

Applying to a job through a full-virtual funnel can be very daunting, especially for those who have never done this before. Thus, offering support and guidance before the candidate even applies is the number one step to ensuring a comfortable experience. 

DigitalOcean's career resources blog


DigitalOcean has prioritized complete transparency in their candidate selection process. Their recruitment team has curated an entire hub with a variety of candidate resources from interview preparation tips to candidate evaluation processes, to make the experience as smooth and easy for candidates as possible.


The issue of a lack of communication persists even after candidates have been hired - to solve this problem, IKEA has used VR office tours as well as integrated VR sales training for new hires. The Virtual reality training allows new hires to get a better understanding of the company culture as well as their day-to-day responsibilities.


And finally, one facet of information scarcity that often gets overlooked is setting up one’s computer when entering a new job, especially in a tech-oriented field. Salesforce, which onboarded over 10,000 employees last year, has been innovating the IT processes to fit remote working modes for its employees. This has been a necessary change, seeing as over the pandemic the proportion of engineers among the new hires increased from ~15% before the pandemic to ~30% during and after the pandemic. 


Salesforce has been increasing the proportion of engineers among its new hires


  1. Lack of physical touchpoints
Instacart's care package for candidates

It is only natural for humans to be attached to physical interactions, and it is very easy to lose touch with your goals and motivation while working remotely. Employees who do not go to work in person are less likely to feel a strong sense of belonging to the company, and some businesses have implemented programs to make sure remote workers feel like a part of the team.


Instacart, for example, has been sending care packages to all the candidates who have been invited to interviews - each package includes a branded mug, a tote bag, and a brochure containing useful information about Instacart, its culture, and the grocery industry as a whole. This makes the candidates feel welcome and puts them at ease ahead of the interview. 


LaLaMove and Soluto have included sending out packages with company merchandise into its onboarding procedure, making sure that even new hires working from home can stay in touch (literally) with the office lifestyle. 



  1. Lack of personalized engagement and personal touch

And lastly, one of the major issues in remote recruiting is the lack of personalized engagement and feedback that the candidates receive, especially with the introduction of AI-based games and recruiting chatbots instead of interviews with a human recruiter. 


One way to make the recruitment process feel more personal is by allowing candidates to see personalized feedback on the assessments they complete. JP Morgan’s online aptitude test, for example, allows candidates to see their results immediately after the competition of the test, giving them a chance to instantly receive personalized feedback and increasing transparency in the hiring process. 


Vistaprint, on the other hand, focused on personalizing the experience of its new hires - they hold a live, virtual orientation on day 1 that concludes in a virtual new hire social event, allowing employees to build personal connections across the company despite being remote. Not only does it create a sense of familiarity and openness in the team, it also strengthens the company culture and allows team members to communicate more efficiently and openly down the line. 



Ultimately, the question of how to create a hiring experience that accurately reflects the company culture and conveys expectations is up to firms to answer on their own. The pandemic has put some new hurdles in place but despite the adversities, companies continue to bring more and more people on board. 


Both large and small companies have continued active recruiting during the pandemic


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