COVID-19 has created the biggest experiment in remote work in history. It’s also reshaped the recruiting and hiring process. Most employers haven’t been hiring due to the substantial hit that the novel coronavirus has struck to the economy, and far more employers have been cutting jobs over the past few months than filling them.
As the economy starts to reboot, employers will bring their employees back to the workplace, rehire laid-off personnel, and potentially hire new staff. Even as in-person work restarts, much of that hiring will happen remotely to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread. If your business is adjusting its hiring process to fit this new normal, how can you modify your policies so that they work for remote hiring?
The good news is that much of the recruiting process is already remote: the concept of an applicant visiting a business to pick up a paper application is outdated. For years, online job postings and employment applications have been the norm. Many companies have “career” microsites or job board listings that allow candidates to search positions, read job descriptions, view qualification requirements, fill out applications, attach cover letters and resumes, and submit all their materials together.
This part of the hiring process won’t shift significantly in the wake of coronavirus. What will change dramatically is the interview process.
In-person interviews are primarily out of the question at the moment, but employers still need to implement practices that allow for detailed, engaging conversations with candidates. Simply doing everything over the phone isn’t enough—there is a reason why phone screenings are typically just the first step of an interview process. A phone call doesn’t offer the connection that hiring managers need to forge with candidates to make smart hiring decisions. Face-to-face interviews are still essential—even if they have to occur via video chat tools such as Skype or Zoom. Employers can also utilize one-way video interview technology—such as Spark Hire—to expedite earlier rounds of the interview process.
COVID-19 may have shifted some employer priorities. We’ve learned during this pandemic that every organization needs driven, self-motivated people with strong communication skills. These skills have been crucial for businesses that pivoted to remote work, and they could prove to be just as vital going forward as businesses work through the process of safely reopening their physical workspaces. Asking about these skills—and checking for them by calling references for each candidate—is now a critical part of hiring.
Lastly, it’s vital for employers not to forget about employee background checks. Lots of people will be looking for jobs in the coming year, and some of them may have red flags in their pasts that they don’t readily reveal to employers. Checking criminal histories, address histories, aliases, work histories, educational backgrounds, professional licenses, driving records, and other background information (as applicable) is as critical for due diligence now as it has ever been.
At backgroundchecks.com, we are ready to help employers put together strategies for employee background checks that make sense for newly-remote hiring protocols. Contact us today to learn more.