Since Covid-19 became a fast reality for the world and the way that business is run, adaptation has been the name of the game. Employers scrambled to launch remote working capabilities for their teams. On-demand services for food and grocery delivery had to ramp up as quickly as possible to support the growing needs of local communities, and the entire world heard the term ‘social distancing’ probably more than their own name.
Remote hiring is no longer considered an inconvenience; it is a very necessary safety measure. In the coming months, candidates will have a new aspect by which to measure potential employers – their response and adaptability to the new employment landscape shaped by a global pandemic.
In this new world, Human Resource departments across the country are struggling to define their new hiring and onboarding practises and address three main challenges. Your organization recently pivoted and embraced technological change, now is the time to ensure your vendor did as well.
1. A Remote Recruitment Process
For several years now, candidates have been flocking to online job boards to seek new opportunities. More advanced websites are even automating the pre-screening steps to help match top candidates to open roles with thousands of employers. Candidates can subscribe to job alerts and continue to build a network of contacts in their industry through social media platforms like LinkedIn. But following a telephone interview, or perhaps some online skill evaluations, most employers still have the need for an in-person interview for their top candidates.
The challenge of remote interviewing or ID verification is not entirely new; indeed some employers already utilize video conferencing tools to interview candidates for remote roles or positions in different geographies. But this is certainly not the standard.
It’s no surprise that video interviewing solutions are popping up all over the place. Recruiters are adjusting their processes to allow for new and creative ways to digitally meet candidates and gauge their fit for the role.
Verifying that the person you have had a virtual interview with, is the same individual who originally applied for the position, is essential as you are not meeting them in person. By including a remote ID verification process, such as LiveVideoID™ as part of your interviewing process, one can quickly confirm that the person you are speaking to is the same person whose resume and experience you are evaluating.
2. Background Screening/Background Checks
Similar to job postings, the background screening industry in Canada has been slowly adapting to paperless processes and online automation over the past few years.
Gone is the need to use paper consent forms with ink signatures and the scanning/faxing/emailing practises we’ve grown so used to. Instead, leading providers have created digital platforms that are adaptable and scalable – ready to change with the next major shift in the recruitment world.
Most of the traditional providers are struggling to adapt their platforms to be more mobile friendly, or are ‘Frankensteining’ together new technology components to form some semblance of automation or integration. As you can imagine, these capabilities have significant impacts on the client and candidate experience, and of course, turnaround times.
Newer providers that have invested in their technology from day one, have already found a way to balance automation with human touch points, without impacting quality and turnaround time. Technology should be built around a need as well as an audience. ScreeningCanada™ was created to streamline a process that needed a facelift across Canada. The most significant aspect of this, as it relates to background screening in Canada, is ID Verification.
If your organization utilizes criminal record checks as part of your background screening process, you likely already understand the requirements to validate identity before requesting a police check. Most providers have one digital solution for identity verification, with only manual or in-person options should a candidate be unable to pass an online ID check. But operating during a pandemic has highlighted that relying on in-person verifications through a hiring manager/recruiter or via Canada Post, is neither reliable (due to closures and staffing limitations) or sustainable. Not only are these services inconvenient,they are an unnecessary risk for candidate’s to be taking due to the in-person contact requirement.
Leading background screening providers have implemented additional ID verification methods that ensure a candidate has multiple avenues to verify their identity from home. In addition to Electronic ID Verification, ScreeningCanada introduced their LiveVideoID™solution that allows employers to ensure compliance without inconveniencing recruiters or endangering candidates. In 2020, even more options for remote ID Verification will be released, pending RCMP approval, utilizing the significant advancements made in facial accreditation software.
3. Vendor Partnerships
The third difficult task facing HR teams is the management of their partners/vendors. If your organization already has a background screening partner or other HR software – evaluating their success at this time is paramount to determining if they are the best fit for your organization going forward.
Some of the key items to evaluate:
- How quickly did your provider adapt their service to meet your needs?
- Was your provider prepared to launch a remote workforce?
- How quickly did your vendors adapt to the updated safety requirements as they happened?
- Did your Applicant Tracking System allow you to quickly adapt to a remote hiring and onboarding process?
- How much was your turnaround time/quality impacted for background checks?
- Was your provider prepared with alternative and compliant ID verification methods to ensure the safety of your recruiters and candidates, or were they scrambling to launch a temporary measure?
- Are their processes compliant with all relevant legislation?
- Compare the providers use of human touch points and automation to expedite the background screening process without negatively impacting accuracy.
- Contact options. How accessible they are when you inevitably have questions.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of your current provider’s technology capabilities or response to this crisis, it is a great time to explore your options. Hiring activity for many organizations has slowed down significantly; which may give HR professionals a chance to see a demo of another provider’s process, and compare customer service capabilities, turnaround time, technology capabilities and pricing to ensure you have the right provider as your partner. It is also a good time to build in redundancies to your processes to allow you to pivot quickly if needed. Having a second background screening provider is a great way to ensure you have a alternative in case you need make a change to a more technology based system that allows you to complete your entire hiring process online. It also provides an opportunity to evaluate other background screening providers to find the bestfit.
Onboarding employees remotely presents a new set of challenges that many organizations have not tackled before. From paperwork completion to introducing the company culture, companies now need to look at their onboarding processes with new considerations.
Convert your normal onboarding checklist into a checklist that applies for remote hiring instead. This will prevent you from missing any crucial onboarding steps. For example, if you normally provide a laptop to new employees and have them sit down with IT for an orientation, be sure to courier them their laptop prior to their start date so that it arrives in time. Schedule their remote IT onboarding for their first day to ensure they can access all the tools they will require for their upcoming training.
Use an eSignature technology for the completion of new employee paperwork. Having the employee print off forms, complete them by hand and email them back is not an ideal introduction to how tech forward your organization is.
With new employees likely not meeting anyone in person on their start date, it is more important than ever for companies to make them feel welcome and help them understand the company culture (which has also most likely shifted). Consider sending the new employee some company swag and a welcome package to help them get excited about their new position. This can help to keep them engaged before their start date.
Covid-19 forced many organizations to adapt key aspects of their business to account for the challenges of a remote workforce. Now that the world has forcefully accepted this ‘new normal,’ the opportunity is here to reflect on the lessons learned in overcoming these obstacles, and pivot traditional hiring and onboarding practices for the future when we may face entirely new obstacles that challenge the way we do business, and making sure your vendors have kept up with change is equally important.