Recruiting, especially in competitive industries, is a complex game. It’s about much more than posting a job description and hoping for good candidates. Instead, you’ll need to get specific. Mainly, through the use of virtual tours.
Top-level candidates care about much more than their salary or even their office space. They want to be the right fit, both in terms of their values and for their physical skills. And of course, especially if they’re about to relocate, they need to understand the surrounding area.
Experienced HR professionals know all of that. But they’ve also realized that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, things have changed drastically. The typical pre-hire interview or site visit is no longer realistic in many cases. Still, you need to hire the right candidate.
That’s where virtual tours come into play. In the age of virtual recruiting, they offer a perfect bridge of showcasing your physical space. But they’re also much more versatile than that.
With the right virtual tour builder, you can create an interactive experience that will become a core piece of your larger recruitment strategy. Good business is built on good talent, and the right virtual tour can help you attract that talent reliably. This is how.
How Virtual Tours Can Showcase Your Physical Space
Let’s start with the obvious. In the age of restricted travel and an inability to visit your space, top-level candidates may become more hesitant to choose your organization as their employer of choice. Words can only do so much to describe the environment they’re about to move into.
A virtual tour can help in that process. It allows you to not just showcase the general office structure (the physical space the new hire will occupy), but also the layout of the larger building, conference rooms, break rooms, and more.
This is the baseline of any hiring process. Think of it as the equivalent of walking a finalist to their office space to show them where they’ll work. Nothing fancy, just a few simple cues that give them a better idea of exactly what they can expect once they sign that paperwork and sit down to start working on their first day.
Of course, it has to be built the right way. Understanding how to build a virtual tour is just as important as understanding its ability to enhance your virtual recruitment. The right angles, photography, and flow can go a long way towards convincing prospective hires that your organization offers the space they need to flourish.
Beyond the Physical Space: Virtual Tours to Communicate Your Culture
Corporate culture is among the most important intangible pieces in the hiring process. Determining the right “culture fit” is crucial in the hiring process, for both the applicant and the prospective employer:
- Hiring is expensive. Hiring the right applicant the first time means not having to go through the entire process again and wasting valuable funds in the meantime.
- Culture fit is among the most important factors for top-level talent today. In fact, especially among younger generations, it even matters more than the salary.
- Satisfied employees, who fit into the culture, tend to be more productive and provide greater ROI in the process.
- On the flip side, hires who are a bad culture fit for your company tend to perpetuate negative feelings, dragging down satisfaction and productivity among their new co-workers.
In other words, making sure you get the right culture fit is as crucial part of the hiring process. But it’s also challenging at a time when you can’t meet the applicant in person. Fortunately, once again, a virtual tour can help.
Through the tour, you can highlight the various areas that might be less important to productivity, but showcase your personality and values. It might be a fancy break and relaxing room, or an open productivity and creativity space. Even visuals of the lobby, if you have it decorated to match your culture, can make a big impact on prospective hires looking for guidance on choosing the right employer.
This is also your opportunity to get quirky. Do you have a weekly happy hour? Show pictures from it! A dog-friendly office? Everybody wants to see those furry friends. That type of personality doesn’t just highlight your values and employee-friendly office spaces, but also keeps your audience engaged.
Into the Community: Leverage Virtual Tours for Surrounding Areas
Especially if you’re not hiring local employees, the talent interviewing for your open positions will likely need to relocate. That’s an important factor to keep in mind as you build out the process and strategize your communication to prospective employees.
Even when times are normal, prospective recruits may not be able to travel to remote locations for an interview. In the age of COVID, that travel has become almost impossible. And yet, they still have important questions about the relocation that go far beyond the job itself:
- What’s the real estate market like in the area I’m about to move into?
- What are the available parks and recreational areas, and how close are they to residential areas that suit my needs?
- What’s the demographic makeup of the communities close to where I will work?
- Is there public transportation, and how comprehensive is the public transit system?
- What are the schools like in this area?
- How safe are the neighborhoods?
They’ll likely use tools like AreaVibes to help them answer some of those questions. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help in the communications process. In fact, done right, you can leverage your virtual tour maker to highlight the areas beyond your own campus.
For instance, you can showcase local attractions and neighborhood, or link out to tools like AreaVibes. You can also include videos and other visuals to give your candidates a better idea of what to expect. Depending on the software you’re using, you can even integrate live public transit information that helps your audience better understand the situation.
All of these (and other) opportunities are optional, and most organizations won’t even consider them for their virtual tours. For virtual recruitment initiatives, though, they’re invaluable. You’re able to offer candidates a better picture of what to expect, increasing your chances of being their employer of choice in the process.
Interactivity and the Ability of Virtual Tours to Engage Recruits
Finally, let’s talk about what’s in many ways the calling card for virtual tours of any kind: their ability to engage your audience beyond a passive watch experience. It’s no longer just about reading a bunch of words and making a decision based on those words. Instead, you can give your prospective hire a full virtual and interactive experience.
That experience can take on a number of shapes, depending on how you build your virtual tour:
- Forms that allow interested candidates to provide their contact information for follow-ups and other communication.
- 360-degree photos and videos that allow candidates to virtually ‘look around’ the space and get a better impression of what’s waiting for them.
- Testimonials from your employees who can talk to your organizations tangible and intangible strengths, and what it’s like to work for you.
- Hotspots that allow you to embed photos and videos, further showcasing your employer brand and corporate culture.
With these tools at your disposal, you can build out your tour in an almost infinite number of ways. You don’t have to stay straightforward, either; add in a few quirky photos or videos to keep your audience on your toes and keep them clicking through the entire tour.
That’s how you build a truly engaging experience. That type of experience, in turn, allows your recruits to self-discover your organization, adding a whole lot more personality than your website or external sources like Glassdoor. You will get a more engaged audience, which in turn makes it more likely that the top level rises to the top and becomes more likely to apply and choose your company.
How to Make a Virtual Tour that Helps You Succeed in Virtual Recruitment
Through these benefits, your virtual tour can play a core role in your digital recruitment initiatives. And yet, it bears repeating: it only helps as much as the actual tour built to accomplish these benefits.
A simple interactive map, without any interactive elements, might not help you get there. You need a true tour, designed for your candidates to engage, explore, and interact with what will hopefully become their future employer.
Examples of this type of tour are plentiful. We’ve even built our own virtual tour for recruitment, showcasing that quirk that we’ve mentioned above. The goal here is not just a comprehensive picture of the company, but a behind-the-scenes look of what will be the day-to-day environment of the candidates we’ll ultimately hire.
Ready to learn more? You might need a partner by your side to help you get there. That means not just getting the right virtual tour maker software, but also strategic help to build your tour to accomplish your recruiting needs. To learn more about our experience, and how we can help you enhance your recruitment in the age of COVID-19, contact us.