With widespread vaccinations and the normalization of COVID-safety measures, it is finally starting to feel like we are leaving the pandemic behind us. And although that's a welcome change by most standards, there are certain things we've gained in the last two years that are worth carrying into the future. If you ask workers, the work-from-home lifestyle is definitely on that list.
As more and more job seekers expect employers to adapt to the post-pandemic way of working, it's essential that your company explores the best practices for hiring if you want to remain competitive in the job market. Here are some critical considerations for your company as you dust off old hiring practices and revitalize them for the post-pandemic world.
Offer a Remote Work Option
The office no longer reigns supreme when it comes to productivity in the workplace. What employees and employers once considered an essential meeting place has lost its allure since 2020. More jobs are moving to a purely remote or hybrid work schedule.
As a company leader or HR manager, you'll need to respond to the growing demand for remote work options if you want to compete with other employers in your industry. Even if your company can’t go entirely virtual, consider a hybrid model. It allows workers to come into the office on a set or flexible schedule, depending on your business’s needs.
Your company will need to invest time and energy in creating work-from-home policies to make this transition. Additionally, you will need to establish clear expectations and good channels for communication.
You might also need to consider providing the necessary technology and equipment to remote workers, especially if you work in an industry that handles sensitive or secure data. In such situations, data protection is critical. A company laptop with a secure log-in and two-step verification can ensure that new hires and current employees can work from home without leaving your systems vulnerable.
Expand Your Talent Search
One significant benefit of the virtual work landscape is the expanded talent pool. While recruiters traditionally prioritize local job candidates, the ability to work remotely has removed the constraints of location and time zone for hiring.
The widening of the candidate pool is a great change, as recruiters will have access to many skilled applicants. The broader reach also means that your agency can benefit from diverse perspectives.
One often overlooked benefit of work from home environments is that it makes your workplace more accessible. You can tap talented workers who might otherwise struggle to work for your company due to restrictions related to disability status, childcare, commuting, and other factors.
To make the most of this opportunity, you'll need to establish standards and procedures for virtual recruitment and interviews. While an in-person interview may have followed a phone screen in the past, you can now schedule a video call and include all necessary parties. Expanding your talent pool means being able to recruit and interview no matter where the applicant resides.
Besides virtual interviews, video technologies can help in other ways. One consideration is to allow candidates to respond to questions in recorded videos that they submit with their applications.
Upgrade Your Screening Procedures
While work-from-home has many key advantages, such as cutting overhead business costs, switching to this model requires greater diligence in certain areas. It is particularly true with background checks and screening.
Background checks aren't new, but they play an essential role in the post-pandemic workplace. Because applicants are less likely to meet recruiters face to face, it is more important than ever to establish trust and transparency with workers from the get-go.
By learning the details of a candidate's background, recruiters can verify the applicant’s criminal history, education, work references, credit history, and more. Checking references and following up with previous employers can also establish an understanding of the worker's trustworthiness. In a virtual workspace, this is key to successful long-term hiring.
Establish Virtual Training and Onboarding Practices
If you are moving to a remote or hybrid model, so should your onboarding procedures. From benefit elections to job contract agreements, your organization can complete almost all aspects of setting up a new hire at your company virtually as long as you have the infrastructure.
Invest time in figuring out the best way to move your onboarding practices online. In the long run, this can streamline procedures, minimize the chance of human error, and reduce costs.
Additionally, you can also move training online. Virtual training involves possibilities such as pre-recording videos or interactive educational modules. This model is a great way to allow new hires to complete training on their own time from any location.
In 2021, more than one third of U.S. households reported working from home in some capacity. The figures reflect a shift upward in remote or hybrid schedules compared to the pre-pandemic norm.
And while there were growing pains in adapting to a virtual workplace, many workers have become accustomed to this lifestyle and enjoyed the many benefits. For example, people save time and money on commuting. That saved time allows them to be present for familial obligations like an after-school pick-up.
As we slowly come out of the pandemic, employers must remain flexible to attract and retain talent long-term. Because employees know that remote work can improve work-life balance and even productivity, they expect employers to adapt to their needs.
It’s not just about accommodating employee demands, either. A recent study predicts that remote work could increase productivity by 5% in the post-pandemic landscape.
As an employer, it’s in your best interest to remain flexible and work with staff members to find the right balance. What do you have to lose if productivity outcomes are not negatively affected?
The struggle for employers to find and keep workers has outlasted the pandemic and may hold steady as a trend for years to come. Because of this, it's more important than ever for employers to identify what attracts candidates to a potential workplace and what standards and expectations can keep them there.
Shaking up your hiring practices is one way that your company can respond to the new post-pandemic landscape. But understandably, some aspects are easier to adapt than others.
That’s where ScoutLogic comes in to handle background checks and screenings. That way, you can focus on finding and keeping the best talent.