May 14, 2020

As states take a phased approach to reopening, Recruiting and HR teams must prepare for the impact on prospective and current employees, and take measures to preserve fair and respectful hiring practices. In this article, we’ll share 5 tips to help keep you compliant and ahead of the curve when hiring cycles up.

Is your state re-opening soon? @ClearCompany has 5 tips for safe #Recruiting practices during the transition:

1. Create a hiring and communications plan.

Without communicating a hiring plan in this new environment we’re living in, you’re setting up managers to take matters into their own hands. A decentralized recruiting process can be chaotic, with each manager running their own process, which may set you up, inadvertently, for unfair hiring practices.

As a first step, you will want to work with your Finance team to evaluate your workforce plan and determine which positions are most critical to business continuity. You should work together to be able to answer questions such as:

  • How do staffing levels and compensation spending need to change to support revised business growth scenarios?
  • What roles provide the supply chain for other roles? How can we forecast the grow and flow of talent?
  • Are there internal hires that we can make first? Are there flexible, remote roles that we can hire immediately to ease the transition?

Once you have your hiring plan, you’ll need to communicate it to hiring managers and other stakeholders. Beyond sharing the number of roles to fill for each department and their compensation levels, you should formulate a consistent hiring process for each department. This is important, because regardless of the current pandemic, you still need your hiring practices to remain fair and consistent across candidates. For example:

If you: Typically run a process that starts with a recruiter phone screen, moves to a hiring manager phone interview, and then an in-person meeting with a presentation.

You might modify to: A recruiter phone call, followed by a hiring manager video call, and then a video call with a presentation.

Communicate the adjusted process, reiterate that it will run the same for each candidate, and share relevant details such as how video call links will be shared. To implement this process, utilize your recruiters or HR team to carry out communication with the teams they support.

Lastly, communicate a safety protocol for in-person meetings that will be shared with candidates and hiring teams outlining appropriate measures for social distancing, greeting candidates without a hand shake, having hand sanitizer available, etc.

2. Proactively source

A great place to start would be employee referrals. Chances are, there are several people that have been affected within each of your employees’ social networks or immediate contacts. Reinforce respect for your employees by notifying them first of any openings and offer to consider anyone they know that may be in the market.

With so many companies laying off top talent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, free support sites and resources are quickly being generated to help transition those affected. This would be a great source for immediately available candidates likely to engage quickly. Drafted and Jobscan’s Ultimate List are a couple of examples. You can also find the local lists being generated by networking with your immediate colleagues on LinkedIn.

Lastly, building talent communities now by sourcing existing candidates from your ATS or within LinkedIn can set you up to cut your recruiting time in half, and quickly capitalize on revenue opportunities when you spin up recruiting. The criteria that we consider when deciding the sources to build talent communities in are advanced search capabilities, ability to save those searches, and bulk messaging functionality. This approach allows us to build precise communities based on finite skill sets, broken out by location and city, the ability to recall and modify that search, and reach out to the entire community simultaneously or individually if we choose.

Bonus Content: Download the Hiring a Remote Team Checklist!

3. Prepare for a blended interview process combining in-person with video.

Adopting technology for both recorded video questions and live video interviewing is a great balance across a variety of roles and will allow you to expedite your process. You can have candidates record a short video as part of the application, which will really help you decipher quickly which candidates to pursue for the next round. From there you may opt for the safety of an in-person interview via a video conferencing tool, such as GoToMeeting or Zoom.

If you have positions that require an in-person interview, it would be a good idea to create an email template that consistently outlines, for candidates and your hiring team, the procedures to ensure a safe visit, such as social distancing, no hand-shaking, providing sanitizer, etc. Templating an agreed upon protocol up front will ensure a consistently safe and respectful process for everyone involved.

For in-person interviews, you may have qualified candidates that are not yet ready to interview in-person. For example, they may have an at-risk family member at home. Have a backup option available, such as a live video interview to offer these candidates. Being prepared and putting their needs first will go a long way in building a fruitful relationship.

Lastly, live video technology will allow remote team lunches and happy hours to help your new hire feel welcomed and a part of the team.

4. Use an automated offer template and approval process.

Invest in technology that allows both an automated offer approval process across your decision makers, and a seamless offer review and signature process for candidates. Additionally, the technology you choose should allow you to attach supporting documents vital for candidate decision making, such as compensation or bonus plans and your benefits guide. By having all of this detail queued up in an existing template, you safeguard your ability to accurately execute offer delivery every time, creating a positive candidate experience and expediting the acceptance process. For organizations that prefer the personal touch of a physically printed offer by mail, this is the time to adapt. Physical offers can be delayed, and they put unnecessary strain on essential postal workers and require physical delivery with risk of contamination; logic that candidates may question and even factor into their decisions.

Bonus Content: Download the Managing Remote Workers Checklist!

5. Prepare to remotely and paperlessly onboard new team members.

Similar to automating your offer process, now is the time to make the adjustment to paperless onboarding. Even without a global pandemic, automating onboarding allows you to get your employees into product training on day one. This is critical when considering ramp times, employee engagement, and kicking your business into growth mode. Paperless onboarding technology will significantly decrease your burden and time-to-hire by allowing you to seamlessly onboard remote or on-site employees from anywhere in the world while increasing new employee engagement.

Many companies spend the entire first week of onboarding completing benefit reviews, paperwork, and required I-9 forms. Think of all of the information that needs to change hands from employer to employee and back:

  • Direct deposit
  • I-9 (DHS is currently allowing these to be completed remotely)
  • Federal and state W-4s
  • EEO data
  • Non-disclosure agreement
  • Handbook acknowledgement
  • Bonus plan or compensation plan details and signature
  • Emergency contact information
  • Benefit information and benefit enrollment forms
  • Job description signatures
  • And more depending on your state or industry
Is your company getting ready to hire again as states start to open back up? Keep your current and future employees safe with these 5 tips for #Recruiting in a pandemic from @ClearCompany: https://bit.ly/2yZk0hR

Along with the ability to automate completion of these documents, there are a few key features you should look for in an onboarding platform:

  • An interface that shows candidates and HR managers exactly what has been completed, and what remains. This is critical to eliminating the back-and-forth status check emails candidates initiate that usually say, “I completed my W-4. Am I all set or do you need anything else?”
  • The ability to integrate links to company intranets or informational pages, and support the creation of video, such as a welcome message from your CEO.
  • As a bonus feature, see if platforms you’re considering allow new hires to write up an introduction about themselves that will automatically broadcast via email, Slack, or other company-wide communication channels.

We wish you success in remaining proactive and prepared through these dynamic business cycles. Our mission is not only to help you stay the course through these challenging times, but to allow you to thrive in hiring top talent to achieve yours. For more help hiring through these times, download our remote hiring checklist or reach out to our experts to learn more about the ways ClearCompany can provide you with the tools you need to recruit A Players, safely.

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Brian Abraham
Brian Abraham
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With 20 years of experience recruiting for high growth technology companies spanning corporate, agency and services consulting, Manager of Talent Acquisition Brian Abraham is passionate about connecting A-level talent with pivotal and engaging career opportunities. Within his previous roles before joining ClearCompany, Brian was tasked with developing and executing transformative talent growth strategies in the nation’s top tech hubs and creating programs for veteran and diversity hiring, employment branding, and campus recruiting.

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