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Remote Working and Hiring in 2021

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This year has been full of change, both socially and in the workplace. Adaptation has been a crucial part of survival for businesses around the world. With 2020 now drawing to a close, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rolling out in the UK and others not far behind, it looks like we might finally have turned the corner heading back towards normality. That said, we have learned a lot over the past few months, and 2021 will herald a new era for the recruitment process.

Remote working is on the rise across the world and has yielded more benefits than one might have initially thought. These include increased productivity, travel cost savings, improved employee health and well-being, and the opportunity to hire from a much broader and more diverse talent pool. The implementation of remote hiring has been a key adaptation required for businesses to survive and grow during a time where meeting face-to-face was not an option. This means that companies will have to invest time and money to ensure they are giving themselves a chance to hire the best available talent. Here are a few ways that your company can adapt to ensure you thrive in the new era of recruitment:

Remote Working Culture

Emphasising your company's remote work culture and the value you place on it will make you stand out from the rest. Remote working has its challenges, so implementing a company-wide system that accommodates remote workers is essential. So, explain your remote working policy in detail and make clear what you expect from candidates. In general, the best talent finds remote working a more attractive option which makes the need for relocation obsolete in some cases. Remote roles are always a great way to attract candidates that aren't necessarily local to your site or office.

Getting the Team Involved:

One of the biggest drawbacks of remote hiring is that it can be challenging to gauge a candidate's personality accurately online. It is essential to learn everything possible about their experience, skills, and character. And the best way of doing this is by involving all relevant members of your team in the process. Video conferencing offers a convenient way to do this, so include a few extra people in the interview to learn more about the candidate. Doing this will give you the most diverse and accurate view of these traits without meeting in person.

A Different Kind of Process:

Many people might tell you that you need to prepare yourself for a longer recruitment process, but I believe it is the opposite. As the pharmaceutical industry is more competitive than ever, it is unwise to prolong a process unnecessarily – a tactic which often results in companies losing out on their first choice of candidate. The interviews themselves, however, should be a bit longer and more involved. It is harder to get a read on people over a video call, so you should allow yourself the time to ask the right questions. Here are some you can use to determine what environment best suits the candidate, such as:

  • How do you organise your working day?

  • Is remote working attractive to you?

  • Do you have experience in working remotely?

  • What methods do you use to stay in touch with your colleagues?

  • What do you regard as a healthy work environment?

Mastering a Video Interview

The first thing for your company to invest in will be video conferencing software and to develop it as a company standard. Once you have chosen the medium for discussion, your focus should be on adapting your interview style to accommodate the change. Try to be in the quietest environment you can, engage with your body language, speak clearly and give enough time for responses so you don't interrupt each other unnecessarily. Always arrive before the candidate so you can settle in and ensure there are no technical difficulties at your end. It is also very important to allow some time for small talk. Don't just launch into the interview, rather ease into it to make the candidate feel comfortable. Doing this will also give you the chance to learn more about their personality.

 The Onboarding Process:

Once you have decided to hire a remote worker, the process isn't over. The onboarding process is essential for setting the standard for the rest of your new employee's time at your company. Expectations of them must be made clear, and that support is provided and easily accessible. Assigning a mentor is a great way to help your new hire to adapt to the work culture and gives them someone to talk to directly with any issues. It is also essential to review the process regularly and let it evolve in such a way that benefits you and your employees.

At this stage, I'm sure you are sick of hearing the phrase "The New Normal", but it is crucial always to be adapting and changing your recruitment processes to ensure getting the best candidates in the market. One of the most significant benefits of remote hiring and working is the broad range of talent now available you. Evolving your company's recruitment process with the times and making a few simple changes could give you a chance to hire the best people for your team. Something that you might not have been able to do in the past.