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14 May 2020

These are unprecedented and unusual times, many of us in the recruitment, marketing and creative industries are having to deal with colleagues being furloughed, remote working and even onboarding new starters into a team they might not have met! 

 

We’ve heard from many clients who are still actively recruiting but finding it difficult to know if they are doing a good enough job onboarding a new starter remotely, making them feel at ease and in general keeping morale high within their team. 

 

A lot has been written about how to deal with remote working and onboarding, but there are just a few things that we have seen work well and from our own experience at Stopgap. 

 

Recruiting Remotely

 

There is no doubt that the current situation has made recruiting new members of your team more difficult, at least practically, but there are a huge number of great candidates out there and available immediately. 

 

To recruit remotely you just need to get creative and change your mindset. We can still source great candidates for you and present CVs to you as we would normally. We are still as available as ever to discuss candidates with you or help you with the process. 

 

Once we have a shortlist, start with a phone interview, it is a great way to get an initial impression of a candidate. Or if you would prefer, dive straight into a video interview using Zoom, Skype or our partner Hinterview. 

 

It may feel strange not meeting a candidate face to face, so perhaps have a couple of video interviews as well as a phone call to ensure you feel you have got a good enough impression of them. And you can still set them a task to complete remotely or a presentation to make. 

 

As a bit of an icebreaker and to help you get to know them and their personality before a video interview, what not ask them to complete our Character Analysis questionnaire? It's completely free to use and gives you a great insight into a person, what makes them tick and how best they might fit into your team. 

 

Onboarding

 

Communication & Reassurance 

 

Starting a new job is nerve-wracking at the best of times, but for someone who needs to start a new job in these difficult stances, it can be very stressful. As a line manager or talent manager, it’s important to open up communication early & reassure them about the process. 

 

One of our candidates who recently started their new role remotely told us how their new manager called them for an initial welcome chat and then followed up with an email and their mobile number, letting them know to get in touch any time they needed. 

 

Help Them With Technology

 

Where would we be without laptops, VPNs, Slack, Zoom and all the other applications and technologies helping us at the moment? It’s the time to shine for those quiet IT guys in the corner. 

 

Do whatever you can to get your new starter set-up from a technology point of view as soon as possible - whether that is sending equipment by courier, ensuring they have access to the internal network or giving them a guide to all the software they will be using. 

 

A Structured Welcome Programme

 

Structure is important to everyone at the moment and for a new starter having a clear and structured welcome programme in place is vital. Don’t overload them with information but ensure you have a clear programme across the first week. This can include everything from introducing the team on a Zoom call to a presentation on the culture of the company as well as what their day to day tasks will include. 

 

Keep in contact

 

Keep in regular contact with them and ensure they feel comfortable being able to call you if they need to, but also don’t be overbearing. Show them that you trust them and don’t need to check up on them constantly. Put a regular call or zoom chat in with them, on a daily basis at first and then less frequently if you feel things are going well. 

 

Have fun and get to know them

 

One of the most difficult things we are hearing from clients is that they are struggling to ensure new starters feel at home in the business and with their colleagues when they might never have met them! It’s a difficult challenge to overcome at the moment, but try and ensure that as well as introducing them to the company and their job, you introduce them to the people too. 

 

Have lighthearted zoom calls or google hangouts, where you have a drink together on a Friday. Perhaps even do a little quiz with questions on them or their colleagues. We’ve seen examples of clients even having a fancy dress theme on their Friday drink video calls! 

 

At Stopgap we also have a WhatsApp group with everyone in, which is a nice place to share more lighthearted content and keep in touch with each other outside of office hours and “reply all” emails. 

 

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If you need any advice on how to recruit remotely and onboard a new starter, please don’t hesitate to give us a call - 020 8332 7656

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