During the pandemic, virtual interviews were a necessity, but since then, they’ve become the norm — of the 82% of employers that made the switch, 93% say they’re here to stay. Virtual interviews also have tons of advantages:
- 74% of recruiters say virtual interviews have made their lives easier.
- 87% of candidates say a positive interview experience could change their mind about a company.
- Businesses that invest time and effort into their hiring process see a 70% improvement in the quality of talent they recruit.
Lots of benefits, that is, if you can provide the positive, efficient virtual interviewing experience that candidates expect. Recruiters must create a seamless candidate experience on top of their need for tools that help save time and improve their processes.74% of recruiters say #VirtualInterviews have made their lives easier. Find out the 7 tools you need for successful virtual interviews, and hear from @ClearCompany’s expert #TalentAcquisition team:
ClearCompany’s Talent Acquisition team is back on the blog today to cover some essential tools recruiters should have in their Virtual Interview Toolkit and share a few virtual interviewing tips for recruiters. They’re experts on the subject — we’ve been exclusively remote since 2020, and our own virtual interviewing tools have helped us maintain a time-to-hire that’s weeks faster than the market average.Get their expert advice, and then download our complete checklist of tools you need to execute fast, effective virtual interviews.
1. ATS and LinkedIn Recruiter Integration
LinkedIn is ubiquitous in job hunting and recruiting, with 52 million people searching for jobs each week and 101 applications submitted per second on the site. So it’s no surprise that the ClearCompany Applicant Tracking System’s integration with LinkedIn Recruiter is at the top of the list of must-have tools for our TA team.
With this integration, ClearCompany candidate profiles are automatically created when they apply — or merged with an existing profile if the candidate is already in our system to avoid duplicate entries and give recruiters more context.
“Forwarding candidates’ information from LinkedIn to our ATS saves so much time,” said Patterson. “I like the fact that you can see who’s already in our system, too,” said Smith. “You can look at notes and see if we’ve interacted with the candidate in the past.”
“I think that’s one of the biggest benefits of this integration, from a time standpoint,” said Abraham. “Before, if I had, say, 100 candidates in LinkedIn, I’d have to go cross-reference those candidates with our database manually. It's a huge task.”
The ClearCompany team also uses LinkedIn Apply Connect, which allows job seekers to submit applications without leaving LinkedIn. The integration helps the team capture more candidates, “make it as easy as possible for them to apply,” said Abraham, and get them to the interview stage faster. “It’s all about speed to the interview.”
2. Video Application Responses
Video application responses allow applicants to answer interview questions with a short video. All three of our talent acquisition experts agreed that this feature is an excellent option to help identify standout candidates.
“We can learn a lot about a candidate in 30 seconds — so much more than just what’s on their resume,” said Abraham. “It gives them a chance to stand out beyond their resumes,” added Patterson.
“It’s a chance to learn about somebody beyond a piece of paper,” said Smith. “I think it puts a personal touch on an application — you get to see a little bit of somebody’s personality. I’ve been lukewarm on a resumé, and then they had a great video response that turned it around.”
If you are using video responses, Abraham suggests making these optional so as not to deter candidates who may not want to record a video or aren’t able to do so.
3. Candidate Texting
Candidate texting is too practical to be optional for modern recruiting teams. According to text recruiting statistics, 97% of U.S. adults have cell phones, and text messages have a 98% open rate. In other words, you can reach nearly anyone with a text message, and they’re all but guaranteed to be seen.
Our hiring statistics support texting as an effective recruiting tool, too. ClearCompany’s time-to-hire is just 21 days, compared with an average of 45+ days. It’s largely thanks to ClearText, ClearCompany’s candidate texting solution.These are the 7 #VirtualInterviewing tools @ClearCompany recruiters use for a time-to-hire that’s three weeks faster than average:
“I get great feedback from candidates about texting —candidates will point out that they really like that element of our product,” said Patterson. “Typically, candidates respond more quickly, and you can schedule interviews more quickly. Again, everything's about moving people through the process.”
“The speed of our process is greatly improved with texting, and it can even be by weeks,” Abraham said. “People lose emails or don’t see them until three days later. And then, by the time we get an interview scheduled, it's another three days later, so you're six or seven days faster just with texting. That same person might text back within five minutes. So it's a huge time saver.”
Recruiters can text candidates via their mobile devices or within the platform, where conversations are stored to increase transparency and help recruiters and hiring managers stay on the same page.
4. Text Message and Email Templates
Texting is efficient, but staying in contact with many candidates is never easy — let alone maintaining a personal touch and consistent messaging every time you speak with them. And you’ll always have some who prefer email. Patterson said the text and email templates available in ClearCompany are time-saving, eliminating a manual process she had been using — and preventing a common error.
“I love that it pulls the candidate name because it prevents me from misspelling it,” said Patterson. “Typically, you're saying something along the same lines to most candidates at each step. I had created my own templates and would save them in an Excel sheet and then grab them, so built-in templates remove that extra step.”
“Any repeatable process that we can automate is helpful,” agreed Smith. “To be able to just click a button instead of typing out an entire text message saves us time. It doesn't seem like a big deal if it's one or two texts, but when you're texting candidates all day, you can save as much time as possible, and it certainly is a big help.”
5. Easy Interview Scheduling Tools
How ClearCompany Hires Fast
Find out how ClearCompany’s average time-to-hire is more than 50% faster than average in our two-part Q&A with Director of Talent Acquisition Brian Abraham.
One of the most tedious parts of interviewing, virtual or otherwise, is scheduling. Finding a good time, sending the interview link and directions, and sharing candidate information with interview participants can take days. You could be a week into the hiring process before screening is complete.
With the help of these virtual interviewing tools, the ClearCompany talent acquisition team is scheduling screenings faster than ever, contributing to hiring timelines that are more than 50% faster than average.
Self-service interview scheduling has greatly impacted ClearCompany’s time-to-hire by eliminating scheduling back-and-forth. Recruiters include a link to schedule an interview in their initial message, cutting the number of days to initial screening from six down to just two — and the number of emails sent during the process from five to 1.5.
Compatibility with LinkedIn isn’t the only integration you’ll find helpful in your recruiting software. ClearCompany integrates with major video conferencing software providers (Zoom, Google Meet, GoTo Meeting, Microsoft Teams, and Indeed Interview) and automatically adds meeting links to scheduled interview invites. No need to worry about sending out meeting links or tracking them down on the day of the interview — it’s easily accessible to everyone on the invite.
6. Interview Notes and Scorecards
Prevent repetitive interviews, reduce bias, and get fair, timely interview feedback with interview guides and scorecards. These virtual interview tools help recruiters save time, improve communication, and make hiring decisions based on set criteria rather than likeability.
Compared to in-person interviews, Patterson said, automation cuts tons of time from the recruiting process. Previously, “I’d order lunch; I’d print resumes; and then I'd be hounding people for feedback,” said Patterson.
Now, with ClearCompany, “when you send the interview invite, the scorecard; the candidate profile; the resumé, all the notes — it's all in one spot, and it's all sent to the interviewers. It just saves so much time, and a big part of recruiting is being able to move quickly.”
With guides and scorecards, added Abraham, “We can make decisions faster, which means we can make offers faster, and we can be more competitive.”
They also help reduce bias and ensure you hire high-quality candidates. “I really like that candidates are evaluated on core competencies and core values,” said Smith. “I think having those guiding principles of whether or not the person is actually qualified for the role, not just a likable person is super helpful.”
7. Fully-Integrated Hiring Solution
HR tech stacks are usually pretty complex — recruiters might use different software or web apps for job board posting, writing job descriptions, talking to candidates, scheduling interviews, conducting background checks, and more. In addition, they have to log into multiple accounts to access information and send messages on different platforms to coworkers and candidates. There’s no source of truth to rely on.
That’s where ClearCompany’s TA team has a leg up on the competition. ClearCompany’s Applicant Tracking System is a fully-integrated, cloud-based platform for managing the entire recruiting and hiring process. Recruiters and hiring managers can access the most recent information when they log in. There’s no need to check information between systems or spend time logging in and out of apps.
“I think the way that our platform captures everything, including email and texting communications, is where a lot of other platforms fail,” said Abraham. “You have to go somewhere else to figure out what is happening in the hiring process. You have to find the trail of where we're at right now by emailing this manager or Slacking that one. “But we have none of that in ClearCompany,” said Abraham. Hiring managers don’t need to check in with recruiters because they just log into ClearCompany to see where candidates are at in the recruiting process “because all of the interviews are in there; all of the text messages are in there; all of the emails are in there — and managers have access to that too.
“It's like the nerve center,” said Abraham, and with this level of integration across the recruiting process, “we're already two or three steps ahead of most people. When you're doing everything in a remote environment, having everything contained in one location where everybody else has access to it, not just the recruiting team, is worth pointing out. Even if you just leave the platform for email, there's this break in that continuity, and in a remote recruiting environment, that's huge.”
Virtual interviews aren’t just faster with ClearCompany tools — they’re more efficient and effective and can lead to better hiring decisions. Improve hiring team communication for a seamless interview process, recognize and remove bias, and increase transparency at every stage when you use ClearCompany for virtual interviewing.
Download ClearCompany’s Virtual Interview Toolkit Checklist to discover the tools you need to conduct seamless, effective virtual interviews and put these recruiting tips to the test. Get the Checklist here.