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A Guide to Effective Remote Recruiting and Onboarding

Wed, April 26, 2023

A Guide to Effective Remote Recruiting and Onboarding

The pandemic, for all its world-changing impacts, accelerated the adoption of remote working. Out of necessity, employers across the world had to either adjust to having a remote workforce or shut down. Now that we’re firmly on the other side of that disruption, many companies have continued embracing remote work either full-time or as part of a hybrid model. However, there are still some ongoing issues concerning effective recruiting and remote employee onboarding.

Whilst remote recruiting and onboarding may seem daunting when compared to traditional methods, all it needs is a strategic approach so it can be as smooth as the in-person experience. With HR professionals advising remote onboarding or training as the biggest hiring challenge during the pandemic, how can organisations overcome this?

Below, you will find our tips, showing you what remote hiring and onboarding should ideally look like for most businesses. This can help your company become better at hiring and onboarding for these roles. Now, at Ventrica we don’t position ourselves as recruitment gurus, however, we know how crucial it is to get the digital hiring process right.

With a mix of office-based and remote Ventricans throughout the company, being able to effectively recruit and onboard new staff ensures we deliver a positive onboarding experience and provide the best EX possible. Without doing so, we wouldn’t be able to deliver success for our clients as customer experience specialists.

Ideal Remote Recruiting Strategies

Having a strategy for many aspects of business is essential, from implementing a customer experience roadmap to detailing an effective customer journey strategy. It helps ensure processes are being followed, so having one in place for remote recruiting that differs from in-person is just as important. Your ideal remote recruiting strategy should make the most of the technology and tools available as this will help to bring in and assess the best talent. Not everyone is suited to remote work, so being able to identify personality traits and candidate experience that is relevant to remote working can bring better results.

Online job portals and social media

Whilst you will want to advertise your job listings on your website and promote them on social channels, utilising popular online job portals can help reach a wider pool of talent. The more candidates you can attract, the higher the probability you can find the individuals you need. Promoting your remote job listing through different avenues will always yield more responses. While you may still need to wade through your fair share of questionable candidates, the more interest you can drum up for your role, the better the chances of discovering those suitable quickly. The job listing should also be clear regarding the role being remote-based and the expectations of this. Spending time creating an effective job listing for your remote role will quickly define who you are looking for.

Video interviews

A crucial aspect of the remote recruiting process, video interviews have become a necessity for many employers. With platforms like Zoom quickly becoming household names in the post-pandemic years, many different platforms can help provide high-quality video and audio. As you won’t be meeting the candidate to assess them face-to-face, reading body language and communication skills is still crucial, something that video interviews can provide over a telephone interview. When interviewing candidates, you can then fully assess them as you would in a traditional interview setting – just make sure you have a reliable connection and make use of blurred or virtual backgrounds to keep the interview distraction-free

Use virtual recruitment assessments

Similarly to traditional interviews, you’ll want a strategy that includes assessments to ensure the candidate’s skills and experience match up with the needs for the role. You’ll want to assess not just their suitability for their main responsibilities, but also their motivation for wanting to work remotely and how they can ensure they can remain focused and productive whilst working from home. Assessments are valuable to determine the abilities of a candidate, as well as their personality, to help you choose someone that is the right fit for the role and can work remotely without issue.

Focus on remote work culture fit

As many of us know, working remotely is completely different from being office-based. Whilst you may be working on the same tasks you would in person, the environment and the culture will feel vastly different. As part of your assessment process it’s crucial to find out whether candidates are a good fit for your remote work culture. Do they have experience with working independently from home? Do they prefer the hustle of a busy office environment and being around people? How good are their time-management skills? Will they be the right fit for your team? Asking the right questions about culture, and learning more about how they work and the type of employee they are can quickly determine if they are right for the role. Explain your company culture and understand how they would potentially fit into your company’s values and mission.

Effective Virtual Onboarding of Remote Employees

According to Gallup, just 12% of employees strongly agree that their organisation does a great job of onboarding, leaving 88% who feel improvements can be made. So what makes the onboarding process for remote workers a positive one? Here are a few ways to ensure, once you’ve found the right candidate, that they have the best onboarding experience as a new remote employee.

Communicate frequently

Communication is crucial at the best of times, but when working remotely and not being within an office, it presents a bigger challenge. Ideally, companies will have a dedicated onboarding liaison officer that will communicate frequently with new hires – someone that can be a point of contact for the new hire no matter the question. Whilst they will have their line manager to speak to, it’s a good idea to have someone such as an HR representative or similar that can be available to check in regularly. If these interactions can be done via video, this helps provide a friendly face for your new recruit and creates a more personal approach. A lack of communication during the onboarding process can leave a new remote hire feeling isolated very quickly.

Set expectations

Clear expectations from the outset are vital in a remote role, helping your new employees understand what’s expected of them from day one. Setting goals, objectives and metrics related to performance, as well as detailing the day-to-day of the role needs to be clear. Going through the company culture and company values, as well as what tools they will need to succeed, can quickly help new remote workers feel welcomed and integrated into the team. Remote employees who have clear expectations from the outset are more likely to feel confident and ready to work, but according to research by Gallup, just 29% of new hires feel fully prepared and supported to do their role well after their onboarding experience.

Provide online training and support

From your new hire’s point of view, there will be lots of new information to take in and new systems to learn quickly. Ongoing training and support are crucial for all employees, but new remote hires will need additional support during onboarding that differs from the in-person experience. Providing training through videos and virtual training sessions can ensure nothing is lacking compared to traditional training methods. If your company doesn’t already have a training library of useful videos from showing how a tool works to different aspects of each role, it’s a good idea to start creating these resources to help new employees.

Assign a buddy or mentor

Having a point of contact that can help new remote workers is an undervalued part of onboarding, one that is even more important in remote working environments. As remote workers lack the ability to ask quick questions to someone sitting near them or while grabbing a drink from the office kitchen, more effort is needed to do this with calls, remote meetings, or messaging. Giving remote workers someone they can feel confident to contact throughout the work day with whatever question they may have will avoid them feeling isolated and forgotten about. Regularly have meetings on video during the first few weeks to ensure they are getting the experience they need. This will help iron out any teething issues to begin with and provide more personal support.

Overcoming Remote Employee Onboarding Pain Points

Being new to a company, especially in a remote role, can bring its fair share of challenges when compared to starting a role in person. Some of these include:

  • Lack of in-person interaction – some may find it jarring not being around fellow workers, especially if they are not used to this environment.
  • Technical difficulties – a reality of working with technology, but being remote can make these issues even more frustrating, especially if it impacts an employee’s ability to communicate with tech support or a line manager.
  • Building a sense of community – not having in-person interaction means building up work relationships is difficult – no impromptu chats or shared lunches, it can be difficult to capture this community spirit when remote.

The good news is that with the right approach and strategy, remote team management will consider all of this and help remote workers not miss out on the same EX as a traditional worker - or at least something analogous to it. Hopefully, the points raised in this article can provide team leaders and HR personnel with a way to improve remote hiring and onboarding if they are not doing so already.

At Ventrica, our teams deliver CX excellence whether working remotely or on-premises. If you are a brand looking for customer service support, we have BPO services that can help your teams work more efficiently and provide improved CX to turn customers into advocates. To discover more, please contact the team today.

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