Virtual recruitment of new staff

Advantages and disadvantages of virtual recruitment


Recruiting new employees using a virtual recruitment process can bring many advantages to employers and their businesses. Many employers had no choice but to use virtual recruitment as they took on staff during the coronavirus pandemic. These employers have experienced in practice some of the advantages that virtual recruitment can bring for businesses.

Advantages of virtual recruitment

  • Breaks geographical barriers – virtual recruitment enables employers to extend their reach for talent wider than traditional methods would. In practice, employers can now attract international talent, but you must ensure your workers are eligible to work in the UK.
  • Saves time – virtual recruitment enables employers to screen more candidates in a shorter amount of time. You can build automation into some of the recruitment stages, for example, online competency tests can automatically rank candidates based on their performance. Online video interviews can be scheduled more flexibly than traditional face-to-face interviews so that the fit around your schedule and not the other way round.
  • Saves money – virtual recruitment can bring a number of savings for employers. Recruitment events held online are less expensive than hosting or attending physical job fairs. Virtual recruitment also requires no travel or accommodation costs. If you are hiring new staff on a regular basis, these cost savings will add up. The technology required to deliver virtual recruitment is often inexpensive and offers a good return on investment.
  • Reduces the time to hire – when recruiting, your main aim is to get the best possible candidate started in their new role as soon as possible. Virtual recruitment can help this by speeding up the recruitment process as a whole. It enables employers to vet and shortlist a larger volume of candidates in a shorter space of time. There is also no need to set aside a significant amount of time to facilitate candidates and an interview panel to fulfil face-to-face interviews.
  • Gain competitive advantage – virtual recruitment shows potential candidates that your organisation is progressive and innovative, potentially making you a more attractive employment option over competitors. The majority of job seekers today are comfortable with interacting online and are likely to expect that at least some of your recruitment process would be online too.
  • Hire the right candidate – by saving you time and money, virtual recruitment also enables employers to focus on recruiting the best possible person to employ. You can streamline your recruitment process to help you connect more easily with candidates to understand their strengths and skills.
  • Better experience for candidates – virtual recruitment makes it much easier for communication between the employer and potential candidates. Virtual job fairs, for example, enable employers to connect directly with a larger talent pool. A common complaint from candidates using traditional recruitment is that their queries go unanswered. Tools like virtual chat answers any questions or queries that candidates may have about a job role in real-time.
  • Reduces paperwork – through virtual recruitment all candidate records, such as application forms or competency tests, are hosted in a digital format and so this reduces the paperwork burden that traditional recruitment usually has. Employers can easily access information about a candidate in real-time when required . Employers, if given consent by the candidate, can record interviews. This makes it easier for employers to go back and review what a candidate said, so there is less reliance capturing a full record through written notes during the interview.
  • A fairer recruitment process – virtual recruitment can also support diversity and inclusion when you are hiring new staff. Some employers use artificial intelligence hiring tools to ignore demographic information such as race, gender and age. Such technology, also available for CV screening, may reduce the risk of conscious and unconscious biases that can infringe traditional recruitment practices.

Disadvantages of virtual recruitment

  • Technology issues – virtual recruitment relies heavily on technology, so you are dependent on systems working smoothly for you. Extensive system testing and having a fall back plan can help you counteract this.
  • A high volume of applications – as virtual recruitment removes geographical barriers, you might attract a large volume of job applications. However, clearly describing job specifications and distinctly outlining required experience and qualifications will help to ensure you only invite responses from suitable candidates.
  • Too impersonal – candidates may find the process is too detached as there is no face-to-face physical interaction with virtual recruitment. By ensuring there are options for communication throughout the recruitment process, employers may find that they have the opportunity to interact more effectively with candidates in a virtual environment than they may have when recruiting traditionally.

Although there are many advantages to virtual recruitment, it does not mean you should completely discount physical recruitment practices. There are still benefits for businesses using traditional processes for some of their recruitment stages. A hybrid approach may work best for you and your business.