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Refreshing Insights

American business is transitioning and adapting, and no one can say for sure what recruiting and hiring might look like a year from now. What we do know, however, is that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business as usual and you will need to adjust your recruitment and hiring processes to ensure a safe environment for all.

Since hiring processes are as unique as businesses themselves, there isn’t a single adjustment or tactic that will work for every organization. Instead, we encourage you to evaluate your own situation and adjust your processes to maintain the health and safety of your recruiters, applicants, candidates, hiring managers and current employees.

To help you identify processes that might need adjustment, consider the following strategies.

Review job openings and skills required

The job market has fundamentally changed since March and it’s possible your hiring needs have, too. If you have open positions you’ve been waiting to fill, now is a good time to look at them with fresh eyes.

Many companies are currently hiring fully remote workers. Can your open position be performed remotely, and if so, what different skills or tools are required? Would the job remain remote permanently or is it a temporary solution?

If the job is in-person, what safety precautions are you taking to keep your workforce healthy?

It’s always important to be clear about expectations for a role, and right now it’s particularly relevant to examine if there is a difference between your short-term and long-term goals. Hiring is an expensive undertaking. Make sure you clearly identify what you need so you have the best chance of getting it right the first time.

Know what realistic perks and benefits you can offer

A company gym, onsite cafeteria, and walking paths were nice perks a few months ago (and likely will be again!), but their use is probably limited at the moment for in-person workers and irrelevant to remote workers, so touting them in job postings could make you appear tone deaf.

Instead, you might want to call attention to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), your comprehensive healthcare plan and your culture.

TRUE COVID Webinar Sept. 8FRe-post all open positions

If you posted your job openings before the pandemic hit, job seekers might assume that you are no longer hiring. So, even if you don’t need to adjust job descriptions or benefits, you should still consider updating your job postings, so people know you are actively hiring. Make sure your current openings are listed on your company's website and that you post and promote your open positions on social media.

Ask current employees for referrals and testimonials

If you have an employee referral bonus program, now is a good time to promote it among current employees. Some companies include social media sharing or networking as part of their referral program, offering a small reward to employees who provide testimonials about why they like working for you and actively promote company culture and open positions on their profile. The more positive outreach you have, the better your candidate pool will be.

Establish an interview process

For most employers, the process for remotely hiring a new employee is very similar to hiring in-person—you post the job, identify candidates, and choose which ones you want to interview. It’s when you get to the interview stage that you need to make some decisions.

Prior to COVID-19, it was not unusual for companies to perform preliminary interviews over the phone to narrow the candidate pool and bring their final choices into the office for in-person interviews (often multiple interviews with a hiring panel).

If you are hiring for a fully remote position, it makes sense to conduct the entire interview process via phone and video chat. You will want to test your technology to make sure it works and provide detailed instructions for its use, so the candidate knows what to expect (e.g., link to video meeting; date, time and who will call for phone interviews).

If you are hiring for an in-person position, it might make sense to conduct in-person interviews, but you might consider limiting the number of them. You will want to follow guidance on proper workplace safety procedures and social distancing and tell the candidate what to expect (e.g., temperature check at entry, bring your own mask or masks provided, size of space for interview, number of people involved, etc.).

Whichever interview method you choose is up to you, but to get the best participation from candidates, make sure you clearly outline the process and expectations beforehand to reduce any concerns.

Have a plan for onboarding

Once you extend the job offer, how are you going to onboard your new employee? What is employee training going to look like? Before COVID-19, many companies provided classroom training and job shadowing for new employees. How will you adjust your training to maintain health and safety? How will you introduce new employees to coworkers and make them feel welcome? How can you showcase your culture if the employee is working remotely?

Your process adjustments will depend entirely upon your business needs. If you take the time to consider how these strategies can be applied to your processes, you might find that hiring amidst a pandemic could be the least stressful part of business operations.

Looking for more help with COVID-19 questions?

You are not alone. This is a challenging time to operate a business and the truth is there aren’t many right or wrong answers—nor many structured guidelines. Companies have to do what works best for their work environment, employees and culture.

The McCloneHR team has the tools, resources and know-how to help you get the ball rolling as you transition back into the workplace or toward a remote workforce. If you are looking for a trusted advisor to help you address your specific needs, look no further.

Ask McCloneHR

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A collection of articles from the McClone team with the helpful knowledge and insights to ensure your organization is well protected.