Some people love the flexibility and focus gained from remote work. Others miss the office buzz and social interaction. Wherever you stand, or sit, working life must go on. And as employers begin to look beyond the pandemic and plan for the future, recruitment is seeing an uptick. But how do you effectively recruit and onboard from a distance?
It’s undeniable: COVID-19 has changed our working landscape, almost overnight and maybe forever. From group calls to collaborative docs, new working practices have become second nature, and many are here to stay. One area that’s been totally transformed is recruitment.
After initial freeze and retraction, with a few notable exceptions (online retail, supermarkets et al.) bold companies are pressing-on with recruitment plans, keen to rebound before their competitors. But the challenges are obvious; how can you assess, interview and onboard new staff from a distance? We gave this some thought and came up with some practical tips…
How can you recruit the best staff, remotely?
Online recruitment is nothing new. We’ve all been using LinkedIn, Indeed and the like forever, whether directly or via agencies. It works, and no need to change. You may also use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to trawl CVs for keywords, matching desired experience and qualifications. Good work, carry on.
Carefully craft your assessments
The big shift comes when interaction starts. Sure, you may have included the odd online assessment to weed-out weak candidates but this type of testing is now paramount. Get your testing right and you’ll save heartache later. You can also assess at scale, rejecting fewer candidates at the initial stage and perhaps capturing unconventional quality in the backend.
Embrace tech tools at every stage
Interviewing online is easier, less disruptive and simpler to conduct at short notice. You can even run group interviews, testing interactions as part of the assessment process. And, with permission, you can record these sessions, for thorough analysis later. Additionally, microlearning tools can support the recruitment process; delivering assessments, providing information to prepare and instruct candidates, and gathering feedback. Backend analytics can be used to measure all interactions, answers and results, providing a full picture of candidate suitability.
How can you quickly get starters up to speed, from a distance?
Once you’ve found the perfect recruits, how can you ensure they quickly become productive? Equally, how can you make them feel part of your team? These are key questions, whether staff are remote or not. The answers are the same too – you need to think carefully about everything a new starter needs, both to integrate into company culture and to perform in their specific role. Before all that, you need to think about replacing the initial first-day interactions with something else – a group/team welcome via video call would be a good start.
Carefully plan every detail
There may be no need to point out the fire exits, toilets and coffee machine, but some typical induction tasks remain. You need to manage introductions to key colleagues, suppliers and stakeholders. You must provide easy online access to processes, policies and relevant documents. All obvious but now nobody’s on-hand for quick questions, or to point at the blue folder, everything must be thought through and planned-out.
Adapt your training materials
Job-critical training is clearly a priority for new starters and more challenging when distanced. Assigning responsibility for managing this is key, along with developing structured training and milestones. Without supplemental in-person input, it’s advisable to develop more palatable programmes. Bitesize learning can help, as it’s quick to digest and easier to retain information. Existing training materials should be re-written and deployed with this in mind.
Don’t forget the fun stuff
With no physical hugs or hand shakes and no quick after-work beer, you should think about fostering less formal interactions. Group video calls are a natural (albeit sometimes awkward) vehicle for this. Perhaps encourage a post-meeting session incorporating games, non-work discussion and/or the odd optional tipple. Nothing must be forced, but it’s key to facilitate team interaction, in the absence of traditional options.
How we can help you
It probably won’t surprise you to know we have a software solution that can support your remote recruitment and onboarding efforts. Meet Plasmo – our new digital engagement platform. Plasmo enables businesses to build bitesize multimedia content, share it with staff (and customers) then measure and analyse their engagement.
Plasmo is already being used by our clients to transform their recruitment and onboarding processes. To find out how Plasmo could help your business, get in touch or click the link below.