Project Description

Best Practices for Using Virtual Talent Solutions

By Carter McHugh
Vice President of Technology

Great companies have been investing heavily in modernizing their technology infrastructure by enlisting the help of major cloud computing platforms, like Amazon with its AWS offering, Microsoft with its Azure offering and Google with its Google cloud platform. These companies are experts in providing secure, always-on and – most important – managed infrastructure and platform services. Through automation, these services seamlessly support elastic demand, meaning they can rapidly scale up when they’re required to due to extra usage and they can also scale back down when they’re not as heavily utilized.

In just a matter of weeks, the world shifted rapidly to fully digitalizing their work requirements, resulting in increased network bandwidth, processing and data storage requirements. Without these managed computing services, companies would be understaffed and lack both the data center equipment and the automated operations necessary to handle such a rapid increase.

The Cause of Outages

Almost everyone can recall times when they’ve sat down to stream their favorite show or movie and it’s interrupted or they see a little circle spinning. Much of that is due to high network congestion or just an overload of too many people trying to access the service at once. Essentially, as good as these cloud computing platforms are in their ability to provide this highly available, scalable virtual infrastructure and these great application services, it isn’t totally magic.

Somewhere, physical computers, networks and digital storage still exist and, in a lot of cases, people are working very hard to make all of this possible. So, when too many of these resources are requested all at the same time, they all compete for that same available physical resource. Some services have to wait their turn to get processed, which causes degradation and digital disruptions. Sometimes, that can result in a lot of end-user frustration and companies work very hard to avoid this. But, again, it’s not easy to avoid in a situation like we’re facing today with such a rapid shift into the fully digital experience.

Best Practices For Avoiding Outages

Right now, people are staying home and practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve to mitigate overwhelming our critical medical equipment and personnel during the COVID-19 crisis. A similar pattern applies to peak digital technology load used during the workday.

For example, think about when you use a highdefinition video for a live interview, especially with multiple participants. Imagine you have a hiring manager and several members of a team and they’re all connecting on their webcams with a candidate and trying to complete a live interview. Now, consider that many organizations across the world are all doing this during the peak business hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. All of this combined can really overwhelm those services.

Good ways for talent acquisition teams to work around this include opportunities to:

  • Reduce or shift live interview schedules with candidates. In addition to having live interview capabilities, most digital interviewing technologies offer on-demand interview capabilities. This allows hiring managers to prerecord themselves asking interview questions and share them via a link to an applicant, who can then choose to record their answers at a time and place that is convenient to them. This can ease the burden of having to do everything live, and candidates can complete an interview without the risk of real-time disruption due to service degradation or unavailability.
  • Use text- or voice-only interviews. This can be especially useful for initial screening interviews. Once you’ve narrowed down your candidate slate to just a few finalists, conduct interviews via live video to help reduce the peak usage load for some of these technologies.

It’s also important for companies and teams to ensure that the digital technologies they’re using employ best practices, including data security and consent. When you’re using these tools with your team and candidates, make sure you’re getting their informed consent to participate in the interviews and recordings using the technology.

This Will Be the New Normal

As with any new technology there are always people who are early adopters and those who are more hesitant. What’s unique in this crisis is that companies that may have been slower to embrace some of the new talent acquisition technologies now have no choice but to adopt them very rapidly – which can really push them out of their comfort zone. Previously, they may have felt that using a video technology wouldn’t allow them to deeply connect with their applicant, or perhaps they feared embarrassment if the technology failed during an interview. Certainly, those were all legitimate concerns, but they were also rapidly removed during this crisis.

And, as companies have been forced to embrace these new technologies, they’re now becoming more comfortable with this new normal. They’ll soon start to realize that they may have been trying to get many candidates to interview in-person who may not have been good fits for the organization; in this case, a video interview could have saved time and resources. They’ll also see that younger generations, who are comfortable with technology, may actually be seeking out and appreciate the ability to interact with technology-enabled companies and talent acquisition teams that allow them to set their own interview schedules.

Once this crisis passes, we’ll definitely see permanent changes to many talent acquisition team processes, and the technologies they’ve been using lately will continue long term. What’s more, many teams will likely be increasing the use of these technologies, really designing their processes and candidate engagement around virtual solutions.

Look Beyond Digital Interviewing Technology

The hiring process goes two ways – candidates are just as interested to learn if the role, company, people and culture are a good fit for them as the hiring manager is trying to figure out if the candidate is a good fit for the job. On-site team interviews and guided facilities tours have traditionally been a really important part of the final interview stages so the candidate and hiring manager can really find out whether this is the right place for them and if this is the right candidate for the team.

Seeing how teams and companies work has always been critical for candidates looking to picture themselves in a role and make the final decision on whether to accept or decline an offer. With the potential for remote work to increase as teams are more distributed than ever across the globe, some forward-thinking companies are looking ahead to digital onboarding tools. These tools bring together team videos, leadership interviews, daily work instructions, examples of people in the role doing the work and, in some cases, use augmented or virtual reality scenarios that can create a simulated work environment for a candidate.

All of these things go a tremendously long way in engaging the best candidates with a modern, consumer-like experience. Digital solutions also have the benefit of streamlining these talent acquisition processes, so it benefits both candidates and talent acquisition teams.

Our PeopleScout Solution

Here at PeopleScout, our proprietary tool, Affinix™ talent technology, and the technology partners we use are all designed with cloud computing services. So, we’ve been able to respond very quickly and ensure that our clients can manage this sudden shift away from traditional, face-to-face interviewing into digital interviewing and virtual hiring throughout their talent acquisition process.

We are truly living in extraordinary times, and companies all over the globe are reacting quickly and responding to the changes COVID-19 has brought to the workforce. Companies have implemented impressive capabilities to enable their workforce, help their employees and continue to find the best talent they can to run their businesses.

Related Articles

Read additional articles in the Q2 2020 issue of PeopleScout NEXT that focus on Adapting To A New Way Of Working