One common thing that has been bothering us all during the past year is the COVID-19 outbreak. The rich, the poor, the elders, the children, the sellers, the buyers, the business, and the employees – literally everyone has faced problems due to the pandemic (well, except the introverts! We all know why!)
The business all over the world has been affected by the pandemic. With social distancing becoming the new standard, face-to-face interviews and handshakes are no longer valid. Yet, as the world is getting used to the new norms, the businesses are getting back on track to hire.
Strategies That Assist You In Hiring Remotely
Many jobs were lost during the pandemic due to cutoffs, and many vacancies were generated. Here is a graph showing the job applications made and the job offers during 2020, which (let’s be honest), has entirely dedicated itself to the virus. However, the recruitment process was hindered due to COVID. Given below are the strategies that may help you to hire remotely amidst the pandemic.
Plan As Per Your Requirements.
The existing situation may be an uninvited crisis for many businesses and workers, but this is the time when HR proves its worth. Now is the time for the HR professionals and the recruiting teams to show leadership by making strategic plans. As an HR, you can help reduce the risk and allow the business operations to continue irrespective of the market unpredictability, and ensure that your company is staffed appropriately and is ready to have a first crack once the economy stabilizes.
It is essential for HR to work with a deep understanding of your business requirements. Whether your industry has come to a stop or is looking forward to moving faster than before? The answer to this will inform you about your hiring approach. In numerous cases, these circumstances will demand you start from scratch and draft up an entirely new hiring strategy that relies on virtual sourcing and onboarding.
Welcome Digital Recruiting
In order to maintain the momentum of hiring, you’ll require technology that allows the hiring teams to source the applicants digitally, screen them remotely, and onboard them virtually. This adaptation prioritizes the health safety of the HR / recruits / other employees while still speeding up the recruitment process.
Invest in a strong applicant tracking system and a system that manages the candidate relationship. Applicant tracking systems help you keep a track of the sources of your applicants. With that, you can understand better as to which sources to invest more in and when to disinvest from the sources that do not give much productive output.
These systems can streamline the remote hiring process. Here is what the employers thought about using technology in recruitment due to COVID in March 2020, in a survey conducted by LinkedIn.
Make Communication Better
Irrespective of the pandemic, communication is essential while hiring. Now that face-to-face interviews are not possible, you have a chance to increase your reach through email, phone calls, and SMS. However, make sure to keep the candidates informed about the new procedures or the changes in the policy. For them, the struggle of searching for a job during the pandemic is stressful enough, let alone having to face the anxiety of adapting to the new technology.
Make sure you keep this in mind and keep the messages personal, crystal clear, and helpful as much as you can.
It can be helpful to give your candidates some warning about the way you will be conducting interviews. For example, if they are the only one with the camera on, it could make them feel even more nervous. This works the other way round too. They don’t want to be the only one that isn’t on screen. By giving them advanced warning, a candidate can properly prepare.
Recruiters who have opened their doors to technology are sourcing the candidates through online mediums. However, this method would require them to be creative in order to attract the MVPs who may be self-isolating. Hiring teams that were reluctant to modernization must double down their efforts on sourcing online in order to catch up with the tech-savvy recruiters.
As a recruiter, you need to focus on the online job boards, email campaigns, social media, and other digital recruitment efforts. You can substitute the in-person meetings with virtual meetings or virtual career fairs and online information sessions, now that the public gatherings are prohibited.
Explaining it in simple terms: during the lockdown, everyone except the front line warriors is locked up in their homes. Most of the time, they are on their phone. In that case, newspaper ads or radio ads are not going to grab their attention. However, email notification or an Instagram or Facebook post is more likely to catch their eye and intrigue them.
Therefore, it becomes much more feasible for you, as a recruiter, to target the best of the best candidates and avoid the ones who do not match the job profile.
Think Long Term
Finding the right candidate is a hard enough task as it is without a pandemic going on. Add that on, and the task becomes much harder. If you have specific requirements for the candidates, but you have no candidates applying, or, worse, they are rejecting the job offer from you, then you have to be willing to think a little bit more long term. Can you bring in a less experienced candidate that has the potential to grow? Or is there more than be offering them as a way of making them accept the job offer? Thinking long-term could enable you to widen your search. There are likely to be many fresh graduates who are looking for their first career placement. These are potential employees that you can mould to your liking and build up their experience exactly as you need it. You also won’t need to offer them the same wage as a more experienced candidate straight away. This could mean that you bring in more than one new recruit. If you are willing to put the time into helping them build up experience, then this could be a great choice for you.
However, if you don’t have the time to do this, there is an alternative option available. You could offer employees the chance to increase their knowledge with an online course. Online courses are perfectly designed for working individuals, so you won’t have to worry about it negatively impacting their work. In fact, any additional knowledge they gain can be applied to their working day. It is a win/win for both of you. Obviously, the risk of this is that employees could finish the course and then take all of this knowledge elsewhere. Therefore, rather than paying for the entire course yourself, you could set up a scheme that involves both you and them paying towards it. If you don’t want to do this, make sure you are giving your employees time to complete the course, such as giving them afternoons off to study. For peace of mind, you should include this all in their contract. If you embark on this route, it can be helpful for you to consider the options available and understand how useful it will be.
For instance, if your business is in the healthcare industry, and you are looking for a nurse leader, then you could get your new employees to apply to the Marymount post-master’s DNP. On a course like this, they will gain the skills and knowledge they need to lead their teams. Plus, you don’t have to worry about what would happen if the pandemic continues or another one means they cannot continue their course. As it is all online-based, their studies won’t get interrupted. It’s not just inexperienced candidates that you can discuss this with. If experienced candidates are coming to you, interested in what training opportunities you offer, make sure you have suitable options available
Of course, if you would prefer to get an experienced candidate through the doors, you should look at the other benefits you are offering. People want more these days, and so you need to ensure that you are offering the best to them. For instance, can you increase the number of holidays they get? It could be that you start offering perks such as flexible working, including work from home days, or gym memberships. Since the pandemic, more and more people are seeking this flexibility, so if you are hesitant to make changes in your business, consider whether it is impacting your recruitment. You could find that this makes all the difference in who is applying and accepting jobs.
Conduct Phone Screening And Video Interviews
It is not always possible for the remote candidates to attend in-person interviews, now that the threat of being infected is higher than ever. The only modes of connection these days are phone calls and video conferences. You can use the phone interviews to screen the candidates and then use video conferencing for in-depth interviews.
Video interviews help you to establish trust among both parties and allow your candidates to show their best talents. The advantage of seeing a candidate face to face is that you can get a feel for how engaged they are with your brand and the idea of the job. Besides these advantages, they cut down on travel costs and can help to speed up the recruitment process, given you provide clear instructions to the candidates and interviewers alike.
To make things go smoothly, always have a backup plan. For instance, if your chosen video platform goes down, is there a backup option you can turn to? This is sensible to do as it shows you are professional. Remember, they are assessing you as much you are them.
You can check the candidate’s background, assess their interviews, and screen the pre-employment interviews online instead of meeting up. Once you have selected your best candidates, you can establish a system for onboarding digitally. You can send the offer letters through emails and send the paperwork through PDFs and e-signatures.
However, you must not create excessive data doing this. Try to consolidate your onboarding and training files to a limited number of folders to simplify the process. Given the success of virtual onboarding, many mobile HR software providers offer online onboarding as a module in their software.
You want to make the onboarding period as smooth as possible if you are having to rely on doing this virtually. It can be helpful on their first day to make the most of technology as possible, such as using video calling software that enables you to share your screen with them. Make sure to prepare as much as you can in advance as you will find the process is different from what you are used to.
Keeping the pandemic aside, long gone are the days where meeting face-to-face before making a job offer was mandatory. The speed of hiring talent has increased. When it comes to hiring, most companies make quick decisions, usually on the same day. But these days, it is challenging to do so without meeting the candidates.
What is more challenging are the processes of introducing the current working environment and conducting interviews. Following the strategies mentioned above can help your organization overcome these hurdles.
COVID-19 has definitely proven to the world that it is possible to avoid the hours-long commute and work from home. It has shown us that we can still communicate effectively and efficiently without having to meet regularly. It has brought out many benefits of technology and has made our work life easier despite making our regular lives a mess. There are many things that the organization can do to hire remotely amidst this pandemic: embracing digital recruiting, communicating, virtualizing sources, and prioritizing the health and safety of everyone involved are some of the ways to go ahead and recruit remotely.
While there is still a chance that you can catch up with the tech-savvy recruiters who used technology to recruit since the start of the lockdown, postponing it any further may kick you out of the market and make it difficult for you to kickstart the functions that have been halted.