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Onboarding new employees during COVID-19? What do I need to know?

Posted on 7th April 2020 by Jo Lothian

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Virtual onboarding

Following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Australians are being urged to work from home wherever possible. It's unlikely we'll see a return to traditional office working in the next few weeks, or even within the next few months. So, what does this mean for companies who still plan to onboard new employees during the pandemic? Is it even possible to bring new staff into your company right now? 

Absolutely. Take the IT industry, for example. Hiring has grown by 17.3 per cent across the software and IT sector due to increased demand for remote working support. Across healthcare, recruitment has grown by 12.6 per cent. If these organisations can find ways to hire new recruit during the COVID-19 outbreak, so can you. 

All you need to do is shift your onboarding process online. Here's how. 

How the online onboarding process works

Virtual onboarding, also known as online onboarding, lets you train new employees and welcome them into your organisation over the internet. In many ways, it's actually superior to classroom-based onboarding anyway. Here's why….

  • New recruits can focus on the training materials without also trying to learn the job right away
  • Every new employee gets the same onboarding experience, no matter where they're located
  • You can track and record when new employees have completed their orientation, which makes it easier to meet any industry-specific compliance requirements
  • They're going to be working with you remotely for a while, anyway, so it's the perfect way to meet and join the team

So, how do you change your onboarding process to accommodate remote hiring?

Introducing virtual onboarding into your organisation during COVID-19

To ensure your new onboarding process goes as smoothly as possible, here are six straightforward steps you can take right now. 

1. Switch to virtual interviews and assessments

Studies show that 6 in 10 HR managers already use video technology to interview candidates – if you're not one of them, now's the perfect time to join them. Rather than meeting candidates in the office, switch to Zoom or other video chat tools to run interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Going beyond video interviewing, MAYDAY have a suite of gamified assessment tools ranging from online brain games to company specific, benchmarked culture fit evaluations to help you make the right hiring choices. Learn more about MAYDAY’s digital assessments here.

2. Shorten the interview cycle

There's a trend towards interviewing and hiring candidates on the same day. Don't prolong the interview process with multiple rounds – right now, it's more important to get the new employee on board so they can start adding value to the team. Of course some companies can be more agile when it comes to the hiring process but even if your organisation is a little harder to speed up, make sure the communication between the candidate or the agency remains high throughout the hiring process with timelines clear to all.

3. Set up and obtain key documentation

Decide what training documents and information you'll provide upfront and upload it somewhere accessible. Have new employees mark when they've completed a task so you can keep an eye on their progress. When it comes to official tasks like contract signing, use e-signature platforms like DocuSign. 

4. Arrange equipment provision

Establish what equipment and software the new employee will need to get the job done and arrange to ship it out to them. Ensure there's a point of contact to help them get set up. MAYDAY currently have 30+ virtual temps with their own technology, set up to work remotely and support with projects or increased workloads. Bringing on temporary employees can be a great solution while the permanent hiring process and onboarding is in motion.

5. Introduce new hires to the team 

Set up video conferences to let the new employee meet the rest of the team. This will help your new employee feel more comfortable when it's time to return to the office, and it makes the team seem more approachable in the meantime. You can even pick a member of staff to act like an "onboarding buddy" or designated point of contact for any questions. 

MAYDAY Recruitment are here for you during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We're confident that, despite this new, uncharted territory we find ourselves in, we'll all emerge more resilient than ever before. If you're looking for the perfect candidate to join your team, or you want to learn what we’re experiencing and hearing in the market, contact us now. 

MAYDAY Consulting