Post-Pandemic Prediction #1: What worked online will stay online

In our post-pandemic predictions report, our #1 prediction was: What worked online, will stay online. Virtual processes are here to stay and will even be the preferred method. Initially, many of us expected to work from home only temporarily, but as time passes more and more companies are rethinking their work from home strategies. Working from home for as long as we have, has likely already brought you many insights, but how to prepare your business for long term remote working?

Virtual Interviewing

Organisations will benefit from virtual interviewing in cost and time optimisation.

Globally, organisations had to rethink their recruitment processes overnight. In our post-pandemic predictions report, we explained how organisations disclosed little to no impact on the experience associated with virtual recruitment. Organisations will benefit from virtual interviewing in cost and time optimisation, and the ability to interview international candidates more easily. Virtual interviewing will also positively impact candidate experience, with interview scheduling being more flexible with less travel and time arrangements.

Still, in spite of many benefits to virtual interviewing, a long-term virtual interview process does not come without its challenges. Examples of challenges experienced in virtual interviews are the requirements for a digital set up that might not be available to every candidate, and less ability to read context and social cues as well as in a face-to-face interview. Most virtual interviews are also shorter than face-to-face interviews. So how can organisations prepare for a long-term virtual interview process?

Most organisations have answered to this in two ways. One being involving more people into the interview process, and the second one is an increased focus on preparation. Involving more people in the interview process, for example in an extra interview, helps in decision-making. Impressions and conclusions about an interview can be shared and evaluated together. Additionally, recruiters have spent more time and resource in preparing both hiring managers and candidates for their online interviews.

Remote Onboarding

Overnight changes to the interview process brought overnight changes to the onboarding process. The post-pandemic predictions report explained how many organisations embraced remote onboarding with a keen eye on maintaining, or even elevating the new starter experience. Many of them have even noted that new hire satisfaction scores had increased, remarking that new hires felt an overwhelming sense of team and camaraderie in these unprecedented times of social adjustment. But what is important in onboarding processes when remote onboarding is here to stay?

  • Setting up the home office.
    Many organisations have chosen to courier out the necessary equipment to employees, others have made budget available for new starts to purchase the items they found necessary to set up to work from home. As part of welcoming new hires and employee engagement, many organisations have also sent out care packages to their employees.
  • (Re)Define performance expectations.
    Without cross-desk discussions, the ability to do a quick demonstration or to ask a question in the hallway, it is natural for new recruits to take a bit longer to adapt and get up to speed. It is important to ensure plenty of pre-start touchpoints, emphasise the support available, and to adapt and communicate performance expectations.
  • Create opportunities for social interaction.
    The first weeks in a new role are often a stream of information and new impressions. Without watercooler breaks to break this up, it is easy to unintentionally overwhelm your new recruit. Ensuring that informative meetings and tutorials are broken up by social interaction and introductions can help make the onboarding process easier and more effective.

If you would like to learn more about interview and onboarding processes, or about the recruitment technology needed to support you: click here to learn more.

Online Collaboration & Communication

It is important to be clear on the structure, goals, and deliverables of your teams.

Across all industry sectors, companies have cited a considerable increase in collaborations tools like Zoom, Office365, Teams, Yammer, and Workplace. With employees removed from their face-to-face and office interactions, collaboration now relies on digital platforms.

Although many organisations have seen an increase in productivity, it is not easy to keep teams engaged or to track collaboration without being able to rely on seeing each other in the office, especially long term. It is easy for online collaboration to lose sight of context or social cues, and brainstorming and debating with many people on one call can be very difficult.

Now more than ever it is important to be clear on the structure, goals, and deliverables of your teams. It helps to implement the right communication tools and to integrate those to encourage effective communications and collaboration. Some companies require video and audio to be on in virtual meetings, increasing focus and interaction.

Furthermore, it is important to encourage regular check-ins and social interactions to prevent a social disconnect. Many organisations have also reported this increased frequency of internal communications in our post-pandemic predictions report, providing transparency across the business and connectivity between organisations and their employees. An increased focus on staff engagement and motivation has been predominantly sustained through an increased focus on regular managerial catch-ups with direct reports.

What worked online will stay online.

What worked online will stay online, but with an unpredictable year ahead, time will tell how organisations and industries will adapt to changes. Whether they make their return to the office, adapt to working from home indefinitely or a combination of the two, many processes are likely to be optimised by a mix of online and face-to-face. For example, for interviewing, onboarding, and collaboration, but likely also for physical and mental health initiatives for employees.

Read the full Post-Pandemic Predictions Report here.

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