Our Expert Best Practices for Effective Digital Recruiting

Written by
Euan Cameron
Last updated:
Created on:
June 21, 2024

Our Expert Best Practices for Effective Digital Recruiting

Digital recruiting is nothing new, but the tools and techniques that work are constantly evolving. If you aren’t regularly updating your digital recruiting strategy, you’re likely wasting time, money, and resources while missing out on top candidates. 

Mobile recruiting is a great example. 

An Appcast survey found that around 67% of job applications come from mobile devices. Older research suggests that Gen Z is especially likely to prefer mobile devices throughout the application process. So, if you’ve made sure your application form was responsive and called it a day, you’re probably not getting the best results.

Want to improve your digital recruitment efforts? This Willo guide will provide essential tips and best practices for making your digital recruiting strategy a success.

Let’s start with the basics.

What Is Digital Recruiting? 

Digital recruiting (or virtual recruitment) involves using digital tools, channels, and strategies to source, attract, and hire top talent. A common example is the use of online job boards to reach candidates—but this is just the beginning.

There are digital recruitment tools and strategies for every stage of the recruitment process, including:

  • Sourcing: You can use job boards, social media ads, online communities, and career pages to expand your reach beyond traditional methods.
  • Screening and interviewing: Digital tools like async video interviews, scheduling apps, and virtual meeting tools make it easy to screen and interview candidates remotely.
  • Assessment: There are tons of digital assessment tools available, including skills tests, personality assessments, and virtual simulations.
  • Hiring, onboarding, and payroll: Tools like applicant tracking systems, e-onboarding platforms, and payroll software streamline the hiring and onboarding process.

Across all of these stages, digital recruitment aims to make the hiring process more efficient, effective, and user-friendly for both candidates and employers.

Why Should You Care About Digital Recruiting? 

Wider reach, more talent

The main benefit of digital recruiting is that it expands your reach and gives you a better chance of finding top talent.

Think of it this way—with most people actively searching for jobs online, wouldn't you want to be where they're looking? Digital recruiting allows you to tap into a really large pool of qualified candidates. This way, you’d have a much better chance of finding the perfect fit for your team.

Cost-effective hiring

Traditional recruiting methods can be expensive. 

Costs from recruiting events, print ads, travel expenses, recruiting department growth, and poor-quality hires add up quickly. A digital-first approach to recruitment can help you save on these costs by leveraging tools and channels that offer more value for less investment (either time, money, or both).

Less admin work

Admin work can be a major drain on recruiting teams. While digital recruitment tools don’t eliminate it entirely, they often reduce it significantly.

EDF is a great example of just how much admin time you can save by choosing the right tool.

The company often processes as many as 17,000 applicants in a given recruiting cycle—and that means tons of admin work in the form of scheduling, coordination, and communication.

Source: How EDF Fills 400+ Roles Per Recruiting Season

But with Willo’s async video interviewing platform, EDF was able to cut its admin time down by 50%. Candidates can participate in interviews at their convenience without the need to schedule or coordinate with a recruiter.

5 Strategies for Effective Digital Recruiting

1. Invest in social recruiting 

Studies show that roughly 79% of job seekers use social media to find jobs. That means there’s a good chance your next great hire is relying on social media platforms (at least in part) to find their next career move.

How do you connect with them? Start by identifying the best channels.

The obvious choice here is LinkedIn. It’s the most popular professional networking platform online, and it’s where most job seekers go to look for opportunities. However, other platforms, such as creative roles (Instagram) or tech positions (GitHub), can be useful for specific cases.

With each channel you identify, there are three main strategies you can use for social recruitment:

  • Ads (this is the most common)
  • Recruitment content
  • Direct engagement

The first two strategies target active candidates, and the third targets passive candidates.

Ads and recruitment content

Social media recruitment ads are a proven strategy for digital recruiting. You start building an ideal candidate persona that details key requirements and characteristics. Then, you use these details to run targeted ad campaigns.

Source: LinkedIn

Recruitment content is even simpler. All you need to do is create engaging posts that highlight open positions you’re trying to fill. 

Source: Willo co-founder Andrew Wood

Direct outreach

Direct outreach is an effective way to reach candidates who may not even know they're interested in a new opportunity. There are a bunch of tools that streamline and improve this process, but it’s still a bit more hands-on than the strategies above.

Here’s a quick overview of the process:

  1. Identify passive candidates on platforms like LinkedIn, GitHub, or Behance.
  2. Craft personalized outreach messages.
  3. Follow up with those who show interest and schedule an initial call or meeting.
  4. Transition from this call into your traditional recruiting process.

If you want a more detailed guide to this process, check out our guide to hiring passive candidates.

2. Adopt async video interviews

An async video interview is an interview where the interviewer and candidate aren’t present at the same time. You create the interview questions on an async video interview tool like Willo, invite the candidate, and review their responses when you have time.

This interview format offers several benefits: 

  • Increased Efficiency: You save tons of time by not scheduling or attending interviews.
  • Improved Candidate Experience: Candidates get to record their responses at their convenience, without the pressure of a live interview.
  • Better Decision-Making: You can easily compare and review responses from different candidates.

Async interviews also make financial sense. While digital recruiting already promises reduced costs per hire, async interviews can bring these costs down further. Why are we so sure? Willo has helped multiple businesses save both time and money. For example, we helped Packaly save the cost of hiring four full-time recruiters and helped MyTutor reduce overhead costs by 12%.

So, how can you implement async interviews with Willo? 

Start by creating your interview questions. If you can’t come up with questions, we have an intelligent interview question generator to make things easier for you. Then, use these questions to set up an interview with Willo. You also get to choose your preferred response format (videos, audio, or text), answer duration, retakes, and more. 

Then, publish the interview and send the invite links to your candidates. You don't have to send them one by one because Willo can help you send the links to your candidates at scale. When you receive candidates' responses, you can review them collaboratively with interview scorecards.

3. Build a strong employer brand

Your employer brand is essentially the impression that potential candidates have of your company as an employer.

Is it important? According to 83% of recruiters, the answer is yes.

Source: Willo 2024 Hiring Trends Report

Applicants agree, too. According to studies, 75% of job applicants won’t engage with your recruitment efforts if they perceive your company as a toxic place to work. And on the flip side, a positive employer brand can slash your cost per hire by up to 50%.

So, how do you go about building a strong employer brand? Here are a few digital methods:

Careers pages: A careers page isn’t just a place to store open positions (although that is important). It’s a place to showcase your company culture and values. Use employee testimonials, photos, and videos of your workplace, and highlight any unique benefits or perks that your company offers.

Source: Stripe

Social media: Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are great for showcasing your employer brand. Share employee success stories, and behind-the-scenes looks at company events, and highlight any awards or recognition your company has received.

Source: @lifeatgoogle

Reviews: Sites like Glassdoor give job seekers a glimpse into what it’s like to work at your company. Encourage current employees to leave positive reviews and address any negative ones professionally.

Source: Glassdoor 

4. Prioritize candidate experience

Candidate experience refers to the overall impression a job seeker gets from your recruitment process, from start to finish.

It includes factors like:

  • The clarity of your job description
  • The transparency and simplicity of your hiring process
  • The timeliness and effectiveness of your communication

…and countless more.

Generally, a streamlined process encourages candidates to complete applications and move on to the next stages. And on the other hand, a disorganized and confusing process can lead to frustration and ultimately deter top candidates from applying.

To optimize your recruitment process for candidate experience, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Cut non-essentials: Start by thinking critically about every aspect of your recruitment process. Is it really necessary? Or is it included because that’s what everyone else does? For example, do you really need candidates to write a resume and cover letter when you can get the same info (plus insight into their personalities) through a short async video? Make decisions that prioritize efficiency and convenience for both recruiters and candidates.
  • Streamline communication: This goes for external communication (to candidates) and internal communication (to team members and stakeholders). Start the process by giving candidates a clear overview and timeline. Whenever a candidate offers information, make sure it’s circulated to avoid miscommunications and repetition. Use automated engagement tools for routine updates.
  • Optimize everything for mobile: Almost 70% of job seekers apply through mobile. And a clunky or cumbersome mobile application experience can quickly become annoying. This is exactly why we’ve made sure Willo works well on just about any device with a browser and a camera.

5. Measure results 

You shouldn’t just launch a digital recruitment strategy and hope for the best. You need to track what's working (and what's not) to refine your strategy over time.

To do this, identify the metrics that align with your digital recruiting goals. We have an article that explains a ton of useful recruiting metrics you can incorporate into your analytics strategy. But, for digital recruiting, there are a few especially important ones:

  • Cost per hire
  • Time to fill
  • Hires per channel
  • Candidate satisfaction

Those first two metrics should both improve as you get serious about digital recruiting (for reasons we covered above). The third metric is important for optimizing your strategy around the channels that are delivering results.

The final metric—candidate satisfaction—is key. It tells you whether success in your digital recruiting efforts is coming at the cost of candidate satisfaction. If they are, you have a potentially difficult question to answer: is the internal benefit worth the drop in candidate experience?

Internal benefits are usually fairly easy to quantify in terms of cost and time savings, hire quality, and other metrics. Tracking candidate satisfaction lets you quantify the other side of the equation, allowing you to be more systematic with your cost-benefit analyses.

Build a Winning Digital Recruiting Strategy 

Digital recruiting should be a priority for any business that’s serious about hiring top talent. Why? It’s convenient, cost-effective, and opens you up to a much larger talent pool.

This article covered some of the most effective digital recruiting strategies—from social recruiting and employer branding to candidate experience optimization and async interviews.

Looking for a way to implement async interviews? At Willo, our scalable async interview platform is designed to help you streamline your recruiting process and find the best candidates for your team with customizable interviews, interview scorecards, collaboration tools, and more.

Sign up for a free trial today and see the difference for yourself.

Euan Cameron
LinkedIn profile

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