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Adapting Your Hiring Process For COVID-19

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has required employers to adapt their hiring processes to keep in line with the government’s social distancing regulations. Traditional parts of the hiring process like in-person interviews and onboarding are on an indefinite ‘pause’ as the pandemic continues. It’s time to adapt – fast.

As an employer, do you have a strategy in place for an adaptive hiring process that keeps both your hiring team and candidates safe? We are sharing tools, best practices and strategies to help employers successfully adapt their hiring processes in the wake of COVID-19.


Tip 1:  Taking interviews virtual

Traditionally, an in-person interview is perceived to be more effective than a video interview for assessing a candidate, especially when it comes to culture fit. However, in today’s climate with increased health concerns, hiring teams are shifting to video interviews as the ‘next best thing’ in order to evaluate candidates. So how can you do it?


1. Select Your Virtual Interview Style

  1. Live Virtual Interviews: Use video conference technology to connect your hiring team with the candidate in real time. This type of interviewing will allow you to sit face-to-face with the candidate and ask prepared questions.
  2.  Asynchronous Virtual Interviews: (or on-demand interviews) This type of video interview will not have your hiring team present. Your hiring team can pre-record video questions and share these with the candidate for them to record their answers and share with you when completed.


2. Choose Your Technology

The technology currently present for connecting remotely with current or prospective team members is helpful, user-friendly and readily available (and generally free!).Some of the great options out there include:

    1. Skype
    2. Zoom
    3. WhatsApp
    4. Telus Business Connect
    5. Google Hangouts
    6. Microsoft Teams

Note: Technology is critical to successful video interviews. In addition to choosing the right application, ensure that your computer has a good webcam, microphone and a great wifi connection!


3. Curate an Interview Environment

Interviews are a nerve-racking experience for candidates trying to give the best impression and answer the hiring team’s questions. In order to help ease the nerves associated with an – especially the newness of a video interview – we recommend that your hiring team curates an environment with these considerations in mind:

    • Internet connection stability:A strong signal will ensure that there will be no lag in communication between your hiring team and the candidate will not be interrupted with their responses.
    • Private, quiet and well-lit space:A distraction-free video environment will allow both the hiring team and the candidate to feel at ease when having a conversation without fear of being disrupted.
    • Keep the interviewer panel small:In a video interview setting, it is preferred that you have no more than 3 members of your hiring team included. This will keep the interview on track, focused and decrease interview disruptions.
Make onboarding an ‘all aboard’ experience

Welcoming a new member to your team during COVID-19 involves transitioning from your traditional methods. What used to begin as a tour of the office, a ‘meet the team’ lunch and a face-to-face meeting to go over the employee manual has shifted to better suit an online situation.

Try keeping it fresh and familiar with this strategy:

    1. Create clear SOP’s and guidelines:By getting your processes in order and ensuring that your new team member has access to all of the important company documents, policies and procedures, you can eliminate new hire guesswork and uncertainty. An easy way to accommodate this? Create a company OneDrive (if you haven’t already) where you store all of the pertinent and accessible company files.
    2. Make face to virtual face introductions: Remember how we mentioned the ‘meet the team’ lunches? Who says you can’t make this happen virtually! Make it a priority to set-up a virtual team lunch during the first day or two for the new hire. This will give the team a chance to connect, meet ‘face-to-face’ and encourage communication and team-building.(Bonus: Send a 20$ food delivery gift card so that lunch is still on you!)
    3. Encourage digital engagement and check-ins: Set up virtual check-in meetings with a new employee during their first month the same way you would in your physical office space. We recommend using calendar invitations through Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook so that both your hiring team and the new hire will receive reminders and can plan their work-load around these meetings.


Transitions require flexibility and preparedness

While employers are attempting to navigate uncharted waters in the sea of COVID-19, adapting your hiring processes involves flexibility and preparation. Introducing new steps into the traditional hiring process may cause friction and disruption as adjustments are made, and that’s totally normal!

Think about it; technology was already causing a shift away from face-to-face interviewing before the rise of COVID-19. Many organizations had already begun to use online candidate assessments and video interviewing when needed. Estimates suggest that that between 30% and 70% of initial interviews are now conducted by video! There are many great digital tools available to your hiring team to make this transition like video conferencing platforms and collaboration software – you just have to break the mould.


For more information on adapting your hiring process as an employer during the COVID-19 crisis, book a FREE 15-minute consultation with our team of HR specialists!

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