Recruiting and Onboarding During the Age of Social Distancing

By November 9, 2020 News

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed organizations of all sizes and within every industry to virtual companies overnight. As a result, many organizations have been forced to accept that resources do not have to be located in the same office to be productive. Employees are now more aware of how their company prioritizes their health and safety and are looking to work for an organization that makes this a priority.

Recruiting and Onboarding During the Age of Social Distancing

By Michele Meersman
Resource & Talent Acquisition Manager at Alitek

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed organizations of all sizes and within every industry to virtual companies overnight. As a result, many organizations have been forced to accept that resources do not have to be located in the same office to be productive. Employees are now more aware of how their company prioritizes their health and safety and are looking to work for an organization that makes this a priority.

In this new distributed workforce model, organizations are having to modify their recruiting and onboarding processes to reflect how they will operate. One of the key components to recruiting high quality candidates and onboarding new employees is enhanced communication. It is more important now that an organization communicate clearly and effectively because of the uncertainty of building a connection in the virtual world.

Alitek is an IT professional service organization that has operated virtually since its founding over 15 years ago. Even though we have the virtual experience in our corporate DNA, we too have had to change how we recruit and onboard to meet the needs of our candidates and employees. In this article, we will explore the challenges that organizations are now facing in their recruiting and onboarding processes, and how to achieve success through the use of technology and increased communication.

Recruiting Process

According to a recent survey, 84% of recruiters are modifying their hiring processes to facilitate remote exchanges (1). Recruiting involves finding candidates that are a good fit for a given opportunity and a cultural fit for the organization. While considering candidates from different geographic locations complicates the interviewing process and requires organizations to be more creative and flexible, it can open up the potential candidate pool and provide a better opportunity to find the best fit. As a virtual organization we have always embraced this approach and understand that employees can do great work wherever they live. Since many people are unfamiliar with the remote work model, the role of the recruiter is more important in sharing the reality of transitioning to a full-time virtual role at a company.

With people working from home or not working at all, they are spending more time on social media. This improves a company’s ability to get job opportunities in front of candidates. Of the recruiters that are modifying their hiring processes, 58% are now using social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and even Instagram to connect with potential hires (1). As an organization that sources candidates from all over the US, we find social media to be a vital component to our success in finding and sourcing candidates.

Prior to the pandemic, companies were able to conduct in-person interviews with few limitations. We regularly performed in-person interviews in a contracted office like WeWork or Regus, at a coffee shop, in an airport or at a conference. However, with today’s travel restrictions and health and safety concerns, we are now turning to videoconferencing technologies to screen and interview candidates. Using a video platform allows companies to have a more interactive discussion without being physically in the same room. While this is not as good as a face to face meeting, it is important to see how a candidate can interact in a virtual environment because that will remain an important tool in corporate and customer communications.

Onboarding Process

Despite the current health crisis and the shift to a remote workplace, the basics of onboarding remain the same. Onboarding includes preparing a plan for the new hire’s first day, walking through critical tools, providing resources and training, and introducing the team. The first two to three weeks are critical to ensure employees feel welcome to the team and are ultimately successful. In this uncertain time, it is more important to have an onboarding plan and clearly communicate that plan to the new employee.

Before onboarding even begins, utilizing an HR platform can streamline an employee’s first steps by giving new hires the ability to sign documents electronically and sign up for benefits online. Sending a welcome package to the new hire via email adds a personal touch, providing specific company information, along with a video welcome message from your leadership team.

Through the use of technologies like video conferencing and collaboration applications, onboarding sessions with new hires can be as productive as in-person sessions, giving employees the ability to share, collaborate and interact face-to-face as they learn company processes and procedures. Having instant messaging programs available to new hires so that they can reach out to HR, Managers, and any other members of their team will help them ramp up to their new role and accumulate to the organization quicker. In addition, arranging the new hire to meet with leadership using a video platform as soon as they start will reassure new hires during these uncertain times.

Road to Success

Recruiting top talent and getting new hires off to a successful start are essential to maintaining a vital and productive workforce. If organizations are to survive and thrive in the age of COVID, they must embrace innovative solutions and face onboarding challenges head on.

Reference

  1. Coronavirus hiring: How recruiters are selecting and interviewing job candidates during the pandemic, https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersandeducation/coronavirus-hiring-how-recruiters-are-selecting-and-interviewing-job-candidates-during-the-pandemic/ar-BB14wSTd

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About Alitek

Alitek is a leader in information based digital transformations. We help organizations improve business outcomes, increase efficiency, and reduce risk, through better management of information. Our experienced team works with you to build a unique strategic plan based on your specific needs, no matter the size of your company.