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Hiring and onboarding in an online environment

When recruiting for talent in this new environment, hiring managers need to remember that communication is key. Although we can no longer shake hands or break bread during the interview process it is even more important than ever to help potential employees feel comfortable. On July 21st Rebecca Mazin, a lead instructor in our Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership program and the owner of Recruit Right spoke to our HR network about hiring and onboarding in this digital era.

Attracting Talent During a Health Crisis:

  • Communicate to potential candidates your COVID procedures.
  • Get creative – use your cell phone to create a quick video about your facility, team and best practices (here’s an example of a local grocery store who invested in a professional video to highlight their employees and practices).
  • Continue to partner with the community – college students are struggling to find employment; students are still interested in internships and career centers are still trying to connect students to employers – maybe now is the best time to establish those relationships.
  • Use all available resources to spread the word – if you are not already using the Council’s recruiting platform reach out to Johnieanne Hansen to set up a demo and free trial.

Interviewing Protocol – Online and In Person:

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!
  • When possible provide as much information in advance of the interview to help candidates prepare. This applies both in person and virtually.
  • Conduct virtual interviews the same as you would in person – take a few minutes to make candidate feel comfortable, explain the process, and allow time for questions.
  • When interviewing in person provide written instructions about your visitor protocol including parking, temperature taking, waiting room procedures, etc. Remind candidates that they do not need to come early, and they should wait in their car or call when they arrive.
  • Meet in a room with plenty of space, wear face covering and insist candidate follow protocols as well – provide hand sanitizer and do not shake hands.

Virtual Onboarding:

  • Now is the time to rethink how employees are onboarded. Gone are the days when a new employee and the HR manager hovers over pages of forms in a small office or dozens of employees attend full day orientation – but this is good news.
  • Take some time to create the employee experience from the first day.
  • Online onboarding is efficient and when done right increases engagement and interaction.
  • Using platforms like zoom, HR staff can create discussion rooms (breakout sessions), poll the new hires and share documents and screens.
  • To do so effectively it is important to set expectations including camera requirements, the “empty chair” philosophy where HR manager clearly sets an expectation that employee must keep their camera on for the length of the meeting – if they need to step away, they can do so but need to leave their empty chair so the manager knows they are out of the room.
  • Provide materials when possible and include basic virtual protocol including how to use the mute button, limited cell phone use and what an employee should expect during the session.
  • Remember to take breaks – Rebecca recommended a standard 10-minute break per hour.

Contact Johnnieanne Hansen if you would like more information or copies of the material from this presentation.

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