Blog & Resources

Considerations for Hiring in a Virtual World

Over the last few weeks, Hollister has noticed that companies are starting to shift from reacting to the changes that this pandemic has brought to proactively identifying how best to move forward, including how to hire in this new virtual world. Companies are eager to bring the right team members on, yet concerned that it is harder to judge fit and evaluate skills without meeting someone in person. Here are some best practices we share with our clients to help enhance their confidence in each new virtual hire:

  1. Take References Seriously
    Many times we find that companies do not take references seriously. Either they don't call them or they don't ask the hard questions. Take the time to make the connection and to hear directly from the reference. You will gain more from a 10-minute discussion with a reference than from any resume you can review. Ask for references from specific people, and take the time to reach out to each of them.
  2. Gauge Preparedness
    Is the candidate taking this opportunity seriously? Did the candidate come prepared? Do they have well-thought-out questions? While there are many professionals eager to land a job right now, be especially mindful of how interested each candidate is in your specific company and opportunity. How prepared and well-researched they are coming into the interview can be a key indicator of their level of interest.
  3. Pay Attention to Interview Cues
    Did the candidate take the time to dress for the interview and to think about their environment and background noise to ensure the best interview experience? Did they send a thank you card? Was it proofread and personalized? These are all important cues to help you evaluate a candidate.
  4. Consider Contract to Perm
    In today's environment, people are eager to find a job even if it's not yet permanent. They want the chance to shine and are going to be willing to demonstrate their value. Consider contract positions to fill open roles quickly with the opportunity for those who shine to stay on long term.
  5. Focus On Fit, Not Location
    This virtual world allows us to think outside the general distance that a normal commute would takeConsider applicants the fit your needs and your culture best rather than taking into account the geographical barriers.
  6. Utilize Third Party Staffing
    Leverage a trusted staffing partner to expedite the virtual hiring process. Organizations like ours are able to vet and pre-qualify candidates. In many cases, we have longstanding relationships with these candidates, many of whom we have had the chance to meet in person and some whom we have placed previously whose roles have been impacted by Covid-19. We can vouch for their qualifications and cultural fit.
  7. Take Onboarding Seriously
    Lastly, even though you cannot take these candidates out for lunch or walk them around the office hallways, do these things virtually. Send them a zoom lunch meeting and get to know them. Connect them with a variety of people throughout the organization so they can build the relationships they need to have a successful start.

Remember, the landscape has shifted. This is a employers’ market now. Companies willing to take on new team members are in high demand. Don't let the hiring process get in the way of finding the right professionals to position your company for both short- and long-term growth.


If even the thought of hiring virtually gives you stress – join our weekly guided meditations via Zoom on Thursdays at 10AM EST. You can find more information as well as the registration links here.

Hollister Staffing

Hollister Staffing has been helping connect companies with the right resources for over 30 years. We have a bench full of vetted, talented candidates at your ready for either contract, perm, or even project work. Let us do the hard work of hiring.