Hybrid Recruiting: Make the Most of Digital Interviewing

The future of work is hybrid, which means hybrid recruiting will also soon be the norm.
Loosely, hybrid work refers to a flexible working model where employees spend some time in the office each week and some time working from home. This model gives the employee more control over their schedule and commute but still regularly brings the workforce together in a physical environment.

Using virtual assessment centers and digital interviewing software, your hybrid recruiting process minimizes the time that recruiters and hiring managers spend on face-to-face interactions. A hybrid model streamlines hiring with virtual tools while creating meaningful and intentional in-person interactions between hiring managers and top candidates.

Here’s how to incorporate digital interviewing into your hybrid recruitment process.

What Is Hybrid Recruitment?

Hybrid recruitment refers to recruiting processes that blend virtual with in-person practices. Hybrid recruitment aims to pull in the best elements of both, creating the most effective process possible.

In-person recruiting models give candidates an opportunity to see what work in the office is like and to experience a taste of the culture during interviews and assessments. Remote recruiting is more streamlined and efficient, creating a better experience for candidates.

By merging these two models, hybrid recruiting derives the benefits from both without incorporating any of the drawbacks.

Hybrid Recruiting Versus Virtual Recruiting

Virtual recruiting is conducted exclusively online, often out of necessity. Companies that are fully distributed and have no central office are most likely to use a completely virtual recruiting model.

In this model, recruiters and hiring managers may be fully remote, for example, and working with candidates who are in other cities or states. The entire hiring process is carried out virtually, from building talent pipelines to conducting digital interviews and making the final offer.

A hybrid recruiting model, on the other hand, has a central location where some aspects of hiring are conducted. In addition to a digital interview, for example, a hybrid recruiting process may also include an in-person interview with the top three candidates.

3 Benefits of a Hybrid Recruiting Approach

Embracing a hybrid recruitment approach produces several significant benefits.

Greater Access to Skill Sets You Need

A hybrid recruiting approach opens up opportunities for top talent to participate in your recruiting process, especially for job seekers from historically excluded groups. Candidates may be juggling their job search along with a current job, caring for dependents or lacking access to transportation to get to your office for in-person tests and screenings. But with a hybrid model, the bulk of the hiring process happens virtually and on the candidate’s terms. More candidates can participate in a hybrid process, giving you greater access to talent you may not have reached before. A benefit for both candidates and recruiters.

Free Up Time for Talent Acquisition Teams

Hybrid recruiting processes are more streamlined than traditional in-person processes. Tools like digital interview software save time scheduling and conducting interviews, for example. And virtual assessment centers automate much of the screening process, delivering results straight to your applicant tracking system.

You’ll have fewer in-person interactions, and those you do have will be more targeted and only involve the top candidates. By integrating a digital interview on the front end using a tool like Aon’s video assessment, you can deliver comprehensive reports on each candidate to the hiring manager, enriching the in-person experience.

With this time gained back, you can continue refining your hybrid recruitment strategy to serve the needs of the business.

An Improved Candidate Experience

Hybrid recruiting allows you to meet candidates on their terms. This can be empowering for applicants, who can participate in the hiring process from wherever they are. Because most of the hybrid hiring process is remote, candidates can move through several stages before meeting anyone from the company in person.

Design your applications, assessments and digital interviews for mobile-first delivery. Today, many candidates search and apply for jobs on smartphones or tablets rather than from laptops or desktop computers. Making the bulk of your hybrid recruiting process accessible via mobile devices improves the candidate’s experience and strengthens your employer brand.

3 Elements of Successful Hybrid Recruiting

Your hybrid recruiting process requires these three elements to drive successful outcomes.

Transparent and Consistent Processes

You have more options for developing recruiting processes in a hybrid environment, including with screening procedures and in-person interviews. But you need to set guidelines that create a consistent process and deliver the same experience to each candidate.
One of the most important questions to address is whether you’ll host synchronous (or live) interviews or asynchronous interviews. Asynchronous or digital interviews give candidates more control over the process. They can respond to preset questions in their own time rather than meeting online or in person at a specified time. This gives recruiters and hiring managers an advantage, too, because they can collect responses and review them on their own time. Live interviews can easily run off track, creating a different experience each time and making it impossible to compare candidates fairly.

Carrying out the same process for each candidate streamlines your workflow and produces more objective results.

Be Intentional, Not Incidental

Intentionality is an essential element of a hybrid recruiting process. When every aspect of your process is curated and intentional, you produce better hiring outcomes and improved experiences.

In-person interactions produce incidental conversations, often from spontaneous encounters. Hybrid recruiting processes eliminate much of this incidental dialogue and focus instead on intentional experiences.

Decide on the front end which parts of the process you want to deliver virtually and which encounters need to happen in person. To make the most of the hybrid format, condense in-person interactions to the final stage of the interviewing process, when you’re down to the final candidates.

Support From Business Leaders

Shifting to a hybrid recruiting model requires buy-in from business leaders. You’ll need to invest time and resources into designing the best process for your company and brand, not to mention training recruiters and hiring managers to carry out the process. If you don’t already have a virtual assessment center or digital interviewing platform, you’ll need to invest in these systems.
Remain transparent with your colleagues in the C-suite about how you’re investing the recruiting budget. Demonstrate how hybrid recruiting processes can support the business by producing improved hiring outcomes.

Assessing Candidates for Hybrid Job Roles

What you need from employees in hybrid roles differs from what you expect of fully in-person or remote workers. Here’s what to look for when recruiting talent to join your hybrid team.

Define Your Hybrid Competencies

Aon’s digital readiness model provides a valuable starting point for predicting success in a hybrid workplace. The model demonstrates that candidates who score highest on curiosity, agility and learnability are most likely to thrive in a digitally driven workplace.

Whether hybrid, in-person or remote work, employees with these traits can navigate and adapt to change more successfully than their peers who score lower on these traits. Work with an industrial organizational (IO) psychologist to determine the competencies your workforce needs to thrive in a hybrid working environment.

Determine Fit for the Role

In addition to determining the competencies needed to work in a hybrid environment, you need to assess candidates for their fit in that particular role. Revise legacy job descriptions to be functional within a permanently hybrid workforce.

Pose Probing Questions

Implement behavioral questions to determine how candidates are likely to react in specific situations they may encounter on the job.

Work with an IO psychologist to design questions that can elicit this type of response. Your digital interview software vendor, such as Aon, may provide a bank of questions for employers to choose from depending on what they’re trying to assess.

3 Best Practices for Digital Interviewing

Many companies have used some form of hybrid recruiting for a long time. But digital interviewing is a more recent addition to the process. Here are some best practices to help you implement digital interviewing effectively.

Provide Common Interview Questions

Ask all candidates the same standardized questions so that you can compare their responses more objectively. Design questions for each role, or pull from a bank of questions provided by your assessment vendor.

Asking set, consistent questions removes a lot of the risk that bias will enter the interview process. It’s much easier to stay focused on objective criteria when all of the candidates are responding to the same preset questions.

Assess Interview Responses

If you ask each candidate the same questions, you can compare their responses against each other. Use scorecards to evaluate each candidate’s responses, then compare scorecards to find the highest-scoring candidates.

Use technology to support you in this process. Aon’s video interview tool uses artificial intelligence to evaluate interview responses. The platform uses speech-to-text technology combined with natural language processing to find coded meanings in each candidate’s response.

Provide a Positive Experience

Digital interviewing can be overwhelming, so make the process as smooth and easy as possible for candidates. Don’t require them to download countless apps just to access the platform. Provide a streamlined, mobile-friendly interview experience.

Set expectations about the process itself, too: Let candidates know that their responses will be recorded and analyzed both by AI software and by human scorers. Inform candidates ahead of time how many questions they’ll be asked, and provide guidance on using the software.

Drive Your Business With Hybrid Recruiting

Hybrid recruiting is an extremely customizable process. Any company can develop a recruiting process that blends the right mix of virtual and in-person elements to meet the needs of their company and culture.

Develop a hybrid recruiting process for your organization to access a greater talent pool while curating a unique and positive candidate experience.

Aon | Assessment Solutions

Aon's assessment solutions provides clients with powerful tools and insights to help them make better talent decisions at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This includes pre-hire assessments, identifying future leaders, screening for digital skills and agility, and AI-enabled solutions.

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