In the aftermath of COVID-19, the term ‘remote’ is competing with widely used terms like technology and digitization in driving large-scale organizational changes. With adequate power to pioneer the emergence of a challenge to accepted practices of running and scaling businesses, that have been in existence for decades, remote is set to usher an altogether different approach to talent management, amid a VUCA business climate.
While the post-pandemic working environment has triggered organizations and leaders to adapt to a more agile workplace, restructure workforce and tap into new employment models, some basics must be acknowledged before redesigning the talent landscape for the now of work. As employers prepare to build capabilities to shift from sustenance to recovery in the coming times, how can they strengthen their talent strategies, especially when it comes to talent acquisition? How is remote driving hiring today? What role does technology play in building organizational capabilities and making remote hiring efficient?
With a lens of evolution and alignment to the post-COVID circumstances, through this feature, we will tap into the pillars of remote hiring, explore the essentials that will shape and strengthen your remote hiring strategy, understand how technology is imperative to architecting employee and candidate experience, and learn the why and how-to of a seamless contactless onboarding experience in the post-pandemic workplace.
Essentials of remote hiring
Statistics on the readiness of organizations to hire remotely is rather surprising amid present circumstances.
According to a report by Recruitee, while 94.6% of survey respondents stated that their company is currently working from home, over half of the survey respondents indicated that they do not have a remote hiring policy (52%) or a remote onboarding policy (54%) in place.
While hiring is picking pace, companies lack structure and guidance on approaching and aligning remote hiring with the demands of the existing circumstances.
With alterations in workforce structures and working models, talent acquisition is bound to undergo a change as well - who to hire, where to hire from, how to hire, and eventually how to virtually onboard individuals/ teams. While we will address how to hire and remote onboarding in the sections below, here are some essentials for you to step up your remote hiring strategy for the now of work:
- Exploring alternative workforce structures: A Gartner analysis found that organizations will continue to expand their use of contingent workers to maintain more flexibility in workforce management post-COVID-19, and will consider introducing other job models they have seen during the pandemic, such as talent sharing and 80% pay for 80% work. With this trend, workforce planning must involve a healthy and productive mix of permanent vs contractual roles, rather a fluid workforce structure that leverages cost-friendly workforce models such as gig workers and contract-based opportunities, over and above filling integral roles with a permanent workforce.
- Building inclusive talent pipelines: Remote work has triggered an instinct to be sensitive to people's needs, making the workforce more respectful and compassionate towards one another. This cascades to mindset and culture on approaching people. 2020 was witness to not just a pandemic but also some major inclusion movements across the globe following some truly heartbreaking events.Over and above being open to talent beyond boundaries, remote work and remote hiring is an opportunity to tap into a truly diverse pool and give skill sets a priority over bias and perception of people’s limitations.
- Incorporating smart technology to automate hiring workflow: Technology today is an integral part of businesses, both to survive as well as to thrive. A Recruitee report found 90% of respondents stating they haven’t acquired any new software to make their processes more efficient post-COVID. Given hiring is one such function which will likely operate remotely in the immediate future post-COVID, with occasional workplace visits as needed by individual organizations, recruiters need to be supported by smart technology by automating aspects of the hiring process and allowing them to invest their time diligently in processes that require human intervention.
- Maintaining a strong relationship with candidates during and post the hiring process: The labor market scenario today is quite volatile. With a steady rise in hiring numbers, it is only a matter of time before the war for talent sets in. Beyond cost-controlled compensation packages and evolving benefits and perks, how recruiters establish a pull in the mind of potential talent will go a long way in gaining their commitment and loyalty to choose your brand over any other competitive brand. Which is why ensuring adequate opportunities for recruiters to network and strike meaningful conversations and relationships with potential talent is crucial.
- Creating a seamless virtual onboarding experience: In establishing strong networks, beyond the potential talent pool, it is also critical to ensure strong and trust-based relationships with new hires. Given new talent is transitioning from a volatile job market to an unfamiliar way of working in a new organizational setup amid the existing business climate, the recruiter-candidate relationship needs constant nurturing. Beyond trust for a smooth transition for new joinees, it is also important to equip hiring professionals with needed tools to make the entire onboarding process a seamless transition for new joinees, be it background verification through automated and intuitive workflows, or virtual orientation, each and every aspect of remote onboarding needs careful crafting.
Equip hiring professionals with needed tools to make the entire onboarding process a seamless transition for new joinees, be it background verification through automated and intuitive workflows, or virtual orientation, each and every aspect of remote onboarding needs careful crafting.
- Nurturing internal talent: While all the above essentials form the cornerstones of bulletproofing and strengthening your remote hiring strategy, an emerging focus when you look at workforce planning is internal mobility. Post-COVID, internal mobility has experienced widespread adoption. Be it a consequence of lack of capital to acquire specialized talent, or having to let go a significant percentage of the workforce, through timely internal mobility opportunities and reskilling, organizations are able to optimize costs and talent in the post-COVID talent landscape.
Automating workflows with relevant, reliable, and intelligent technology
There have been dramatic changes in 2020, causing a significant amount of unexpected shifts in the way work is performed and assessed, triggering unrest and discomfort across teams. In such circumstances, how can one then ensure a seamless transition to a new workplace, ensuring uniformity through ambiguity? The solution is simple - technology. The evergreen debate on human vs tech with the prevalent conclusion of humanizing tech or leveraging tech for mundane tasks while retaining human time to personalize experience with a personal touch, plays a crucial role in redesigning the remote hiring approach.
An Upwork survey stated, “Prior to COVID-19, around half of hiring managers worked with remote talent to some degree -- today that number is at 94%. Fully remote teams have also increased sharply, from 2.3% to 20% in the post-COVID survey.” Given the volume of remote hiring that lies ahead as employers show signs of creating new roles, there is a need to not only upskill recruiters for remote hiring, but also equip them with adequate and necessary technology to improve the quality of their experience through the process as well as help them be more productive as they navigate and evolve their approach to reaching out to a more diverse and distributed talent pool.
As organizations proceed to build capabilities to counter the uncertainties that lie ahead, it is essential to equip recruiters with intelligent tools and technologies. The need for technology has never been greater than it is now. However, organizations need to evaluate for themselves what technology their workforce needs not just to keep up with consistent communication, but also to boost their productivity and efficiency.
Technology is contributing towards making the hiring process more efficient and seamless, for both employees as well as candidates. By incorporating automated hiring workflows, be it screening of profiles, filtering through video resumes, tracking tapped talent through internal database, enabling preliminary assessments through online psychometric tests, or even automating processes like background verification, by bringing in reliable and relevant intelligent technology, the groundwork for recruitment is done, leaving recruiters with more time to establish stronger connections with potential talent, consequently boosting conversion ratio and minimizing offer loss.
By incorporating automated hiring workflows, the groundwork for recruitment is done, leaving recruiters with more time to establish stronger connections with potential talent, consequently boosting conversion ratio and minimizing offer loss.
Architecting a seamless remote onboarding experience
Once you have closed offers with your prospective joinees, how are you going to plan their remote onboarding journey? How are you going to replicate the in-person experience in a virtual working environment? How are you enabling basics like background checks and ensuring it is as seamless for your new joinees as it is for your recruiters? Moreover, for aspects like documentation that requires contact, what are you doing differently to ensure safety of your workforce through the process? This ties back into the segment on bringing in relevant and reliable technology to empower your recruiters and manage both candidate experience as well as employee experience.
Architecting a seamless remote onboarding experience, for both existing talent as well as new talent, is of the essence as you boost your organizational capabilities for the now of work.
Amid ambiguity, it becomes all the more crucial to ensure a stronger connection between recruiters and candidates, and the only way for employers to do that is assess which aspects are better suited to be performed by recruiters, and where can technology help them be more effective, efficient and productive. Remote onboarding is one such aspect in the recruitment life-cycle that demands greater involvement of recruiters to ensure clarity where needed, and being the very first buddy for new hires, before they are absorbed in their new teams with a new work buddy.
Beyond connection, onboarding often requires several in-person interactions, especially in handing over key documents. How prepared are you as an employer to adjust such processes in the post-COVID workplace, ensuring safety of your workforce?
Employee safety is an absolute non-negotiable and leveraging smart digital solutions goes a long way in building not just stronger infrastructure for the now of work, but also demonstrates your commitment as an employer to keep your people first.
So, are you geared up to tackle the needs of your workforce to empower them in building future capabilities for the organization? Has COVID left you puzzled about how to approach and prioritize the evolving needs of remote hiring practices? If insights, understanding and reflection on how to architect your remote onboarding experience, and thereby the larger remote hiring strategy is what you need, make sure to be a part of the events lined up for you throughout the Remote Hiring Week 2020:
- Virtual Panel Discussion: Pillars of Remote Hiring | Nov 24, 2020 | 11am IST
- Tweetchat: #RemoteHiringWeek2020 | Nov 26, 2020 | 3pm IST
- Webcast: Essentials of remote onboarding: Do's and don'ts | Nov 27, 2020 | 12pm IST
Ready to revolutionize remote hiring with a week full of learnings, insights and industry practices on how the various elements of remote hiring are shaping the future of the talent landscape? Register for the Remote Hiring Week now!