The rise of the cloud has made remote work more practical and effective than ever before. Today, employees can access their work at any time, from anywhere. In fact:
- Remote work has increased by 173% since 2005 (Global Workplace Analytics).
- In 2020, nearly seven in 10 American employees worked remotely at least some of the time (Gallup).
- 72% of office workers would like to work remotely at least two days a week (PwC).
Remote work is here to stay. But while more jobs are being performed from home, hiring an employee virtually can leave significant gaps in the candidate experience. Below, PrideStaff shares tips to improve the virtual candidate experience, so new hires feel like part of the team and are primed for success.
Make a great first impression.
A candidate’s experience with your organization starts with the moment they are aware of your company (often before they ever apply for an opening!). Set the stage for a fantastic relationship by:
- Auditing your candidate-facing technology. Scrutinize your career site, social accounts, job board, application process, video interview tech, and any other platforms candidates use to engage with your organization. Test everything to ensure it’s simple, seamless, and effective.
- Reviewing your messaging. Make sure all your candidate-facing content (e.g., website content, job postings, blog posts, etc.) is inviting, informative and inclusive, and that it properly positions your company as one that values its employees.
- Giving candidates a glimpse of what it’s like to work for you. When candidates are hired remotely, they miss out on experiencing firsthand what your work environment is like. Share brief videos that show what your jobs, people, and culture are all about, so candidates feel a stronger sense of connection with your company.
Create an ironclad onboarding process.
Preparation is important for any successful onboarding experience, but it’s essential for remote onboarding. In this post, we share tips for improving remote onboarding so new hires have the tools to succeed – and love their jobs. Simple steps like providing robust tech support and planning out the entire first week can transform an employee’s first days with your company at a time when they’re most impressionable.
Make it personal.
Building early interpersonal bonds is critical to creating a positive employee experience – and you can start building those bonds earlier than you might think:
- Include the recruiter’s name and contact information in the job posting.
- Add short recruiter introduction videos to your postings and career site, so candidates feel more like they’re working with a real human (and not just an email address).
- On the first morning of onboarding, conduct a “welcome” video call to greet your new hire and preview the week’s activities. Invite their team to join in, introduce themselves, and begin establishing individual relationships.
- Consider pairing the new hire with a “welcome buddy” (e.g., a friendly, established employee who has gone through your traditional hiring process and understands your remote hiring process) to answer questions, facilitate introductions and accelerate ramp-up.
- Schedule team-builders. Video lunches, virtual games, online happy hours, and other team builders make onboarding more fun, prevent feelings of isolation, and help make newcomers feel included in their workgroup.
Few things threaten your new hire’s success more than communication vacuums. Integrate multiple touchpoints throughout your hiring process to keep individuals engaged, informed, and enthusiastic:
- Set clear expectations. Whether remote or on-site, new employees need to know exactly what you want from them and how you will measure success. Provide clear expectations (including timelines) for completing training and establishing initial performance goals.
- Provide access to resources. Your new employee can’t walk into a coworker’s office to ask for help, so make sure they have the digital equivalent. Provide a list of people who can help when they have questions about specific processes or systems, as well as a master list of resources they’ll use during training.
- Check in frequently. As days progress and your new team member becomes more independent, it’s tempting to assume that “no news is good news.” Don’t fall into that trap. Set a regular cadence for formal check-ins to gather/offer constructive feedback and monitor progress. Make a point to reach out informally, too, just to say hello and see how they are faring. Small gestures like these are more than thoughtful; they set the stage for honest communication throughout your work relationship.