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Virtual hiring is the new norm amid the pandemic-driven shift to remote work. Instead of shying away from it, employers should embrace the process and its many benefits and opportunities, industry experts say.

Whether in person or through videoconference, hiring involves evaluating candidates based on skills, experience and connection, says Scott Bonneau, vice-president of global talent attraction for the global job site Indeed.

And given the tight labour market and growing talent shortages, Mr. Bonneau says remote hiring is both an efficient and effective way to find future talent and help companies expand.

“What we’re seeing is really an opportunity for reimagining the hiring process that puts job seekers at the centre and connects them to opportunities as efficiently as possible,” Mr. Bonneau says.

Virtual hiring helps broaden the talent base and increase diversity

Remote hiring and remote work allow employers and employees to look broadly in their search for the right fit. This change has opened up all sorts of new opportunities for talent acquisition.

“By widening the geographic net, we’re getting access to talent that we may never have had access to before, which is really great,” Mr. Bonneau says.

Thanks to this transformation to remote hiring, engineers in Canada can now, for example, pursue opportunities at Indeed without needing to relocate. This is important, says Mr. Bonneau, because not everyone is willing or able to move for a new position.

Being open to remote work has expanded the company’s potential candidate pool, which in turn has other benefits.

“This also gives you access to a more diverse workplace as well, and studies have shown that organizations embracing diversity tend to have better outcomes,” Mr. Bonneau says.

“That’s something that we think has really been unlocked by this shift to more remote hiring.”

Online interviews can foster deeper connections with job candidates

Remote hiring can also be an opportunity for employers to connect with candidates in a more authentic way, outside of a traditional workplace environment. More personalized conversations can help companies find the right talent in today’s tight labour market, says Lori-Ann Jakel, founder and program director of the Mississauga-based public speaking coaching business Stand Up and Speak.

She says the onus is on the hiring manager to foster that connection in the virtual conversation.

“A good interviewer sets the tone for the interview,” she says. “Just something that says, ‘Hey, I’m human, I know where you’re coming from, I just want you to relax and get comfortable.’”

Being comfortable on camera also puts the other party at ease, Ms. Jakel says, no matter which side of the table you’re on. One tip she has is to hide the video view of yourself on your computer to focus on the other person and keep eye contact as you would in person.

What’s more, an interview doesn’t have to be just a one-time exchange. Ms. Jakel says the conversation could generate future ideas or opportunities for the employer and candidate.

“An interview is a meeting of the minds or a way of networking. If I was hiring somebody and they’re not a good fit for this role, maybe there might be another opportunity down the road,” she says.

Using the latest technology to make hiring more efficient and effective

Some employers may wish to take advantage of talent-search tools available to find and hire new employees.

Last year, Indeed launched its Indeed Hiring Platform in Canada, a “one-stop-shop” for employers to manage their hiring process — from posting a job to scheduling and conducting interviews via the company’s video interviewing technology on their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

But there are only so many hours in the day. And when recruiters spend so many hours on repetitive tasks, they have less time, energy and mindshare to spend engaging with candidates.

By helping to automate many of a hiring professional’s repetitive, manual tasks, Indeed Hiring Platform is revolutionizing the hiring process while giving employers more time to spend on the most important part of the process – the human connection.

“It’s about really identifying and connecting with the talent that’s going to be best for their business,” Mr. Bonneau says.


Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Indeed. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.