Hiring Remotely: 9 Tips to Build Effective Teams During Coronavirus
COVID-19 has changed hiring as we know it. With no more in-person interviews or onboarding for the foreseeable future, the only options are remote working setups, online training, and virtual happy hours.
Staying fully staffed and working toward your technology and business objectives requires a new approach to hiring and engaging team members.
With this in mind, Link Consulting Services is helping our clients develop urgent remote hiring processes focused on:
- Quickly and efficiently sorting through applicants (this is particularly important considering rising unemployment numbers means a larger number of applicants)
- Identifying the most capable candidates
- Filling positions quickly with the right team members
- Minimizing costs and optimizing your recruitment budget
- Positioning new hires for success
Below are a few strategies that can create a seamless remote recruitment process during these chaotic times. Put them to use during your transition to remote recruitment and reach out to our Consultant team for more expert guidance.
1. Prioritize foundational hires
When hiring remote employees, your primary focus should be on critical hires that provide a foundation to work from and can help to get all hands on deck. What positions will most help you reach your short-term and long-term business objectives?
- For example, a SaaS organization seeing a massive uptick in subscriptions due to the coronavirus should consider hiring managers for new sales and customer service teams first. These key leaders can help with interviewing and training new team members.
- A telecommunications organization seeking to promote technological innovation could focus first on impactful technical and management positions, such as Senior Engineers, Directors, and VPs.
- A professional services organization experiencing a decline in customers may consider recruiting sales and marketing leaders that can drive new business.
Once you’ve brought on the critical hires and acclimated them to company culture, you can then move to filling in the remaining gaps on your team.
2. Request a recorded video interview
When you post open positions for remote employees, request a short introduction video along with the application. We request that our candidates include a video of no longer than three minutes to be sent to our clients along with their resume.
Providing hiring managers a few minutes of “face time” is such a simple thing, but it makes a tremendous difference during the hiring process.
“We’ve found that videos help our clients connect with each candidate, understand their personality better, and speed up first-round interviews,” says Natalia Sans, Founder and CEO of Link Consulting Services. “In some cases, it even takes the candidate straight through to the next round, saving valuable time and resources.”
3. Use video conferencing strategically
Most organizations are already using Zoom, Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Teams, or similar software for everyday meetings. You can use the same video conferencing software for hiring, onboarding, and engaging candidates after reviewing their recorded video interviews.
Live video meetings give you the chance to interact face-to-face with your prospects and get a feel for whether they’ll be a strong fit for your company.
Leverage video conferencing software at all points during hiring and onboarding:
- Extending an offer
- Introducing your new hire to the team and making them feel welcome
- Virtual onboarding
- On-the-job training
- Organizing a virtual happy hour with team members after regular work hours
When you set up your meetings, choose times when web traffic is less saturated so the video quality is better. Generally speaking, the best windows of time are between noon and 2:00 PM, and after 4:00 PM.
Whatever video conferencing platform you choose to use, always have backup options on hand in the event of technical difficulties. For example, if you use Zoom as your primary meeting software, have Hangouts ready to go just in case.
4. Digitize and automate processes
If you haven’t already automated your new hiring processes using digital tools, now is the time to do so. Integrating technology tools into your hiring workflow helps to reduce time-consuming tasks so you can focus on human-to-human interaction with your applicants.
There are many tools you can use to streamline your hiring. Digital document signature platforms like DocuSign can help you quickly send essential documents to candidates and new hires, such as non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements, and new hire forms.
AI automation tools can save you time on posting jobs, screening candidates, and more–all while helping to temper the natural human biases we bring into the process ourselves. In her article “Using AI to Eliminate Bias from Hiring,” Frida Polli says:
“AI can assess the entire pipeline of candidates rather than forcing time-constrained humans to implement biased processes to shrink the pipeline from the start. Only by using a truly automated top-of-funnel process can we eliminate the bias due to shrinking the initial pipeline so the capacity of the manual recruiter can handle it. It is shocking that companies today unabashedly admit how only a small portion of the millions of applicants who apply are ever reviewed.”
If your company has not fully implemented digital transformation for HR functions, there are a number of systems companies can use for this. Identifying and implementing tech automation tools can be time-consuming, as well.
If needed, consider partnering with an IT-centric consultant or recruitment partner to get support with choosing and implementing tech tools that are a strong fit for your team.
5. Arrange equipment sanitation
If you need to deliver tech equipment to your new hires, such as laptops, tablets, or peripheral office equipment, consider including instructions for proper sanitization.
Whenever possible, provide antibacterial wipes to make the sanitizing process easier for your new team member.
Going the extra mile to protect your new hire’s health will not only make a positive impact on them, but it will also protect them from potential exposure to pathogens.
6. Set clear goals
The remote hiring dynamic will feel much different than your typical process conducted in a physical office, so it’s crucial to have a roadmap for where you are in the process, and where you’re going.
Have a set of internal goals you want to accomplish with each hire. Additionally, create specific goals for individual team members who are going through the onboarding process.
These can be adjusted based on the position they’ll be filling and the role they’ll play on the team.
7. Keep communication open
Communication is key for an employer to feel connected to their company, so be conscious of your team’s communication and keep it flowing. This is critical not only for new hires, but for your entire team in general.
Schedule regular sync-up calls with each member of your team and also gather your group in all-hands meetings to maintain team engagement. In between meetings, group chat software can keep the conversation going and make it easy to reach out with a quick motivational message, question, or check-in.
We all know that staying connected to applicants, new hires, and employees is critical, and this is particularly true when your team is remote.
By keeping communication open and putting safeguards in place to build and protect a strong remote hiring process, your team is more likely to remain successful even during major transitions.
8. Reconsider the “perfect” hire
Tighter recruitment budgets often make organizations more picky when assessing candidates. Sometimes this pickiness can actually harm recruitment efforts, says Sans.
“Finding the right candidate is important, but it’s equally important to manage expectations. Interviewing dozens of candidates and saying no to all of them could be a red flag that expectations for the position are too high or not clearly defined.
Rather than searching for that ‘perfect’ hire with every single qualification, identify the top five that each candidate must have. Then, list the ‘nice to have’ qualifications. Keep in mind that on-the-job training and sponsored professional development can turn a great candidate into that perfect candidate you were searching for all along.”
9. Make diversity a priority
Only four black chief executives exist among the 500 largest companies in the country, according to The New York Times. A similar lack of representation exists for women, particularly women of color. There are several reasons for this:
- Unconscious biases and recruitment tools that remove opportunities for people of color and women or create a culture that does not enable people of color and women to succeed
- Recruiting in spaces predominantly populated by white males
- A vicious cycle where a lack of representation within the organization turns off a diverse pool of candidates because they feel that they don’t belong–for example, a board of directors and management team without any people of color or women
As a recruitment company that has long been passionate about greater diversity in technology, including promoting women in tech, we understand that creating a diverse workforce requires an intentional shift in company culture and recruitment and engagement practices.
It starts with acknowledging a lack of diversity within your organization and developing transparent initiatives to address this problem, such as:
- Inviting diverse candidates to your board of directors and leadership teams
- Integrating blind hiring to objectively evaluate a candidate’s qualifications without looking at their gender, race, age, and education level (for positions that do not require a specific technical degree)
- Working with a recruitment partner that is experienced in promoting workplace diversity
- Teaching awareness around unconscious bias and providing strategies to address these common issues
- Opening lines of communication with team members as well as candidates, in order to transparently discuss challenges and questions around diversity
Adapting to the coronavirus best practices, promoting diversity, and switching to remote hiring may be difficult–but this time of change presents an uncommon opportunity for positive change.
If you need help with hiring remotely in order to achieve your business and technical objectives, please reach out to us.
Link Consulting Services specializes in high-tech, SATCOM, and mobile communications positions, and has placed more than 10,000 candidates in Fortune 500 and industry-leading companies around the world. On average, we save our clients 20% on their project costs.
About Link Consulting Services
Link Consulting Services is a global staffing and recruitment consulting organization specializing in High-Tech, SATCOM, Mobile Communications, and Tech Sales. The company is among the select few to earn ClearlyRated’s coveted 2019 Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Awards.
Since 2005, internal Consultants have placed more than 10,000 highly skilled technology and business leaders in Fortune 500 and industry-leading organizations around the world, leveraging Link Consulting Services’ proprietary Recruitment as a Service model and more than 50 years of combined management experience in the recruitment industry. CEO and Founder Natalia Sans serves on the Forbes Los Angeles Business Council. Learn more at www.link-cs.com.