‘What are the things that your HR team and the hiring managers are doing in order to create that first-day experience?’
The world of work continues to shift during the COVID-19 crisis and that includes recruitment. With so many offices closed and people working remotely, employers have to change their approach to ensure successful new hires.
Canadian HR Reporter talked to Erika Van Noort, vice president of candidate and employee experience at Softchoice in Toronto, for best practices on recruitment success in the “new normal.”
Be prepared for remote work: “You’ve got to make sure that you’re able to extend your hiring practices remotely: everything from how you source candidates, how you integrate your diversity and inclusion, how you ensure that the skill sets that you look for, you’re able to find those,” she says.
“[It’s also about] making sure you’ve got an airtight recruitment process so that people know exactly what the next step is and you’re strongly in communication with candidates. You’re helping candidates prepare for the video interview experience, because many of them may not have done that before, so how are you helping them prepare?”
Create a positive experience: “When you’re [targeting] passive candidates — candidates that weren’t necessarily looking for you but your team is looking for them — how do you incorporate video interviewing into that when you’re often the one reaching out, so they may not have a high comfort level? How do you get them to that place?”
At technology solutions and services provider Softchoice, managers are being trained in remote recruiting best practices, she says. “We’re in the process of rolling out hiring manager interview certification, which includes a video interviewing component.”
Watch your step with global candidates: While having a pool of candidates from around the world can mean more potential employees and a diverse slate of candidates, it’s not that simple, says Van Noort.
“There’s a lot of things you have to take into consideration. Just because people are working remotely doesn’t mean that that works from an organizational standpoint: there’s tax implications, there’s country implications… you can put an ad in London, England or in Paris, France and start recruiting [but] you have to really understand the tax implications for the employee, as well as for you as an organization, because technically you are operating in that country now.”
“While it does open up the world, from a global talent perspective, it doesn’t mean that you just flick a switch and off you go,” she says.
Hiring should become strong in the fourth quarter in Canada, according to a recent survey from Manpower, after a large drop in the third quarter, and 246,000 new jobs were created in August.
Change the onboarding process: “You need to ensure you can create a great candidate experience remotely and then once you bring an employee into the organization, you need to ensure that that onboarding experiences is great because they don’t have the benefit of coming into a building and being acclimatized physically.
“What are the things that your HR team and the hiring managers are doing in order to create that first-day experience, that first-week experience? How are you connecting them to other people in the organization?”
Erika Van Noort
And once people are successfully onboarded, HR’s presence should be maintained, she says.
“Do another check-in a few weeks later [and] a few weeks later after that, just to see how they’re doing, how they’re assimilating. It’s also the hiring manager’s responsibility to create that connection for that new person in joining the team, making sure that they’re connected to employee resource groups.”
Help new hires connect with others: Letting new workers know about available employee resource groups is an important way for them to feel connected to their new employer as well as other employees.
“We want to make sure that people feel an affinity and can connect to groups that are representative of who they are and ally groups that they want to align to. We have a number of employee resource groups that represent accessibility employees, sustainability programs, Pride, what we call shades of orange, the black employee resource group,” says Van Noort.
Check in on mental health: “[HR] also needs to be aware of people who might be struggling with working remotely because it’s not something everybody loves; a large majority of people do enjoy the work-life balance, some of the extra commuting hours they got back in their day. But there’s also people who might live in a 500-square-foot condo that doesn’t have a balcony and then being in their condo all day may not be the best feeling.
“[It’s about] connecting with those people, ensuring they’re doing well, doing mental health check-ins with people, making sure people are feeling good.”