Hiring during COVID: How your business can have a successful onboarding process during a pandemic

Hiring During Covid

By: Amy Sales, CMP – Senior Director

Developing an organized plan for employee recruitment, interviews, training, and orientation is crucial to the success of a business; and a well-executed onboarding plan sets new employees up for success, too. As COVID-19 has changed the way employees work and connect, savvy business leaders have also adjusted their hiring and onboarding processes.

For business leaders, the “new normal” of onboarding consists of remote interviews, hybrid orientation, or digital onboarding tasks. This means there has to be a new way of welcoming new hires, so they can still feel like part of the team even from a digital standpoint.

Here at Easter Associates, we are experts at adapting and are excited to share what we have developed as an effective onboarding program for new hires. Based on our experience in hiring during the pandemic, we want to share ways on how business leaders, like you, can succeed while social distancing. 

Communication is key during COVID-19

It goes without saying that business leaders steer the ship in the recruitment, interview, and hiring process. With this in mind, it is imperative that businesses communicate where their company stands during the pandemic, including expectations and what is being done to keep staff safe and still successful in their position. This is important for potential new hires as it allows them to see how much staff is valued and at the forefront of the mind of leadership when decisions directly affecting them are made.

Businesses must realize that although they are in charge and expected to lead the process, they, too, are being interviewed by potential candidates. Businesses get one chance to make an impression on their new hires. One of the first impressions of your company will be based on how the hiring process and policies are communicated to candidates. 

As your company onboards new staff, make sure to communicate expectations clearly. The onboarding process can be a combination of in-person and virtual encounters, and we believe that meeting in person at least once is important and can be done in a safe way. For example, candidates can be interviewed in an open space with masks for extra caution. Businesses have different policies when it comes to in-person interaction, so if your company does have a policy, make sure it is communicated clearly to candidates. 

No matter the circumstances, clearly communicating policies, expectations, and processes with candidates can ease the excited nerves that candidates and new hires typically arrive with.

Hiring tips

The challenges of interviewing and hiring new employees via remote means can be offset by recognizing the opportunities for leaders to reset their processes so the best candidate is selected.

Here are a few tips to business leaders looking to get the remote hiring process right:

Ask interviewees the same questions

When all interviewees are asked the same question, you are able to compare candidates’ knowledge of the subject, as well as their ability to respond. Although there are naturally individuals who interview well, by asking the same question to all interviewers have an apples-to-apples comparison of the candidates understanding of the subject, as well as their ability to communicate.

Provide clarity on the process 

Applicants need clear expectations of each step in the process. This means elaborating on who is taking part, how long certain stages will be, and what each step entails. By not communicating the process, leaders add to the natural anxiety experienced by candidates. Make sure you are equipping candidates with all of the necessary information, so they are their best version of themselves as they are being interviewed. This will give you the clearest picture of candidates’ personalities and abilities, providing you with truly effective interviews.

Don’t change the format last minute

Candidates spend a lot of time preparing for interviews and leaders must keep in mind that candidates must feel like their time matters. By providing a clear explanation of the process and following through, you will have more effective interviews and a more successful onboarding process.

At Easter Associates, we pride ourselves on the ability to assess and adapt. Our leadership and staff are highly skilled in all areas of association management, and we are markedly better able to pivot when circumstances change. With all of the changes that the pandemic has imposed, we recognize the abilities of our current staff and importance of the planned process of recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees. Learn from your COVID-19 experiences and adapt. In doing so, your business will have a solid foundation for recruits to begin making an impact on the organization.