The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives, including the logistics with interviewing for a new job. Traditionally, selected job candidates for college and university housing and residence life positions will have an initial phone inquiry with a potential for an actual in-person campus interview. During the on-campus interview process, candidates will typically have a tour of the campus, particularly focusing on the residence halls given that there where they will work and potentially live dependent upon the position. The pandemic, however, has created new challenges for the interview process while also creating new opportunities at the same time.

Challenges & Opportunities

Specifically, many colleges and universities are simply managing their entire interview processes virtually. This has created a challenge in that a candidate cannot actually visit the campus where they may be living and working. However, this also creates various opportunities, including keeping campus employees and the candidates safe, eliminating travel expenses, and lessens the burden candidates must endure related to traveling to and from campuses across the globe. Many institutions are utilizing their student housing virtual tour platforms to showcase the residence halls to job candidate finalists. Finalists will make various opinions about the college or university based upon how they perceive the campus facilities. This is particularly important for those individuals who are interviewing for live-in positions, such as hall directors and coordinators. While they typically will not be living in student-designated rooms or suites that may be featured in a virtual tour, they will certainly want to see where their residence will be located and the general feel of the area(s) they would manage if eventually hired.

Apartment Walk-Throughs

Various senior housing officers have reported that their staff have recorded videos of the resident director apartments or will simply do a live walk-through with their phone so that candidates can see where they may live if offered and accepting the position. Coupled with using their virtual residence hall tour from the university’s website, this strategy is a courteous, professional, and candidate-centered approach for making them feel welcomed without actually being on campus. Housing administrators may also consider having various staff apartments and suites filmed when developing a virtual residence hall tour. These can be saved for special circumstances off of the institution’s tour website to showcase specifically for job candidates.

Candidate-Centered Approach

Having these virtual apartment-specific tours available post-pandemic can help aid during the recruitment and interviewing stages as candidates will be particularly curious about what they look like. Candidates will likely turn down an offer if they have not had the opportunity to see where they will actually live if the position is live-in. This virtual option is convenient if an apartment or suite cannot be toured in person because of a variety of reasons, including being occupied by a current staffer or undergoing significant maintenance. Additionally, having this virtual viewing option for a finalist to review afterward with a partner or spouse is also an inclusive way to allow them to make a fully informed choice about living and working on your campus.

There are many benefits to showcasing your residence halls through a virtual tour, including for the recruitment and hiring of professional staff. If your team has utilized this strategy as part of your interviewing process, we would love for you to share your story with us in the comments below.

Vivid Media LLC is a multimedia company specializing in creating interactive virtual tours across multiple industries. Our mission is to deliver a high-quality product and service at a fair price. Our tours are of the highest quality, customizable, and include the most cutting-edge features.