Let’s face it: even in normal circumstances, onboarding is hardly any easy process. Right now, it’s down-right scary and makes you want to crawl under the covers and hide! Talance Group has already faced those fears and many of our clients have as well. We are here to tell you, IT IS POSSIBLE! To help you move forward with hiring and onboarding, we’ve asked some of our clients and candidates who hired and started jobs during the “stay at home order” their processes, insights, approach, and struggles. Here’s what they shared with us:
How the Process Worked:
Many of our clients proved that it’s still possible to go forward with hiring, onboarding, and training remotely. Here’s how:
- Interviews: Zoom, Skype, and Facetime have been the most used platforms so far for interviewing. Video interviews are preferred over phone calls in order to see non-verbal cues.
- Equipment: With masks and Lysol in tow, the new hire went to the office to pick up laptops and equipment, or the client mailed them The hire coordinated with the IT department to set up software and VPN.
- Work Load: The new hire was given a task list by their direct manager with set deliverables and deadlines for extra clarity and guidance.
- Meetings: Training is done virtually through a shared screen, so the manager can ensure the candidate is on the right track and answer any immediate questions. After training, most clients have daily check-in meetings (or twice a day) with their new hires, to make sure the candidate feels supported, guided, and connected. All clients have about two weekly team meetings – one for business and one for fun – to keep morale up on Zoom.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
While these processes may not be perfect, it’s possible to continue with business. We asked clients and candidates to give us their pros and cons of remote onboarding. Hopefully, their insights will help you improve your processes, encourage you to stay productive, and help you troubleshoot your own company’s struggles.
- It’s scary. It’s scary to hire someone from a mere video interview, but clients stressed that if you ask enough good questions you can figure out if candidates are independent and trustworthy enough to work from home. Consider reading our blog “How Do I Know Candidates Can Really Do What They Say?” from our Ask Talance series to figure out what questions to ask a potential candidate.
- There are blurred lines. Since there’s no divide between home and work, hours are getting longer and longer. Employees can feel like they are on call 24-7 in this new environment, resulting in burnout, mental stress, and sometimes lower productivity, which require creative problem-solving from managers.
- You have to upgrade your technology. Working remotely reveals all the problems with your technology. While this can be a good thing for the future, as it shows you exactly what needs to improve, in the short run it’s hard to turn around improvements and upgrades immediately so your team stays productive.
- Video interviews are working! Just like dating has evolved over time and allowed for online matchmaking, interviewing via the internet has allowed for business continuity in times like these and has been successful! Plus, you don’t have to wait until the company picnic to meet your co-workers’ children as they will likely make an appearance at some point!
- Work still gets done. The work still has to get done, and it is getting done with the additional help. Most of our clients haven’t paused deadlines, processes, acquisitions, and integrations during this time. While many of them have allowed for more flexible hours, since their employees have children at home, hiring permitted them to stay productive and keep reaching goals.
- Work process documentation is being implemented. Clients stressed that they are having to better map out some processes, desk procedures, instructions on technology, etc.. Similar to disciplining a child : no one likes to stop and do it but it is for the greater good in the end! Many companies are raving about Microsoft Teams – as it works well for accounting or finance teams sharing Excel files frequently.
- Working from home isn’t taboo anymore. The hypothesis that “working from home” is “slacking from home” is being proven false, and many clients are happy about this. With the right team in place, there’s no reason that offices won’t be able to find ways to allow remote work to continue in the future for added flexibility.
Potential struggles of starting a new job remotely:
- Integrating with the team is harder. Candidates find it harder to get to know their new team virtually, since there aren’t any lunch breaks or happy hours.
- Conference calls with clients can be difficult. Especially if you’re new to a company, getting to know a new manager can be difficult since you can’t read facial expressions in a video as well as in real life.
- The expectations are murky. New hires wonder: What hours do I start working? Am I working on the right things? Who should I call for help? Rules aren’t clear cut in this new environment, and many managers are figuring it out as they go, which is an added stressor.
- What is the new office etiquette? Handshake—Hard NO! Mask Conversations—Awkward. Many new hires found it chaotic to go in and out of the office to pick up work and technology.
The unexpected perks:
- Interviewing isn’t as stressful. Candidates said that remote interviewing is much easier than an in-person interview, which involves: getting dressed (hello pajama bottoms!), finding the office (sorry Waze, you’re not needed), parking, and worrying about being late.
- Transitioning to a new job is better at home. A new job is stressful in itself, but candidates seem to like the comfort of working from home while transitioning. They feel more productive since they’re comfortable!
- Taking notes without looking “dumb.” Candidates like being able to take notes and refer to them later while onboarding and learning about their new company.
- Getting work done is pretty seamless…if companies have a cloud based software and a VPN.
- Working is something to be thankful for. All the candidates we reached out to are very grateful to be working. They’re thankful that the client gave them a chance to prove they can still be productive in a chaotic environment.
The feedback from both sides has been the same. Has it been perfect? Far from it.
Has it been worthwhile? In Texas, we are getting a big “Hell Yeah”!
As always and especially in today’s environment, the simplest way to hire is to consider someone you already know or have worked with previously. If that is not an option, reach out to a trusted recruiter (wink, wink) to help you hire remotely. Rest assured they vet people the same as always utilizing the same technology mentioned!
If you have any questions about remote hiring, working and managing while at home or just want to vent about not being able to hire at all right now (insert heavy sigh) please don’t hesitate to call us at 713-357-9565 or visit our website.
We will all get through this together!