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A Virtual Hiring and Onboarding Process
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Virtual Hiring and Onboarding

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, hiring and onboarding processes have moved to being mostly or
completely virtual. This shift comes with opportunity. Many organizations making these transitions may find a lasting shift for hiring remote team members, which would also require remote onboarding.

Transition for Success

Though hiring from a distance comes with a physical barrier, it doesn’t have to be a barrier to success. You can still attract great talent for your open positions, find the right people for those roles, as well as train and set those new employees up for success—all from a distance. You can achieve all of this, while still creating an experience that feels personal.

Take the Hiring Process Virtual

When hiring, we all want to put our best foot forward. Whether you’re doing the hiring or looking to get hired, appearances matter. As much as an applicant wants to make a great impression during a job interview, organizations want to showcase themselves and make a positive impression on the talent they seek to attract.

Whether you’re planning to take your hiring process virtual or you already have one in place and are looking to refine it, here are three things to keep in mind.


Nail Down Your System

Decide on the technology your team will use to interview candidates. What will it take to transfer your hiring process to a virtual platform? Consider how you’ll tap into your application system so that it doesn’t create barriers for members of your team while screening applicants.

As you plan and prepare, keep in mind the various positions at the organization that may need to be filled. Think about making the process as seamless as possible for the full range of people you may need to interview.

Build Relationships Early

Consider the kind of experience you want to create for the candidates you’ll interview. How can you make it a memorable and personal one? Think past the physical barrier between you and your candidate. Consider how you might introduce him or her to the organization instead of jumping right into the questions. Are there photos or videos of the organization you can show before or during the interview? Consider discussing your organization’s values and paint a picture of what it’s like on a normal day.

Bring in Other Team Members

Because you want the right person, consider getting members of your team involved. Engaging them in the process can help you find a candidate who is a good match for your mission, vision and direction. You can have one or several team members at a time meet the candidate for an interview via video conference. Getting members of your team involved in the interview process is also beneficial to the candidate.

After the interviews, you may also want to consider scheduling a video conference call to discuss the candidates. If your organization normally uses a rating form during interviews, consider establishing and communicating the virtual process for turning in ratings after the interview.

Take The Onboarding Process Virtual

Once you have the right person for the position, how do you set your new employee up to succeed while starting the new job remotely? Despite the challenges that come with not being able to work side-by-side with new team members, you can create a memorable and effective onboarding experience that’s virtual.

Given the physical distance, you’ll need to be intentional in your approach so new hires don’t feel like they’re alone on an island. Here are three keys to keep in mind that will help your new hires feel connected, supported, and set up to succeed as they onboard virtually.

3 Keys for Virtual Onboarding

A Communication Plan

You can establish strong communication with your new hires right away by letting them know what they can expect as their first day approaches. Communication can begin as soon as they’re hired. Look for ways to include them in team correspondence, especially regarding any developments related to working from home. Before the first day on the job, provide an agenda of onboarding tasks to accomplish— within the first week, the first two weeks, the first month, and the first 90 days.

A Support Plan

Just as important as getting your new employees the equipment they need to work virtually, you’ll want to make sure your new team members have IT support as they get started. This will be especially important in a virtual work setting.

Another aspect of support to consider are mentors who can assist in training new employees. Mentors can show your new hires the processes for getting things done. They can also help point new hires in the right direction if they have questions or get stuck. Having a good mentor in place who is responsive can help the new hire be more productive faster.

Frequent Check-In’s

Face-to-face connections via video conference can help a new team member feel connected right off the bat. Be sure to add them to virtual team huddles and weekly meetings. Take the opportunity to connect with them beforehand, explaining what to expect for those meetings. Also, make introductions. Connect them with various members of the team he or she will work with and have them schedule brief video meetings together. Regular, brief video check-in’s are a good idea early on, as these meetings offer an opportunity to answer any questions your new hire may have and also offer a chance for some interaction, which would be normal in an office.

Stay future-focused

Consider the future. Once you begin onboarding virtually, take note of what’s working and what you may want to continue.

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