BLOG: Effective Hiring in a Pandemic

06/16/2020 08:13 PM By Nick Zundel

Effective Hiring in a Pandemic

No matter what industry you’re in, the effects of COVID-19 have likely impacted you in big ways. You may have had to temporarily reduce your staff in order to cut costs and stay afloat, and now need to start hiring again. Or, perhaps you’re considered an essential service and you need more employees stat. The pandemic has certainly changed a lot of things, but one thing it shouldn’t change is your ability to make smart, well-thought-out decisions regarding hiring. 

This is no time to skip steps, gloss over time consuming checks, or hire in haste. Rather, you should take extra time and care to make sure you’re onboarding the right people who will serve you best. 


Remote Interviews 

Because most areas of the country are still practicing social distancing, it’s not yet feasible to bring candidates into the workplace to meet with your hiring team. This forces many employers to switch things up, conducting virtual interviews via Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts rather than face-to-face. 

You’ll have to get comfortable with the technology really quickly, and make sure your HR staff has the proper training to vet candidates. Don’t forget about possible legal considerations as well. If the interview is being recorded, you may have to get consent prior to the interview. One of the most difficult parts of remote interviewing is when a candidate has to demonstrate a specific skill set in order to validate that skill with their hands, such as in welding, manufacturing, construction, or assembly, says Forbes

You may have to require them to come into your workplace for an in-person interview and you must make available the proper safety precautions, such as six feet of distance, masks, gloves  and more to protect both parties. 

Conduct Consistent Pre-Employment Screening 

Employers should put incoming employees through the same screening standards as their regular employees. In the face of an emerging, unique employment landscape, it’s vital that you maintain consistent employment screening practices across the board – particularly as more contingent employees are being brought in to perform critical tasks, interact with customers and handle sensitive customer data. ​

To that end, it’s important to limit your screening processes to one system in order to eliminate redundancies and streamline multiple screening systems for the reduction of risk. It can be very difficult to put proper controls in place when you are going between multiple systems. For compliance control, use one system to cut down on the potential for human error and speed up the screening process. 

One thing you should not do is skip the background check. The reason businesses perform background checks in the first place is for protection of their workers, their customers and their property.   

Facilitate Core Compliance Checks 

When performing background checks, specific positions within certain industries are subjected to specific background check types. You can move the hiring process along when you know in advance which employees and industries fall into those categories. Consider role-based screening when transitioning current employees into higher-level roles – even if on a temporary basis. 

Flexibility For Onboarding 

The basics for any onboarding program include outlining the procedures ahead of time and putting standardized procedures in place for training sessions. This shouldn’t change when workers are remote. Start off with a broader company overview and then offer a more specific briefing on the department where the candidate would be working.   

A typical onboarding process is usually very lengthy, and remote vetting processes pose further challenges. It’s still important to take the time to fully onboard and integrate an employee to the extent possible that they can understand how your organization works. Your HR department can set up video conference calls to introduce the team, email them welcome packages and provide schedules of remote video meetings.

Contact Background Partners 

To learn how we can help you make smart hiring decisions during COVID-19 and beyond, contact us at 858-329-0410 or fill out our online form. From remote employees to multiple locations with multi-step processes, we can help. Book your conversation with one of our Screening Consultants today. 

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