In the year 2020, we were hit by the Covid virus pretty much by surprise. Home office and remote hiring were not that common until the pandemic started. Being forced to react fast, human resource processes were implemented without much preparation, leading to possible deficiencies. Now, that we are forced down the same rabbit hole again, critical thinking and process optimization will be crucial to not get trapped in time-consuming and high-cost processes.
The remote hiring plan defines your recruitment team, the recruitment process and the systems in use. It can be based on your already existing hiring plan but it should be extended to specific questions that arise when doing candidate screenings, online interviews and potential virtual test tasks. You might need additional people in your hiring team, like e.g. an employee of the IT department who can help out with technical difficulties. You might have an assessment center in your regular hiring plan that needs to get a virtual version. Conducting online interviews follows different logic and requires a sensitivity for differences in face-to-face and virtual interaction. Also check the software you use for conducting interviews. How comfortable does your recruitment team feel with it? What was the feedback of former candidates being interviewed virtually? Define criteria the software must meet and if it doesn’t survive this double-check, find another that fits your requirements better.
The basic element of every recruitment process is the job description. No matter if remote hiring or face-to-face interviews, the job opening needs to be inviting and clear. What job do you have to offer? What are the requirements you seek in a candidate? Who is your company? And why would the next best talent work for you? Remember that „goodies“ that used to work in your favor before, like offering home office options, are no longer doing the trick. Take a critical look at your job openings and adapt them to this new wave of digitalization. Think of what candidates are looking for right now. Many people say that home office - with all its possible advantages - has downsides too. Like, e.g. less separation between work life and private life. When office space and private space become one, people fail to log off work and take care of work-life-balance. Many people don’t have an office room in their home and work from the kitchen table or the sofa which can cause health issues due to lacking ergonomy. Consider the needs that arise from candidates when working in home office and offer them an attractive reason to join your company. E.g. emphasize work-life-balance culture in your company or offer free ergonomic counseling for working at home.
How do people usually find out about your company and the job openings? Are you using job platforms, social media and/or print media. With the digital age going one step further, so should our company. Networking on LinkedIn, presenting your company on Instagram or using freelance platforms for hiring are not only relevant platforms for tech-savvy companies. Review the channels you used for job openings and see which other channels in the virtual world might get you in touch with the kind of candidates you search for.
Recruiting best talents doesn’t always happen with a job posting on a recruiting platform. Popular alternatives are open houses for potential candidates or job fairs at universities. With Covid those opportunities have become fewer. But best talents are adapting to the situation as well. Never before have so many people longed for virtual connection. Even generations that are not digital natives have become used to online conferences and virtual fairs. How about organizing a virtual event to interact with high potentials? Going new ways in recruiting has never been as needed as right now - for companies and candidates.
We are all confident that sooner or later the Covid pandemic will be history or at least under control. Back to normal may feel far gone but still you should consider what the future will look like in your company because your candidates will ask about it. They might feel insecure about whether they will be needed post-Covid. Maybe they ask themselves if working remote will be possible after the pandemic too? Let them know who your company is with and without Covid and create a company image that is consistent in both situations.
Without personal contact and interaction it is hard to make a new employee feel welcome and integrated in the team. The more important it is to give the remote onboarding process considerable thinking. Make sure there is a virtual welcome of some sort - be it a meeting or a short colloquial meet-up. Make sure they understand their role in the company and that they have tasks to work on their own. In an office setting people usually find their place and responsibilities faster due to the direct touch to co-workers. But at home they don’t have anyone to turn to or learn from. Thus, it could also make sense to pair the new employee with a mentor. The mentor should be someone they don’t report to. Someone who has been in the company long enough to help them out. Knowing that the whole company is there when needed might feel good to know but having one specific „work buddy“ will for sure make them feel more secure and less left alone.
Remote hiring will continue to play an important role in human resource management. Even once Covid is gone for good, home office and virtual interviews will stay in the minds of employees and employers. Prepare yourself and your company to create a setting that allows remote hiring processes. You don’t know where to start? Dimpact is happy to help. Get in touch and meet your freelancing HR expert within 24 hours.
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