Hiring and Onboarding during the times of COVID-19
It is impossible to talk about the year 2020 without mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has had immense socio-economic effects world wide that will be talked about and studied for years to come. Businesses and people have had to change the way they have always done things from simply talking to their neighbour to conducting high level strategy sessions. One of the biggest trends emerging from social to business is virtual interactions. From family get-togethers to business meetings, daily interactions are transitioning into the virtual world. One of the biggest changes being experienced by companies is the shift to virtual hiring and onboarding.
A survey conducted by Robert Half found that 75% of senior managers surveyed were conducting remote interviews and onboarding sessions during the pandemic. Additionally, more than 60%+ of companies implemented these practices only this year since the pandemic while only 12% had implemented these practices before the pandemic.
What has been the result?
The survey revealed that 60% of those surveyed had shortened their hiring processes while at the same time they were able to attract a wider pool of talent due to geographic location no longer being a primary barrier. However, there are also challenges. When screening for new hires, recruiters need to screen for additional skills that will be needed for remote work so that they are successful. Do they have the required computer technical skills? Are they resourceful? Self-motivated? Proactive? Collaborative? Another aspect is that companies and hiring managers need to be agile and have a plan that is adaptive to the circumstances. This is the time to be creative where good leadership is heavily required.
Why is this important?
Under normal circumstances, proper hiring and onboarding is important because it creates a positive atmosphere and working relationship between the employee and the company. A positive working relationship can increase employee satisfaction, engagement, performance, and retention. During these times pandemic times, it is imperative for companies to place special emphasis on proper hiring and onboarding strategies since access to a physical work place, office equipment and supplies, in-person meetings, regular and reliable communication are limited or in some circumstances non-existent. Therefore, extra work and effort must be put in to establish that positive working relationship.
What are some of our easy tips for hiring and onboarding virtually?
1. Be equipped
The worst thing that can happen when hiring and onboarding new talent is to be ill-equipped with the tools necessary to not only succeed at hiring and onboarding new hires, but also equipping them to succeed at their job.
2. Communicate as often as possible
New hires need constant support, especially when working remotely where co-workers and supervisors are not as easy to reach as working in a physical office. Be sure to communicate as often as possible to not only provide support but also to provide a sense of belonging to the company and organization.
3. Give extra attention
Being new, new hires are essentially strangers. Like when you’re inviting someone new to a get-together, pay them extra attention and concern. You do not want to leave them feeling uncomfortable or alone in a new setting and environment. Be sure to check up on them often.
4. Make good on your promises
Just like when you first start dating someone, the first six months are critical for establishing a good relationship. Do not promise something you cannot keep to a new hire, especially now a days when contact is mostly done through virtual meetings, e-mails, and over the phone. A new hire needs to be confidant that they can rely and trust their company and organization. As soon as they start to think a company is unreliable, the new hire will feel more susceptible towards changing companies.
5. Give new hires time and space
Do not underestimate the times we live in. There is a lot going on during the pandemic that needs to be taken into consideration when hiring someone new. It is important to give new hires the time and space to digest not just a new job but also how the pandemic affect the circumstances of a new job. Although not always acknowledged, the world is not fine, people are not fine, because from top to bottom we are living through a pandemic and it has been intricately affecting our lives for months. This means a new hire will require extra time and space than normal to absorb, learn, and adapt to the new job during these abnormal times.
6. Respect privacy
Respect the privacy of a new hire. As it has been mentioned before, everyone is going through a lot, therefore a new hire can be quite sensitive to certain aspects of their life they wish to keep private. Be respectful of their privacy and ensure that their privacy will be protected and respected.
7. Ease any fears
Just like a first date, a new hire is coming into this with limited knowledge about the company. Help ease their fears. Help ease their transition into the company. Do not give them an excuse that they cannot come to you to address any issues, fears, or problems they may be having related to their job. The more they feel supported and comfortable with the company, the greater the communication and productivity they will provide for you. Take care of them and they will take care of you.
These tips are very important to consider when bringing someone onboard. Although small and easy to remember, it is not always easy to execute and is often relegated to the background. Establish that positive working relationship early and watch it be paid back 10 times what you originally invested.