Candidate Experience

What’s trending for remote work hiring and onboarding?

A new year brings new challenges to talent acquisition professionals. After a complicated past few years, many are hoping recruitment will revert back to its pre-pandemic norms. That’s unlikely, according to many experts. Candidates looking to make a change, and even some internal staff members, are more demanding than ever, particularly when it comes to remote work. With talent shortages and fierce competition, knowing what you’re up against could put you at advantage for hiring and onboarding new staff.

Biggest trend for 2023? Remote work

The demand to work remotely, either full-time or in a hybrid model (some days off site), continues to rise. Once workers found they could better balance their lives working from anywhere, they became hesitant to let that benefit go. For business, work-from-anywhere was a necessity during the pandemic: one they hoped would end. But even top tier companies are getting push-back from staff when it comes to returning to the office. Some have resorted to threats, others are trying to find a balance. It may be an uphill climb.

Robert Half found almost a third of job postings for October 2022 were advertised as remote work. One of their recent surveys revealed 41% of managers have lost employees over the return-to-work battle. Another 50% of staff members said they’d quit if required to return full-time. Companies are adjusting their talent strategies to meet demand and slow attrition.

Google recently rescinded its back to the office demands and are now ‘reimagining’ their work from anywhere policy. The determination of existing workers is bolstering the confidence of candidates that they too, can work remotely. One survey found half of all applicants are looking for a remote job. If your company can offer hybrid or remote work in any capacity, you’ll be on trend and ahead of the game for 2023.

Remote WORK is growing

Apart from never having to wear shoes, remote work continues to gain momentum for applicants and existing staff. Workers are more engaged when they have the flexibility remote work offers. Gallup found higher engagement among remote workers: that can translate to higher retention and better ability to attract talent.

KPMG reports that 89% of companies have already introduced a remote work policy or are considering one. This underscores how significant the trend to work from anywhere is today, and will likely continue into the future. They found more than one-third of all jobs in American can be done remotely. If you want to retain staff, one group found the ability to work from anywhere increases employee happiness by as much as 20%.

Stellar candidate experience

As the market grows tighter, candidate experience becomes more critical to successful recruitment. LinkedIn found 78% of job seekers view candidate experience as a reflection on how a company values its employees. If applicants aren’t getting the red carpet treatment, they’ll move on to another potential employer.

Unfortunately, the same survey found 60% of applicants report a poor candidate experience. That’s counter-productive: their data shows strong candidate experience improves the quality of new hires by 70%. Almost 90% of those polled said a positive interview experience could even change their mind about taking a job with a company they had doubts about. For 2023, and beyond, treat candidates as customers — the product you want them to buy is a job in your firm.  

Bridging the gap

Post-pandemic hiring has added a new challenge for business: employment gaps that once would have been a red flag are now commonplace. Hiring authorities are playing a guessing-game. Was the candidate taking time off during the slowdowns, or were they unable to find work? There may be no way to know, but employers can hedge their bets that the potential new hire is qualified with background screening.

Knowing their background pre-pandemic can be insightful. If the job seeker had a strong employment history, and was in an industry where jobs were scarce, you can be more confident in hiring. If they job-hopped before COVID, you might consider another candidate for the position.

Focus on onboarding

Onboarding doesn’t just get the paperwork completed, it readies the new hire to work productively, build relationships and assimilate to the culture of the organization. Unfortunately, onboarding can be hit or miss: Harvard Business Review reports companies with strong onboarding processes see 50% higher retention rates and 62% higher productivity for new staff members.

If your onboarding process isn’t streamlined, consider automation. Online (even gamified) onboarding can help employees fill out necessary forms, learn about the company and their role, and help them make connections.

Companies can start the process with a standard automated onboarding protocol, then move quickly to job-specific in-person training and networking. For staff members, a strong onboarding process could make it easier to step into their new role. For business, effective onboarding could be key to retention.

Out of sight but on your mind

With remote work demands increasing, businesses may feel at a disadvantage. They’re hopeful staff are producing from home, but never fully confident. For these staff members, background screening and monitoring may be even more critical.

These are employees who are off-site for all or most of their workday. When supervisors don’t have a front-line view of staff, qualifications must be impeccable. You’re trusting workers to do the job, work well with others and manage customers — all from a location you can’t oversee.

Confidence in their work ethic, qualifications and experience is key to trust for remote or hybrid work arrangements. Background screening can provide assurances to the employer that the worker is who they say they are; are able to do the work; and have the integrity to work independently.

For businesses that are looking to improve candidate experience, background screening can be an invaluable tool. It’s important to hone in on qualified candidates when talent is in short supply. Knowing which job seeker has the necessary experience and competencies allows recruiting and hiring professionals the ability to focus their efforts where it will be most beneficial. With even a cursory look at the applicant’s history, you can be assured every step of the hiring process is worthwhile.

As business faces new challenges to attract and retain talent, some things will never change. The need to affect quality hires that turn into long-term, productive employees will always be necessary. Although the tools that get you there, like virtual interviews, automated onboarding and more, may change the way we hire, the results need to be the same. The best talent available in your market on your payroll.

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