It’s currently a challenging time for many businesses as the world grapples with the reality of COVID-19. ‘Uncertainty’ is a commonly spouted buzzword to describe the situation, and it’s not far from the truth for most. Businesses have little forward visibility of how long the current arrangements are going to last. Employees are not sure if they’ll have a job or a stable working routine for some time. Nonetheless, we all must persevere and adapt.
One such adaption is remotely working. Many organisations have had to execute company-wide arrangements to facilitate employees working in isolation. It’s a wake-up call for talent mobility and how company’s embrace flexible working. While we can’t say what the lasting impact of this temporary but profoundly disruptive period will be, we can be sure of the need to adjust our processes to meet the current situation.
Two fundamental processes that need to pivot urgently are recruiting and onboarding. If your organisation is looking to fill positions or successfully bring on previously committed staff, you’ll need to adapt to doing it online. If you’ve been looking to improve your recruiting and remote hiring efficiency, now’s the perfect time to do it. Here are seven essential tips to help you do just that.
Tip #1 – Leverage Video Interviews Effectively
Video interviews aren’t an option right now. They’re a necessity in an environment where meeting new talent in person is inextricably complicated, or straight out, prohibited. Interviewing candidates over video using unfamiliar software and potentially dodgy internet connections is your new number one skill. So how do you ensure these interviews go smoothly and accomplish their goal of assessing your applicant?
Prepare. Practice. Polish.
- Ensure to provide your candidate with all the information they’ll need to prepare for the interview.
- Conduct a video interview as you would a regular one. Show up on time and use a quiet space or room, so there are no distractions.
- Consider a backup in case technology fails – switch to a phone call. Remember, it’s still the candidate’s experience and suitability for the role you’re assessing, not the technology circumstances of the interview.
Communicate a plan for what happens after the interview. If the candidate is successful, will there be another video interview? Will the manager be joining next time? Set your candidate at ease to get the most authentic interview experience.
Tip #2 – Allow More Time
The recruiting process may require more time to establish whether a candidate is an excellent fit for the role. Without face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult to ascertain their traits and team culture-fit as quickly. It remains essential to make the right hiring decisions and vet a potential new remote hire sufficiently. Even if that takes twice as long, over multiple interviews, that’s what you should do. You need to get to know them well and stay in contact as much as possible, given that they cannot experience the day-to-day operations first-hand.
Tip #3 – Collaborate With Your Team
Get your recruiting colleagues, and the hiring team involved early in the process. Without the ability to assess new starters in person, you’ll need to make sure their skills match up with the role. Getting the hiring team on board early on builds the necessary trust and establishes a well-rounded assessment process for any remote hire.
Ensure your technology can handle multiple stakeholders to allow for effective collaboration during the hiring process. Not only should video interviews be able to host various parties, but your back-end applicant tracking software (ATS) should support two-way communication and document flow. All relevant hiring team members, managers, and recruiting staff should be able to use software to engage in the recruiting and onboarding process to ensure an excellent fit.
Tip #4 – Stay in Contact to Maintain Trust
Ensure your ATS accommodates a proactive, outreach approach to maintaining communications with all current candidates. With so many current uncertainties, talent will appreciate any company that makes an effort to keep them updated throughout the hiring process. The more personal, the better!
Modern ATS software allows you to personalise and automate most of the hiring and onboarding communications needed to support candidates. Taking advantage of this is essential in times of ambiguity. We’re all people, and an empathetic approach will only increase your chances of landing high-quality talent.
Tip #5 – Try a Job Trial and Keep Company Culture Alive
Depending on the role, it may be a good idea to give candidates a ‘trial project’ to deliver. This opportunity helps you assess whether they can produce what they’ve said they can, as well as their ability and commitment to perform in the role while working remotely.
Throughout the remote hiring process, treat them as an employee and instil internal company culture in everything you do. It’s an excellent way for the candidate to experience what your organisation brings to the table, in addition to what they can offer you.
Tip #6 – Consider Alternative Skill Sets
Some specific skills and traits excel in a flexible working environment. There is an additional benefit to effective written communication, resourcefulness, adaptability and discipline. Some of the best staff have trouble adapting to new routines and working environments. New remote hires that display discipline, routine and commitment will likely pass the onboarding process with flying colours. Consider prioritising a slightly different skill set than you typically might.
Tip #7 – Plan for a Return to the Office
While the future is uncertain, in the medium-term, you’ll need to be planning for what comes next. When it’s appropriate to do so, the role will likely move to the office. By this point, the new remote hire has been onboarded and successfully worked for a few months without interacting with their team members in person. Setting up team meetings and events to facilitate a second ‘in-person’ onboarding, may be a great idea to integrate new employees into the office. Primarily, the timeline to onboard has increased. Your recruiting and onboarding processes, applicant tracking software and strategies should reflect that.
Most of these tips apply to remote hiring in general. Regardless of the progression of the current pandemic, the lessons are valid moving forward. All companies should be looking to leverage technology and introduce flexibility into their hiring and onboarding processes. Using the right ATS, onboarding software and recruiting infrastructure increases efficiency, reduces costs and maximises your organisation’s ability to secure top talent. With the persistent talent shortage and more people reconsidering their employment options, the opportunities to poach quality talent are staked higher than ever before.
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Best of luck! Until next time,