How to Seamlessly Embrace Remote Interviewing and Onboarding

Published on 4/3/2020 by David Webb

Categories: Recruiting

Tags: Remote interviewingremote onboardingremote working

Organizations today are quickly evolving their processes to continue operating -- and yes, hiring -- while we battle COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus. But once we’ve moved past this difficult time, it’s likely many organizations will continue to embrace at least some elements of remote work well into the future. 

As organizations quickly pivot and search for ways to keep their recruiting and onboarding functions productive without compromising results, it’s important to consider some important elements for successful remote functions.

Keys to successful remote interviewing

Your organization likely has the technology and processes in place to adequately source candidates online. But then what? Successful interviewing of remote candidates by remote recruiters isn’t as simple as talking more over the phone or using Zoom. Here are some keys to successful remote interviewing:

Choose the right technology

Although it’s not the only or even the most important element of remote interviewing, technology is definitely the foundation. It’s extremely difficult (nay, impossible) to conduct interviews and communicate as a team without it! 

If your organization hadn’t invested in solid technology before the world was turned upside down, this may be a bit more of a stressor than if your organization had already wholly embraced technological solutions. 

Wherever you are in the process of technology implementation, it’s important that you choose and embrace technology across the board. Consistency and clarity are key. Otherwise, your employees may each be using preferred individual technologies and as a result, could be creating vastly different candidate experiences. 

Different technologies/capabilities to consider for recruiting and interviewing include:

> Instant messaging: Eg. Slack, Google Hangouts Chat. This will primarily be used internally by your team members.

> Texting/candidate engagement: Eg. TextUs, iCIMS. Your ability to continuously nurture candidate relationships will be more important now than ever before. 

> Video: Eg. Slack, Google Meet, Skype, GotoMeeting. This one is obvious, but you’ll need a powerful video platform to conduct interviews and even internal meetings. Although it may seem easier to rely on telephone interviews, video chat is especially important right now while many of us are sheltering in place at home. We need human connection! Many platforms all you to record interviews as well. This can be especially helpful if you have multiple stakeholders making hiring decisions -- just be sure to let talent know that you’ll be recording the interview, and how it will be used. 

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Lack of, or poor, communication is one of the biggest gripes talent has about employers today. And in the middle of an international emergency communication is even more important. Whether there’s an update, or perhaps there’s no update but it’s been a few days since you checked in, be sure that your recruiters are communicating well and often with talent. 

Speaking again to the technology point above, it’s important that your recruiters understand and agree with the technology used for their communication as well. Consistency is key -- your entire team should be on board with your technology and processes.

To the point of communication, don’t forget that you should be communicating internally as well. Keep your employees in the loop about updates or changes to client relationships, or even with words of encouragement during a difficult time.

Remember to think like a human

Although we’re all trying to move forward and keep our businesses running, it’s important to remember that it’s not “business as usual” as much as many of us try to pretend. The reality is that people are scared and stressed. Some are sick or have family who are sick. Keep this in mind while you’re interacting with coworkers, candidates and consultants. 

How to approach remote onboarding

Starting a new job is stressful and uncertain for most people, regardless of the situation. When you add in the stress surrounding a pandemic, you can turn that stress meter up to 11! 

Strong onboarding is critical to retention, productivity and even recruiting and referrals. Although your onboarding process may be outside of your comfort zone right now, it’s critical that you bring your ‘A’ game to deliver a great experience for your new hires. 

These tips can help:

Have your technology in order

Just as with recruiting, technology is your #1 priority with onboarding. Without it, your new hires are left high and dry, without a clue as to what they’re supposed to be doing and when. 

As soon as your new hire accepts the position, make sure that you have set up all logins and technology that person will need from Day 1. Have logins and other relevant information ready to go, and send an email with all of that pertinent information before your new employee is scheduled to start. 

Provide a go-to resource and support

It’s so hard being the new person at the office. It takes time to get to know your coworkers and feel comfortable. When you're working remotely, that challenge becomes infinitely harder. For each new hire, have a dedicated go-to person who checks in every day (preferably via Zoom or another video option to make it more personal). 

To go even further, consider having a brief “welcome” meeting for new hires, with a group video chat. Even a Slack welcome can go a long way. If there’s anything you can do to help your new employees feel more comfortable and welcome, it’s absolutely worth the effort!

Create a plan

As with any new employee, create 30-, 60- and 90-day plans with clear goals for your new hires. Schedule video check-ins in advance so that your employee doesn’t feel as if he or she is simply treading water, but actually making progress toward concrete goals. 

Your recruiting efforts can still thrive.

You can still provide the great experiences your candidates and employees have come to expect, even with today’s challenges. And if you need a stronger recruiting technology platform to help you reach your goals, BrightMove can help. 

About the Author, David Webb

David is the CEO of BrightMove and is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for creating successful businesses. Over his 25+ year career, David has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of computer science, data analytics & business transformation. Starting in 1995, David worked with his best friend, Jimmy Hurff, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. David is the primary architect of BrightMove and has an active role in the product's evolution to this day. From then to now, David has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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