Best Practices for Hiring Remotely Amid COVID-19 and Beyond

Many companies have shifted their operations online due to COVID-19. Learn how to adapt your hiring strategies to attract top candidates in a remote world

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The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically shifted how businesses operate. Around the country, business leaders, colleagues, and candidates are going into self-isolation in accordance with CDC guidance. Given the critical need for social distancing, handshakes and face-to-face interviews are no longer appropriate.

Yet, in many sectors like the healthcare industry, hiring is ramping up faster than ever. It’s essential for employers to replace outmoded recruiting practices with streamlined processes and the tools to support them.

JazzHR discussed digital recruiting methods in a recent webinar, Protecting Current and Future Employees: What COVID-19 Means For Your Hiring Process. Below are more strategies for hiring remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.

Adapt your approach

The current situation may be an unprecedented crisis for many employers and workers, but it gives HR an opportunity to demonstrate its value.

Now is the time for recruiters and HR professionals to usher leadership through a strategic response plan. You can help mitigate risk, enable business operations to continue despite market uncertainty and ensure that your company is appropriately staffed once the economy stabilizes.

During this trying time, it is essential that you work from a deep understanding of your unique business needs. Whether your industry has come to a complete standstill or is moving faster than ever will inform your hiring approach.

In many cases, this will require starting from scratch and drafting up an entirely new hiring strategy reliant on virtual sourcing and onboarding.

Embrace digital recruiting tactics

To maintain hiring momentum, you’ll need technology that empowers hiring teams to digitally source, remotely screen, and virtually onboard new hires. This not only prioritizes health and safety but will speed up the process of matching up qualified workers with vital jobs.

Enhance your HR tech stack with a robust applicant tracking system and candidate relationship management system. The right ATS and CRM can fuel your digital recruiting efforts and can streamline the process of hiring remotely, now and in the future.

Ramp up communications

Whether you are attempting to expand your team remotely amid the current pandemic or you’re hiring remotely under normal conditions, transparency and good communication are essential.

When face-to-face meetings aren’t possible, increase the frequency of your outreach via email messages, phone calls, and SMS conversations. Do your best to set expectations around the hiring process and timeline — but keep candidates appraised of any new procedures or policy changes.

The job search can be stressful already, and job seekers are likely to be especially anxious during the COVID-19 outbreak. Be mindful of this and make your messages as personal, transparent, and helpful as possible.

Lean on virtual sourcing strategies

Savvy recruiters are already sourcing candidates through online channels, but may have to get creative to attract top candidates sitting in self-isolation. Hiring teams that haven’t modernized their process must double-down on online sourcing efforts to stay afloat.

Renew your focus on online job boards, social media, email drip campaigns, and other digital recruitment marketing efforts. Now that gatherings are being discouraged and prohibited, substitute in-person events for virtual career fairs and online info sessions.

Schedule phone screenings and video interviews

In-person interviews aren’t always possible for remote candidates — and, these days, phone and video interviews may be the only way to connect.

Use phone interviews to screen qualified candidates, then turn to video for more in-depth conversations. Video interviews can help establish trust and allow candidates to demonstrate their personality. They also cut down on travel costs and can expedite your recruitment process, so long as you provide interviewers and candidates with clear instructions.

Virtually onboard new hires

Facilitate background checks, post-interview assessments, and other pre-employment screenings online, rather than in person.

And, once you’ve selected your top choice, establish a system for digital onboarding. Send out offer letters via email and trade physical new hire paperwork for PDFs and e-signatures. Try consolidating your onboarding and training files into a limited number of folders to streamline the process.

Takeaways

When hiring remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond, recruiters can:

  • Adapt hiring strategies and embrace digital recruiting
  • Remain communicative with candidates
  • Utilize virtual sourcing, screening and onboarding methods
  • Prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved

Check out the JazzHR webinar recap to learn more about what COVID-19 means for your recruiting and hiring processes. To review everything we covered in the webinar, click here to access the slides and watch on-demand.

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