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Interview, Hiring, & Onboarding in a Remote Workforce World

There is no question our worlds have been completely changed by Covid-19 and, now, virtual workforces are our new reality. This new normal can make the idea of hiring new employees intimidating and awkward. Therefore, we have put together a few tips on how to successfully interview, hire, and onboard new team members in a virtual workplace.

remote Interviewing

While face-to-face interviews are no longer an option, it does not mean the interview process should become impersonal. Soft skills, cultural fit, and personality traits will remain critical factors to successful placements. They may matter even more when it comes to our new remote team environments. Video interviews using online tools such as Skype, Zoom, or WebEx should be utilized to help make these conversations more personal and as closely related to an in-person meeting as possible.

Prior to meeting with candidates, determine which members of your team need to be included in the interview itself. Virtual meetings can be difficult with too many voices on the call so try to narrow it down to one or two members, if possible. Once the hiring team has been established, make sure the roles of these team members and expectations for the interview are clearly communicated to all candidates. That will help make the meeting efficient and ensure everyone is on the same page. A great tip for hiring managers is to conduct the interview as if it were an in-person interview, when there is typically some time in the beginning when things are a bit less formal, and the participants in the meeting can focus on getting to know each other. This is an important relationship-building step that should not be skipped.

remote Hiring

Typically, offers of employment are given over the phone or via formal letters, so this process should not be inhibited too much by our new normal. However, during times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to ensure you are over-communicating rather than under-communicating. It can be an especially scary time for candidates to consider leaving steady employment for a new opportunity. Therefore, it is imperative that you are as transparent as possible with the details of the position, the organization’s current status, and the plans for the future, both while experiencing the current crisis and beyond. It will not be uncommon for a candidate to require some extra reassurance during this time and keeping clear, consistent communication will be key to ensuring that transition is successful.

remote Onboarding

The primary goal of onboarding new team members; to help them acclimate to the various social and performance aspects of their position quickly and effectively. This can be tricky when your team members are scattered, and your new employee is starting from home. To help ease the transition, focus on these key tasks:

  • Ensure your new hire has all the necessary equipment. Directly ship anything you would provide during normal onboarding to the employee ahead of their scheduled start date. On day one, they should have everything they need to work.
  • Establish a first day/week schedule and share it with the new employee ahead of their first day. This should include several pre-set up video meetings with key contacts, required sessions with HR & IT, as well as some team meetings to help with relationship building and bonding. Encourage your team to reach out individually to help your new employee feel welcome.
  • Don’t skip the knick-knacks. On an employee’s first day, it’s common to present them with company-branded materials such as notepads & pens. If possible, plan on shipping a bundle of these items to the employee. This will help to boost feelings of inclusion and involvement. The same goes for any treats or meals that are typically done – you can always send a coffee gift card or meal delivery code to simulate this experience.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. It is imperative to over-communicate throughout the first weeks of a new hire’s time on your team. Arrange a time to directly discuss expectations on their first day. It will be important for your new employee to be clear on the company’s mission, immediate team goals, and individual expectations. You should also establish consistent one-on-one meetings, in order to conduct updates, documentation sharing, and milestones.

The Business of People

This pandemic is a punch-in-the-gut reminder that we are all human beings. Our new virtual environments should not take away from the personal aspects of building our employee teams. Social distancing is new to most of us. Therefore, the remote hiring process is as well. It is important to remember that we are all people. Treating candidates carefully throughout these steps will help ensure a successful transition and a proper building of your team. The steps you take during this time to ensure the well-being of your employees speak volumes about your organization’s priorities and create lasting impacts.

Mindset’s Commitment to Clients & Candidates 

At Mindset, we are doing everything possible to ensure the health & well-being of our clients, employees, and candidates. We are steadfast in our commitment to continue providing our clients with the best possible solutions as everyone adjusts to this crisis. Please know that we are here for you. Further, know that you can contact us at any time for any SAP-related hiring, solution, or support needs.


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Sarah Lewis is a Senior Account Executive at Mindset with more than 8 years of experience working with clients on technical staffing needs and optimization projects. She loves helping clients solve problems, meeting new people, and collaborating with her talented team. Outside of work, Sarah is an avid runner, bookworm, and dog mom to two wonderful pups, Huckleberry & Jack. She enjoys hiking with her husband and competing in her recreational flag-football and kickball leagues.

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