Tips for Remote Hiring

BY Pam Krivda & Syretta Williams
6/23/2020 - HVAC Employment

As a result of the Navigating Human Resources During COVID-19 blog post, the question was asked “What tips or best practices are HR professionals following or should be aware of while trying to hire remote now more than ever?”

While many companies are starting to return to workplaces, it’s still a good idea to limit the number of people in and out of the office or warehouse to the extent possible. Remote interviewing and selection can present challenges but is likely the safest way to manage the process right now. The good news is that, with so much unemployment, this is a great time to be recruiting. Normally hard-to-fill jobs might attract more qualified candidates than they did before the pandemic.

Tips for hiring remotely:

  • Video meetings are better than voice-only. If a candidate does not have access to video, however, voice interviews will have to do.
  • Be sure your job description accurately reflects the actual job and working conditions, especially for hires who will be working at the office or warehouse.
  • Review and revise, if necessary, your pre-screening questions.
    • When you give the parameters of the job, ask the candidate to comment on the requirements, the working hours, etc.
    • Open ended questions (ones that can’t be answered with “yes” or “no” or “okay”) will yield more information from the candidate about whether or not they are actually willing to do the work you have available and whether they will be a good fit.
  • Put emphasis on references from former employers. It takes longer to finalize a hire, but other employers’ experiences may be the best information you have in this environment.
    • If possible, invest in a reference checking company – one that does more than check criminal databases.
  • It is very helpful to know exactly the kind of candidate you seek. When you describe that to candidates, they may self-select out if they do not like or match what you say.
    • Tools such as the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment can help with hiring the right people by asking the right questions, of the right candidates to inform your hiring decisions as well.
  • Candidates – especially Generation Z – are as impressed by company culture, values and branding as they are with benefits. Put a face on your company and your relationship with your employees.
  • If you have a career development program, emphasize it. Even if there is no formal program, but there is a clear path from this job to the next, be sure to discuss that with the candidate.
  • Consider video-introducing the candidate to team members.
  • Be very honest about the job and the requirements. It is more difficult for a candidate to determine if s/he will like the job with no tour of the facility.
  • For remotely meeting I-9 requirements, refer to the blog post, Remote Onboarding of an Employee Due to COVID-19, in the Employer’s Perspective section, there is a link to the Homeland Security caveat that allows employers a work around to getting the I-9 document signed remotely in lieu of it being done by the organization on site.
  • Send new-hire paperwork ahead and ask that it be returned safely electronically (if the candidate has access to Wifi and a computer).
  • Do not extend final offers until you have received and considered reference information.
  • Provide a very explicit offer letter. Since you will not have the in-person back-and-forth and an opportunity to see if the candidate understands all that you are saying, a detailed, explicit offer letter is important to set up the requirements and relationship on both sides.
  • Once hired, ensure that the new employee understands the importance of protecting private information being collected while conducting business.
    • Private information is:
      • nonpublic personal information (NPI)
      • protected health information (PHI)
      • personal identifiable information (PII)
      • business records
    • This may be a good opportunity to “sharpen the saw” of existing employees as well since some business operations have been amended to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 like writing down credit card numbers to process curbside orders in the moment.
    • Take the time to examine your organizations’ Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and ensure that if a plan to keep private information safe is not included in those SOPs or in your organizations’ Reopening Checklist (as mentioned in the Returning to Work - How Ready is Your Organization? blog post) that it becomes a priority to get included.
      • To help your organization reduce its risk, ensure that your organization:
        • Has established best practices of how to handle the various types of private information while working from home.
        • Trains its employees on the difference between each of the types of private information and helps them understand what information should be stored in business records and what does not.
        • Has determined a method to enforce the policies and best practices around handling private information.

If you would like more one-on-one assistance on this or another HR related topic, become a HARDI HR Consulting Services subscriber and take advantage of what the program has to offer with 2020 pricing, in line with our 5 Keys of Peak Season. For additional assistance on this or other compliance, HR, or training and development matters be sure to seek assistance through HARDI’s HR Consulting Services or contact Syretta Williams.