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Workforce Management during COVID-19: Hiring and Onboarding Best Practices

The reconfiguration of working arrangements caused by the current pandemic has challenged the workforce to adapt and thrive especially when it comes to hiring and onboarding. To help navigate these confusing times, we have put together our best practices for hiring and boarding during COVID-19.

Explore options for different skills.

Hiring can be optimized by screening for people that have a history of excelling in remote work or possess certain qualities that would thrive in it, such as:

  • Self-motivation
  • Resourcefulness and adaptability
  • Independence
  • Aptitude for proactive collaboration
  • Clarity in written and verbal communication

Take concerns over physical proximity/contact seriously.

Although some states have begun to relieve certain COVID-19 related restrictions, you still need to ensure comfort and safety in the workplace for new, current and prospective employees. Remotely engage with your applicants as much as possible. Limit communication to phone, e-mail, messaging apps, etc., as often as possible to minimize physical interactions.

Online meeting platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and GoTo Meeting are a convenient option for interviews and training.  In addition to written responses, recruiting software also allows for responses to initial screening questions to be in video form.  This allows you to assess a candidate’s communication skills before an interview takes place.

If your hiring and onboarding requires applicants and new hires to report to the workplace, make sure that you already have measures in place that ensure proper physical distancing among individuals.

Ensure that new hires have the hardware, software, and office supplies they need.

Have all office supplies, software and hardware that you are providing to your new employee, ready before their start date. If they are working remotely, order everything in advanced to ensure it arrives to their residence on time.

If they are responsible for their own resources communicate with them ahead of time what is required, so they can prepare accordingly.

Confirm that they know how to operate any tools of communication that are essential to their job performance. If there is something that they are not familiar with, provide the employee with the proper guidance.

Keep new hires from suffering onboarding fatigue and confusion.

Given the current circumstances, new employees may feel overwhelmed by the onboarding process. Keep the pace steady and allow breathing room between virtual trainings and exercises to allow them to absorb the new information and ask questions when necessary.

It is equally important to accurately convey the company’s culture during the virtual onboarding. Your training materials should reflect what the core values are.

Always make social interaction possible.

Proactive workforce management should include creating opportunities for new hires to remotely form connections with colleagues. This will go a long way in boosting morale and productivity.

Regular meetings as well as improvised team huddles via online meeting software can facilitate the integration of new employees into the team.

Respect and protect your employees’ privacy.

While you have been cleared by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to take your employees’ temperatures, inquire about symptoms, and require COVID-19 testing, you are still mandated to keep their medical information private.

If you are conducting sanctioned screenings, be sure to protect each employee’s test results and prevent the sharing of test results among employees.

Payroll Systems can help you focus on your operations reboot by taking care of your workforce management needs. Our integrated and automated human-supported HR and payroll solutions, Including paperless employee onboarding, are easy to scale to suit your specific needs at specific times.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.