07 Jan 2021

2020 was a year like no other when it came to the way we work and how we recruit. Just about every business in every sector had to adapt to some, if not all, of their workforce, working from home. Despite the difficulties, we witnessed first hand how many businesses not only took on that challenge but thrived and many continued to recruit and grow their teams as a result. But one aspect that was always going to be difficult when recruiting in the current climate of Covid-19 was onboarding and integrating new team members. 

A lot has been written about how to deal with remote working and onboarding, but here are a few tips 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. It may feel strange not meeting a candidate face to face, but it is becoming the norm and over the last year we have all become a lot more accustomed to working remotely and meeting virtually. 


To recruit remotely you just need to get creative and change your mindset. We can still source great candidates and present candidates to you as we did before!

We believe meeting our candidates before presenting them to an employer is as important as ever; which is why we "meet" our candidates virtually. Conducting our own video interviews helps us to understand them as people, not just CVs. This allows us to present you with the right candidates, we can even share the interviews with you, giving you that first impression and saving you precious time on multiple video interviews. 

Just because you can't meet a candidate in person, doesn't mean you have to deviate from the way you would recruit normally - a short first interview perhaps and then a second more formal interview, where you can still set a task or ask for a presentation.




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 circumstances, 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. Keeping that line of communication open but without being overbearing is key. 


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. 




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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