Virtual Legal Hiring Is Here to Stay: Are You Prepared?
- November 24, 2021
Virtual hiring using video technology, for at least some of the recruiting process, isn’t new. Many organisations have used video screening since Skype first landed on our desktops back in 2003.
The use of video technology increased in popularity as pressure around time to recruit became a challenge, especially during the initial screening phase.
Over the last twenty years, reliable video has improved so much that many recruitment organisations, Clayton legal included, started to use video to enhance the recruiting process for both candidates and clients.
However, virtual hiring only became commonplace across multiple sectors during the Covid 19 global pandemic.
Last year according to a report by Gartner involving over 300 HR leaders, 86% of organisations conducted virtual interviews to fill their vacancies, and current evidence suggests virtual hiring is here to stay.
Now, however, the virtual hiring experience is rapidly emerging as a “new normal” for businesses and candidates.
Onrec, the respected recruitment resource website, recently shared data that revealed more than half of employers would continue to incorporate video interviews into their recruitment process.
In this workplace climate, both legal job seekers and employers are under increasing pressure to adapt or risk missing out on that potential new role or team member.
So today, let us look at the many benefits of virtual hiring and, importantly, what you need to consider to make this an effective hiring process for your firm.
The Multiple Benefits of the Virtual Hiring Trend
While the concept of continual virtual hiring may be daunting for some, the benefits are significant.
Virtual hiring accelerated as a needs-driven response to the pandemic, and consequently, its many benefits have become more visible; here are a few you might not have considered.
Communication happens at many levels. Written prose is level one, and visual media is level three. The impact of hearing and watching someone speak is different to reading their CV. As human beings, our communication and effect are improved when we use our visual and auditory capabilities.
Albert Mehrabian is a psychology professor from UCLA known for his pioneering work in non-verbal communication, in other words, body language.
He identified the 7-38-55% communication rule. Fundamentally an individuals body language and communication ability has more impact than the words they are communicating. Not surprising then that video interviewing is so effective in helping you identify individuals ideal for your legal role.
Virtual hiring equals speed; 45% of recruiters revealed that video interviews helped speed up their process.
Video screening doesn’t need to be live video either. A candidate can record a video and send it to their recruiter for onward transmission and first screening by the hiring manager in question.
A win for everyone.
The candidate can record a video and put their best foot forward; deleting any stutters and stalls until they record a video they are happy will represent what they have to offer to their potential new firm.
At the same time, the hiring manager can watch the video when they have a gap in their diary. The initial screening interviews to create a shortlist can then take place in a matter of hours rather than days or weeks. Vital timesaving for a hiring manager who is probably already juggling a high caseload.
With time to recruit as an important metric for many firms, virtual hiring suddenly makes absolute financial sense.
Decision Making and Carbon Footprints
Video interviewing means more people can be involved in the process from multiple locations; no more waiting around for a decision from a senior partner in London who can’t get to the interview because a court date was changed.
As I write this, many of us have been gripped by the COP26 conference in Glasgow. Yes, climate change and carbon footprints are real, and consistent actions like minimising travel will make a difference.
Preparing for the Virtual Hiring Revolution
Both legal professionals AND firms will also need to continue to navigate the age of virtual interviewing.
Video technology and the skill to present and interview effectively are critical.
Video tech and software have developed significantly over the last three years. The majority of the legal profession are now familiar with Zoom and M.S. teams as a medium to conduct interviews. Yet still, a challenge for many is using these applications to best effect.
Let me share a few obvious examples that are easy to forget.
Remember, someone is going to be looking at what is or isn’t behind you. Only last week, I was distracted by a member of parliament and their book collection during a BBC interview.
This should not be an issue anymore, with virtual backgrounds being freely available.
As a client, if you have a glass-walled office, remember seeing people walking past is distracting for a candidate ‘trying’ to answer your questions.
Agreeing on a standard video interviewing procedure for your team that you also share with your recruiting partner will avoid the classic mistakes we have all seen shared online.
Invest in a good camera and microphone and use them.
The connection between human beings is key in the interview process. Make sure you know exactly where the camera aperture is and look into it. It is most off-putting when you are staring down at a screen instead of into a camera, which is the same for all parties concerned.
Being good on video is a skill, and luckily one you can develop- practise does make perfect.
Every social platform allows you to upload videos. LinkedIn will allow you to upload a video straight from your phone, provided it is less than ten minutes in length.
As a hiring manager, share videos about your team, firm and culture and the good work you are doing; you will be surprised how confident you can become.
As a candidate, It is easy to profile yourself ahead of an interview by uploading a video that profiles what you have to offer an employer. The latest platform to embrace this phenomenon is Tik Tok, with younger job seekers posting their ‘Careertok’ C.V.s.
Being proficient in communicating with video isn’t only for candidates; it’s critical for your brand, too; let me explain.
Is Your Employer Brand Compatible With Virtual Hiring?
In an environment where much of the recruitment journey is now happening online, employer brands are more valuable than ever. Legal firms will need to ensure they have a presence on the right industry forums, social media channels, and other platforms to attract the right candidates.
It doesn’t stop there.
More than ever, in a skill short market, legal candidates choose the companies they want to work with. Fact: Your culture and flexibility could now be the deciding factor.
Earlier, we talked about communicating well with video. The question now is how can you share your culture throughout the virtual hiring process?
Having freely available culture videos on your website, as themuse shares here, demonstrate your inclusivity and work environment.
Another idea is to provide a virtual experience during, before or after the virtual interview.
What about a Zoom coffee catch up with different departments or an office walkthrough?
Technology really does make anything possible.
The legal industry is on the verge of a virtual hiring revolution. For some time now, recruitment has been growing increasingly virtual.
Before the pandemic, the Clayton group had already begun utilising video interviewing for our client and our candidate recruitment, with great results.
We have invested in the latest video technology that provides an unparalleled recruitment process for both our legal clients and jobseekers.
Contact the Clayton Legal team today if you would like support to develop your legal recruitment strategy or job search in the virtual age.
About Clayton Legal
Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability during that time. We have made over 5,000 placements from Partners to Legal Executives, Solicitors to Paralegals and Legal I.T. personnel to Practice Managers.
If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.