The New Normal … Recruitment and Onboarding in Lockdown and Beyond

In recent weeks, we have observed various adjustments made by our Clients to their recruitment and onboarding procedures during lockdown, but not as drastic as you would have expected.

Face to face meetings are currently rare and online conference calls have become the norm. With everyone working from home, people are catching glimpses into their colleagues’ lives that would never have happened to this extent before, arguably resulting in better relationships developing faster than would have occurred in the traditional office set up. We have found with some of our Clients that the new ways of onboarding the latest team members away from the office – while more remote – seems to have become more personal and just that little bit more relaxed, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Good communication has always been key, no matter what the setting.

The lack of office distractions has also been noticed, with decision makers being able to react more quickly and thereby expediting the interview and onboarding process. The immediacy of online video-conference calls has allowed for more spontaneous introductions to take place, resulting in faster placements – alongside valuable networking – and ultimately less lost productivity due to time spent recruiting.

Interestingly, for many of our international Clients, remote onboarding is hardly a new concept. They have international teams that work seamlessly together without ever having met in person. One fdu Client has teams on different continents whose initial interviews were via conference call and all onboarding done online. For international businesses, people are welcomed online, information is disseminated online and communications are managed online or via phone. The technology is already in place for remote collaboration, allowing these companies to adjust much more easily to the new market conditions that will be affecting all businesses for the foreseeable future.

The more agile companies are leading the pack right now, fine-tuning strategy, technology and communication systems. Companies that have ignored or dismissed flexible and remote working up to now are finding themselves playing catch up under pressure, not just in terms of their procedures, but the process of updating technology to allow for the new ways of working.

With necessity being the mother of all invention, businesses are slowly evening up in terms of remote working and amending their practices and procedures. With the right technology available, let’s hope that the momentum is maintained and that the newer, more flexible and independent ways of working together are upheld. Whether it’s a friendly voice on the line or a friendly face in an online call, remote onboarding and remote work do not have to happen in isolation – good communication was and still is at the heart of good business.