Working remotely is no longer for a minority of employees. Over the last few months, it has become a reality for most employees. Both employers and employees have had to adapt to what has been for many, a completely different way of working. In this article, we discuss: Recruitment and Onboarding Remotely & The Importance of Getting Recruitment Decisions Right
It’s worth knowing there is a new challenge for many employers. During these difficult times, it has been hard recruiting entirely remotely. These changes have been challenging, but have also provided many opportunities for businesses to become more flexible, innovative and efficient.
What is remote recruiting?
Remote recruiting is hiring employees without having any face to face contact with them. Employers can utilise technology to attract and select the right candidate.
Whilst recruiting remotely can seem like a challenge, the effective use of technology can mean employers can secure the best person for the job without the need to meet candidates face to face.
When recruiting remotely, it is even more important that the recruitment process is robust and fair. See our top tips below for advice on how to get this process right.
Popular Video Recruitment Platforms
If your looking into recruiting using remote video tools, here is a quick suggestion of some platforms that you may find useful.
Write accurate and attractive job descriptions and adverts
Start by writing, or reviewing, the job description. Ensure this accurately reflects the responsibilities and key functions of the role. Use the finished job description as the basis of an engaging and attractive advert.
Advertising the vacancy
Think carefully about where to advertise the vacancy. Where will the type of candidate required look for jobs? Are the industry specific job boards or good places to advertise. Can social media be used to advertise effectively?
Have a structure selection process
Define the selection process before any selection activities take place. This will ensure that the process is organised, efficient, and most importantly, fair and consistent.
Identify the key steps in the selection process. This will very much depend on the nature of the role. Then think carefully about how each stage can be conducted remotely. How will shortlisting be undertaken? Could candidates be asked to send a video of them completing a selection activity? Can interviews be held by vide? Once the process has been defined, determine who is responsible for each element of the process and when each stage should be completed. Ensure both successful and unsuccessful candidates are communicated with at each stage of the process.
The key thing to consider is how to make sure the process is effective whilst being virtual. Ensure that the same skills and attributes are assessed as if the process was being conducted in person, and ensure the skills and attributes you assess are those identified as key in the job description.
Prepare the shortlisting process when placing the advert so the process isn’t delayed once the closing date has been reached. Make sure the shortlisting is based on well-defined criteria that are closely linked to the job description. What experience and skills does the successful candidate need and how can these be assessed from the application form/CV? Think about criteria that are essential and those that are desirable. Develop a matrix with these skills in, and then assess each candidate against them.
Before scheduling interviews, think carefully about the interview questions. What skills and attributes must be assessed during the interview? Develop the questions carefully so they assess the candidates’ skill in each area. We strongly recommend competency-based interview questions, so how candidates have acted in similar situations is assessed, rather than what they would do hypothetically.
Ensure there is time for the candidate to ask questions…selection is a two-way process, and the candidate need to determine if this is the right job and company for them.
Schedule video interviews with the shortlisted candidates and send them any information they need to prepare and to access the interview.
Other selection activities
Consider what other activities are appropriate for assessing the skills required for the role? How can these be assessed remotely? The candidates could be asked to complete a presentation, submit a document, write a response to a challenging question or use psychometric testing for example.
Keep the process on track
Ensure that the process keeps moving, and avoid any unnecessary delays as these could result in the loss of strong candidates.
Communicate with candidates
Communication is key, particularly when managing a recruitment process remotely. Give feedback to candidates within agreed timescales and communicate with both successful and unsuccessful candidates. Those that are unsuccessful for one role might be the perfect candidate for a future vacancy.
It is important that all candidates in the recruitment process have a good impression of the Company.
If there are any unavoidable delays, ensure these are communicated to candidates in a timely manner.
Remember compliance with GDPR and data protection legislation
Finally, remember that when conducting processes remotely the same data protection legislation applies. It is important that any systems used to assist with recruitment and any data storage systems comply. For example, ensure that any video conferencing systems have a password for each interview. Ensure candidates are aware if any interviews or telephone conversations are recorded, and if so how long they will be kept for.
The importance of getting recruitment decisions right
Effective recruitment is vital for every business. Finding the right people for the right role at the right time ensures the workforce has the skills and abilities for the businesses current and future needs. Effective recruiting has a huge impact on the long-term success of the business.
It can be tempting to compromise, or settle for a candidate who isn’t completely right when trying to fill a vacancy, however, the implication of making a wring decision can be huge. The consequences can be varied, including, a high turnover of staff, the impact on the morale of the team, a negative impact on productivity and performance, and a poor cultural fit.
Employers often think if a decision is wrong, they can easily manage the situation and recruit again, however, this approach is expensive in terms of both lost time and lost money. It is estimated that the total cost of a poor hiring decision can be anything from 50%-300% of the annual salary of the role in question. The more senior the role, the more costly a poor decision and the riskier a mistake is, as it is more likely to impact on the long-term success of the business.
Whilst current government advice is still that employees should continue to work from home where possible, it may be that employers need to complete the onboarding process remotely. The key steps in managing a remote onboarding process remotely are outlined below:
- Develop a plan to manage the onboarding process and ensure this is shared with the candidate and implemented effectively.
- Determine what equipment the new starter will need and ensure this is delivered to them just before their start date. Ensure they know when it will be delivered.
- Develop an agenda for the first day and week and send this to the new starter.
- Consider sending the new starter some company merchandise as a welcome gesture. For example, a mug, mouse mat, pen, notebook.
- Schedule meetings with key people from the new employees team and the wider business.
- Arrange a handover if appropriate.
- Schedule training with the IT team.
- Consider assigning the new starter a buddy.
- Invite the new starter to any appropriate meetings.
- Plan 30, 60 and 90 day reviews, along with an end of probationary period review.
- Define key tasks for the first week and months and arrange training and support for these.
- Set initial goals.
- Communicate regularly, both formally and informally.
Recruiting and onboarding remotely can be very effective for employers and employees, as long as both processes are managed effectively. Be proactive and supportive and remember to communicate throughout. It may be that, when applied effectively, recruiting remotely can save your business time and money in the long-term.