Virtual Hiring Becomes The New Normal

Pandemic closures worldwide forced companies to conduct interviews virtually during the spring interview season and the successful candidates are now participating in virtual internships. While companies had increasingly been conducting video interviews to cut hiring costs before the pandemic, the practice has now expanded to include game-based assessments, chatbots and collaboration platforms that help new hires network from afar.

At Kraft Heinz, 175 applicants from Europe and Australia for the company’s entry-level trainee program were interviewed using Microsoft Teams, instead of face to face group projects and final, in-person interviews. Although it was challenging to evaluate collaboration skills via video calls, the company was encouraged by the ease with which the online platform allowed interviewers to assess candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as creativity and problem-solving skills.

For interns at American Family Insurance, the interview process was already complete before the pandemic. However, those selected are now working remotely, with the expectation that they make 2-4 Zoom calls daily with their managers and colleagues. The company is also using Zoom to host rotating coffee chats where an intern in one department can connect with senior staff in another department, as well as organizing virtual game sessions for summer staff.

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