Virtual Recruitment & Onboarding - Never Say Never. Almost!

  • May 13, 2020

The results of McGregor Boyall’s May 2020 survey of over a thousand hirers reveals that lockdown-driven changes in interviewing and onboarding (practices) appear destined to outlive the lockdown itself. The survey invited respondents to compare previous, current and future approaches to virtual/remote interviewing and onboarding.  The headline conclusion from the survey’s results is that constraints imposed by lockdown are being embraced as trailblazing the future. There appears to be no question of a return to pre-lockdown practices with a few tweaks.  Instead, past practices are set to be abandoned with enthusiasm.  

Take remote/virtual interviewing.  Prior to lockdown 45% of respondents used it “frequently” or “sometimes” as part of their selection processes.  86% of the same respondents intend to do so in the future.  Significant but perhaps not radical.  But more dramatic is a growth in the intention to use remote interviewing exclusively.  Pre-lockdown, only 14% did so “frequently” or “sometimes”.  The number intending to do so post-lockdown is 63%!  To put that in another way, 58% told us that they “never” used remote interviewing exclusively before the lockdown.  The number who will “never” do so in the future is now only 12%.

And what is true for virtual interviewing is also the case for onboarding.  What is striking about the results is not that present lockdown procedures are radically different from pre-lockdown ones.  It is not surprising that right now for 38% of respondents, their entire onboarding process is remote.  What’s more interesting is that pre-lockdown, only 24% of respondents told us that they conducted their entire onboarding process “frequently” or “sometimes”.  The post-lockdown number has increased to 53%.  And the “never” number has come down from 59% to 12%.

Overall, we were struck by the realism of respondents.  The message coming through is that post-lockdown practices will lose some of the non-optional constraints of lockdown – but that the genie will never go back into the bottle.