By Karyn Wilkins (FIRP) Director, Avocet Strategic Resourcing, SDI Associate.
With the world thrown into a time of uncertainty, the only thing we can be sure of is that moving- forward things will change.
This is especially true when recruiting, as the world of work is being reshaped by home working and social distancing, so any manager wishing to hire will have to adapt and overcome new challenges.
Unemployment is rising sharply and although it may seem counter-intuitive, it’s often more difficult and certainly more time consuming to hire during these times – especially if all recruitment activity came to a complete halt with lockdown and you are now faced with a number of roles to hire for and you’ve lost momentum. Finding the right candidates in a larger pool of applicants will require some more creative thinking.
One thing that will come to play when attracting candidates will be how a business supported its employees. Were staff laid off or was there a lot of furloughing; did you go out of your way to support employees in remote working and work hard to keep team morale intact? Today’s discerning employee will look at these things. Employer branding matters.
As if things aren’t difficult enough, everything must be done entirely online – so how do you ease the pain?
It’s all in the prep.
To get the best out of candidates, let them know what to expect before an interview, including that you would like cameras to be switched on. Advise which platform you will be using so that they can get familiar with it. Brief them about who they will be speaking to, the types of questions to expect and if there will be any technical questions. Inform of the dress code too, if you would like to see them looking super smart, you’re unlikely to get that on video chat unless you ask to. Give them advice on lighting and neutral backdrops, just as you will have done with your team when they started to work remotely.
Taking time with these small things both aids the process and shows that you are invested in your candidates.
Don’t forget your interview panel either!
There’s a good chance your panel isn’t super experienced at interviewing this way either. Make sure everyone involved has a professional looking set up – you and your fellow interviewers are still representing your employer brand, even if you are at your kitchen breakfast bar! And remember that even though you are not all in the same room, smiles and facial expressions are important and can go a long way in helping support your candidate.
It’s all in the timing
Remember to allow a couple of seconds for your candidate to start responding – account for any potential time lag so as not to fluster anyone unnecessarily.
Don’t forget the small talk!
Granted, “so, you found us okay?” isn’t going to help break the ice on this occasion but small talk does matter and puts everyone at ease. Take the time to introduce your colleagues and ensure that the candidate is sitting comfortably, can see/hear everyone and is ready to begin.
Were you meeting the candidate for interview, you would be chatting casually and maybe even introducing them to people or showing them the office – as this isn’t possible, take the time to give your candidate a ‘feel’ for the personality of the office. Perhaps tell them about social events, any charity work or even how you celebrate birthdays.
It’s always a good idea to ask your current employees why it’s a good place to work and share this too. It all helps to build up a picture and 2020’s candidate values the human touch.
So you found your candidate and have had your offer accepted, now you need to get your new employee up and running and this ensures that your new hire has everything they need to do their job efficiently, effectively and comfortably. Make sure they have everything they need to work from home and it’s really important to set up introductory calls with key members of your team.
An online ‘buddy’ can be really useful here and involve the new employee in team based work from the beginning if possible.
Ensure new hires understand how to use your communication tools. Describe the best ways to contact team members and how to troubleshoot the tech.
A really good idea is to help your new hires feel like a part of the team by sending them a ‘welcome’ pack. You could include branded merchandise, like a coffee mug or T-shirt and a welcome note from their new colleagues. Even some sweets or biscuits will help to say “hello and welcome”.
Hiring an employee remotely is all about communication and a lot of it. It is easy to feel isolated when working from home when you already know everyone, so imagine how it feels when you don’t! Go the extra mile to be available and all will go well.
We’re here for you, whatever your resourcing needs during the current crisis!
For more resourcing advice and assistance, get in touch with our experts at Service Desk Resourcing (SDR) – Our very own resourcing service tailored to all the needs of the service desk.
Call us on 07766 103649 for a no-sales-pressure chat or email [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you.
Good luck and happy hiring 🙂