We don’t yet know when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will end and the world will return to “normal” (or the new normal). However, that will happen at some point and when it does, is your hiring team prepared?
As many businesses have paused hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic, there may come a time when you press play again and have pre-existing roles to fill, or new ones if employees who were laid off do not return.
Even if you don’t know when hiring will resume, planning the transition now will help your business adapt to the new normal and scale as necessary.
Here’s how to get started:
a) Set up your remote hiring process
Most public health experts agree that the COVID-19 pandemic may last for some time and will require “waves” of social distancing.
What does this mean for hiring? Specifically, the recruitment process may not return to “normal” right away, even if you do start hiring again.
Social distancing policies may be in place even after business re-opens – including the remote hiring process.
Make certain that your HR technology — such as your applicant tracking system (ATS) — is set up and organized and that you have a solution for video interviewing.
b) Plan for work-from-home positions
As businesses return to hiring, the future of work could look different. Working from home, or working from anywhere, was already an emerging trend in the workplace, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, it could grow even more.
Some candidates may want to work from home, or your business might have found that there is more capability for remote work than previously realized.
Whether you intend to continue letting employees work from home or not, there may also be a transition period or the need to work remotely during a physical distancing “wave.”
To be prepared, identify whether new positions could work remotely and what that would look like in practice. You can also start identifying what softer skills are most necessary for your remote candidates to have.
c) Decide what pre-employment screenings you will require
The COVID-19 pandemic may influence what pre-employment screenings you require from candidates.
Canadian HR Reporter cited a study from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio that found that workers who lose their jobs because of economic disruptions experience a 20% increase in criminal charges a year after being laid off, and a 60% jump in property crimes.
A criminal record check could flag any recent charges.
For cash handling or financial positions, credit checks may also be necessary. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) 2020 Report to the Nations found that 42% of occupational fraudsters were living beyond their means and 26% were experiencing financial difficulties.
d) Invest in skill development and identify soft skills
The skills gap has been an ongoing concern and could continue after the pandemic subsides, especially if your company begins integrating more high technology.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean hiring only people who already possess the necessary knowledge and experience. Instead, you might take the time now to plan how to bridge the skills gap.
For instance, hiring for soft skills — such as adaptability, self-motivation, and openness to learning — could allow you to train otherwise strong employees for new knowledge.
e) Design the onboarding process
If you didn’t have an existing onboarding process, or need to adapt one for remote work, now can be a good time to focus on doing so.
Research is increasingly showing the correlation between a strong onboarding process and job performance.
The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that 69% of employees are more likely to stay at a company for three or more years if they had a positive onboarding experience. And organizations with an onboarding process saw 50% greater new-hire productivity.
Taking the time now to think about your onboarding process can bolster your workforce for years to come.
While the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, your hiring process doesn’t have to be. You can start preparing now to ensure that when the new normal emerges, your team is ready.
At Triton Canada, we offer pre-employment screenings that help mitigate hiring risk, find the most qualified candidates, and more. Discover our solutions by calling 1-844-874-8667 or visiting www.tritoncanada.ca.