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  • Christina Boon

How to remote interview and onboard new employees

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

If your remote employee is not interviewing in-house, their visibility of your employer brand and culture will be limited to what they see online and their experiences during the recruitment process. It is really important that any business that is having a recruitment drives ensures that their website is up to date and gives potential candidates a real sense of what company life is like. Are your employer values and mission statement clear? Do you have a meet the team section and what are you telling potential candidates with your messaging?

If your company uses social media, make sure that the messages you are giving reflect not just your work, but the social side of company life. This could also be a good time to look at your Glassdoor profile and see whether this needs your attention.

Interview stages

Stage One: Video call. This is a good time to find out more about your potential candidate’s experience, but also to give them a good sense of what working for your organisation is really like. Make sure that you give candidates every opportunity to question you about company culture and your brand identity. Try to remember that you are finding out just as much in a remote interview about your potential candidate as you would do if it were face to face, but a big part of a first stage interview for any employee is getting an ‘eyes on’ experience of your business and the people within it.

Stage Two:  Give the candidate an assignment to test their remote work skills. By giving them a project or assessment to work on, you will be able to better evaluate what it would be like to work with them. You’ll see how they problem-solve, work with deadlines, and get an idea of what their communication style is like. Similarly, it will give potential candidates a true idea of how you communicate as a business as well as the opportunity to assess their suitability for the role at a hands-on level

Stage Three: Video call with another colleague. As a rule, second stage interviews are usually held with another team member of management staff and this should still be the case even in a remote situation. It can be slightly harder when it comes to juggling diaries from a logistics point of view, but it is important that you are further introducing candidates to wider team members who may have some valuable and insightful information to impart. It also helps you with your initial assessment of a candidate.

Stage  Four: Final interview. It has become more common over the past 12 months for this to be more of a team meeting, where candidates have the opportunity to meet members of the team for the position they are interviewing. This will give you a real sense of a candidate’s collaborative skills and communication styles and allow your team to assess compatibility.

Pre – onboarding is becoming increasingly popular

You are looking to get buy-in engagement and motivation from the outset. Do not wait until your new hire’s first day; take this opportunity to begin introducing them to your business and its culture, as well as performing vital admin tasks to ensure those first few days go as smoothly as possible.

Make them feel part of the team by organising a social virtual meet, so they can be introduced to their new colleagues and get a sense of how team cohesion works in your organisation.

Digital Onboarding

HR teams have to be highly organised when it comes to inducting new employees into the business, but doing this remotely makes the task more complex. It is really important to communicate expectations clearly to employees before they start working with you. Be clear on company values, team objectives and individual goals. Establish time frames for any training programmes they need to attend and also when they can expect reviews. In the first stages, it is important for HR to keep in close contact with new employees so maybe schedule in weekly meetings where you can discuss any issues that have arisen.

What equipment does your new starter need and how will it need to be delivered? Have you checked that your new starter has the necessary Wi-Fi requirements and is your equipment and their technology secure to support remote working?

Making your new employees first encounter with your business positive is vital. It is quite common for candidates to feel as though they have lost touch with their new employer in between interviewing and starting their new job, so make sure that you maintain communication with them and thoroughly explain how they are going to be inducted into your business before their start date. This will help them to feel more confident about their new role which will have an immediate impact on their performance and ability to integrate into work-life from day one.

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