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Recruiting Wisdom

7 Things to Consider when Planning Virtual vs. In-person Callbacks

min read

Flo Recruit team members, Hannah Kelly (Senior Manager of Employer Sales) and Courtney O'Donnell (Senior Manager of Business Development) hosted a webinar, “Who’s Doing What? Virtual vs. In-Person Callbacks” to unpack this question through the results of a survey of U.S. legal recruiters conducted by Flo Recruit in late May 2022. Seventy-four recruiters responded from all across the U.S, representing firms with anywhere from 80 up to 3,000 attorneys. Watch recording here.

While the results prove that many firms are in favor of hybrid options there was still an overwhelming number of firms that expressed that they remain uncertain whether their callbacks should be in-person, virtual, or hybrid. In order to help these undecided firms, Hannah and Courtney offered some advice as to what firms should take into consideration when making the decision.

Here are 7 things to consider when deciding between virtual and in-person callbacks:

1. Attorney Availability

When it comes to attorneys’ time, recruiters know that it is pertinent to optimize and organize interviews so that attorneys can fully commit to participating in hiring processes. Through our past survey, we noticed that attorneys are more likely to jump on recruiting efforts when the interviews are virtual. It is less of a time commitment to the already busy attorneys and can even produce more accurate candidate evaluations, because these decision makers are prompted to do so directly after ending a virtual meeting.

2. Interviewer Skillset

It is important to consider interviewers’ skillsets and strategically place them in the given environments where they will most thrive. Some interviewers are more impactful virtually, while others can be more candid and engaging in person. Putting thought behind interviewer choices, in light of format, allows both the interviewer and the candidate a more fluid hiring experience.

3. Office Attendance 

No firm wants to bring candidates into an office that seems desolate, and no candidate wants to be introduced into a desolate office space. Before determining your callback situation, consider your office environment. Are you able to host in-person callbacks in a lively and personable firm space? If not, get creative! Host in-person events on hand-selected days when most people are in the office. Better yet, consider doing callbacks virtually, and then bring candidates into a lively meeting or office reception to ensure the culture of the firm is best conveyed.

4. Attorney Evaluations and Hiring Committee Meetings 

The speed and quality of attorney evaluations of candidates are crucial to hiring the best talent for a firm. When done virtually, recruiters are likely to receive more prompt and thorough feedback from their hiring committees. 

In other words:

5. Candidate Expectations 

Candidates' expectations have shifted and autonomy in the workplace is high priority. More candidates expect their situations regarding personal health, safety, and the ability to travel to be taken into a firm’s consideration. All of these factors are reflected in a firm’s willingness to offer both virtual and in-person options. In fact, a recent NALP study showed that 55% of students prefer the option of in-person AND virtual interviews rather than one option over the other. 

6. Reflection on Firms’ Workplace and Culture 

Showing that your firm is willing to adapt to hybrid processes proves to candidates that your firm understands the new-aged work environment that young professionals expect. However, being hybrid is not enough. Firms must prove that their hybrid systems are up to par with the growing technological standards that come with virtual interviews. A seamless recruitment system works in favor of improving both the recruiting committee and the candidates’ experience. 

7. Flexibility as a Necessity - Hybrid as a Long-Term Strategy 

As we all know, it is unlikely that legal recruitment will return to a fully in-person process. Having a system in place that allows for a flexible recruitment process will set any firm up for success in the future. Given the results of our “In-Person vs. Virtual” survey as well as the trend that we have seen through the over 250,000 virtual interviews and over 2,750 in-person events hosted through our platform, Flo Recruit highly recommends that law firms should embrace a hybrid callback process. 

Whatever format decision your firm makes, you need to be prepared to be flexible without sacrificing speed. This requires a smooth, hybrid-capable system. Flo Recruit started as an in-person recruiting tool and became the most-used legal candidate, virtual interview solution.

Flo Recruit has brought those solutions together with hybrid interviews and the ability to switch between virtual and in-person with one click. Flo sends the correct scheduling information (video link vs. room number) to interviewers and candidates, so no one has to worry about human error and communication lag time. Our hybrid candidate self-scheduling means recruitment teams can give candidates the ultimate autonomy: they select from virtual and in-person dates and times that are set by firms. Recruiters are given the ability to see and manage their virtual and in-person candidates on one seamless, hybrid schedule. 

To learn more or book a demo, click here.

Carla Jean Bay

Carla Jean Bay is a Business Development Representative at Flo Recruit with a sales and marketing background cultivated through tech start-ups in Austin.

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