The pandemic continues to impact our lives in different ways. The new year that began with a glimmer of hope of recovery and rising was dimmed by the rising COVID wave. It is now clear that we will not be free from the pandemic any time soon. With the cases not going down as we wish, vaccine shortages and restrictions on going back to the office we have to keep working remotely.
As we adapted to the new normal, all the Business functions have also made many changes in the past year. The hiring process has turned remote over the year. It appeared challenging at first, but the process has to be done and can’t be put off for so long.
A survey conducted by Times Jobs at the starting of the year showed the findings that 42 % of Indian firms will continue to work remotely in 2021.
There are many sectors which are growing rapidly and they need to hire a team of good resources to support their business growth. The first and foremost that the companies have toset up an infrastructure where they can successfully hire employees and are able to successfully onboard them. This has been done successfully by a lot of companies. Now they have to reevaluate the whole hiring process.
So let us take a look at some aspects that should be considered while hiring remote employees:
1.Right use of Technology: A lot of first-round interviews are already done virtually as a normal part of the hiring process, initially through emails and then phone calls. So, you just need to continue the practice through the hiring process. This is the perfect time to use video calls and virtual assignments for all your interview rounds. This is a great time to use phone interviews, video calls and virtual assignments for all interview rounds. Platforms such as Zoom and Skype have provided the managers with a great advantage and made the whole virtual process seamless and smooth.
2.Determine your ideal candidate: You already have a job description for your candidate, but when you are hiring remotely, there may be some other skills that too you need to consider. Some of those skills that you need to consider are:
A lot of companies have started using pre-assessment test solutions for these. Either they outsource it or conduct it in house, these test solutions are a great method to conduct your first prescreening process. As I was researching on the topic, I got some insight on the same from the Executive Manager (HR) of a very reputed MNC Nelson Global Product’s Mr Vikram Khatu he quotes that, “Earlier we used to have a Personal round of Interaction with Shortlisted Candidates which in the current Scenario we try to complete it over MS Teams. For Candidates who are shortlisted, we would have Psychometric Tests offline. At present we have tied up with Mercer Consulting who provides online Solutions to Conduct the Test and we get a Blue Print of the Candidate we are hiring. All in All, we expect the current Pandemic situation to subside and Normalcy to resume.”
A lot of these tests will help you decide about the personality as well as the attitude of the candidate.
3.The hiring process should be simple: The hiring process should be simple and be communicated effectively. When the process is not clear with candidates, they sometimes get confused. So, communicate the number of rounds that you have, their procedure and see to it that it becomes hassle-free. And remember when you are connecting virtually with a candidate, there may be connection problems, as although prepared completely, he is dependent on a machine and there may be some issues. So, although you use a stringent process in selection but keep your humanity and understand the candidate.
4.Take samples of their work: One of the best ways to understand an employee’s work is through their previous work. So, ask for work samples wherever possible. As you understand their work and question regarding it and your requirements, you can slowly connect with the candidate and the hesitation factor goes away due to common ground.
5.Ask for a Test Project: When hiring remote employees, the most challenging aspects are accountability and responsibility. So, understanding it gives the candidate a test project. Give him a deadline and some specific set of requirements. This will confirm whether he will stick to deadlines as well as the targets. This will provide light on a lot of aspects like his way of communication, task submission as well as the usage of Technology.
6.Initially hire on a trial period or contract basis: As you are not meeting the employee nor watching him work. Hire him on a contractual basis, or a trial period. This will give you time to assess his cultural as well as soft and technical skills with the organization. Fitting into a remote working role is not easy both for the employee or employer initially. So, this trial period will give both of them time to adjust to each other.
7.Hire from the right source: When you are hiring a remote working employee, hire from the right source. For example, LinkedIn has a lot of candidates with profiles of remote working. Having an experienced remote working employee will be a benefit as he already has the right infrastructure, the right mindset, and is in tune with the use of technology for meetings, sharing presentations, etc.
So, as we have seen hiring can go on even in these unpredictable times. The quick advent of technology helps us do the interviews and assignments virtually. The communication is almost as clear as talking face to face. As remote working is said to be the workplace of the future, virtual hiring should become even more common. It should be adapted in such a way that when things go back to “normal” you can bring it into the day-to-day practice of your organization.
Just when we thought it was challenging or tough, but it is indeed real and you can indeed manage the full employee hiring as well as onboarding virtually. You just need to equip yourselves with the right attitude, and of course the right tools. Remote hiring is a continuing reality and it is up to you on how you master the art of remote recruitment.