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COVID-19 has meant that many candidates at Search have started new roles and undergone virtual onboarding.
We spoke to Jessica Ingram, Managing Consultant at Search Logistics, and Jessie Swinfield, Senior Consultant atSearch HR about the challenges that companies face, and how they are tackling recruitment in these unprecedented times.
"Without a doubt one of the main challenges logistics companies are facing at the moment is being able to effectively identify and bring new talent into the business, and to get them started so they can work efficiently from day one," says Jessica.
"Adding heads to your team sounds like a relatively simple task, yet faced with varying lockdown challenges, many businesses are struggling to effectively engage new starters in 2021. Without the opportunity of meeting their team, seeing office space and having direct access to line managers to answer those all important first week questions, new starters would be forgiven for feeling a lack of unity with their new business. Companies are also having to ask current employees to adapt within their roles and professionals which have previously been used to being field based or operational are now tasked with working from home."
Search has spoken with a number of senior leadership professionals across the UK in January 2021 to discuss the key blockers they are experiencing when it comes to hiring and onboarding, and what they are doing to tackle them.
With many companies conducting full recruitment processes virtually, it is becoming common place for new starters to experience their first couple of months within a new business working entirely from home. Although communication and video tools have effectively assisted companies with identifying new hires, and sped up what could have been an exceptionally slow interview processes, they unfortunately can’t be the only engagement software utilised for an effective home on-boarding experience.
1. Regular contact – When the role is released, the recruitment team have regular contact with potential hires; reading through their covering letters and CV’s, the first pre-screening call, a first stage interview, a second stage interview, right through to an offer being made to the perfect candidate. However, this is when things can go quiet.
"Keep up-to-date with your new starter", says Jessie. "Speak to them after they’ve handed in their notice, triple confirm their start date, ensure they receive everything they need prior to their start date, send them any business related articles for them to familiarise themselves with before they get started."
2. Digital HR paperwork & streamline systems - A business' most valuable asset is time, so save yourself that by digitising HR paperwork and ensuring to streamline processes.
3. Punctual tech delivery - Send your tech out before start date to ensure your new starter is familiar with the equipment they’re going to be using, and that it’s set up and running before day one.
4. Pre-start team contact - "Inviting your new team member onto an informal team meeting before they start is a great way to introduce them to their colleagues, or if that isn’t possible, send them the team’s LinkedIn profiles so that they can start familiarising themselves with everyone," says Jessica.
5. Welcome Pack & contact sheet – Jessie advises a warm welcome to your new starter with a business pack, to really make them feel like one of the team.
"Ensuring your new starter has a business welcome pack before their first day will increase their engagement with the company and brand," she says. "You can also provide a contact sheet with all the people and places they will need to know and contacts of other new starters within the business."
6. Virtual Training – A great way to ensure your new recruit stays engaged is to have a mix of virtual training; interactive workshops, one-to-one sessions on zoom/teams with screen sharing, and independent learning (pre-prepared training).
7. Time for feedback & reflection - Give your team the ability to feedback on their first couple of weeks, this can be done both one-to-one but also on a confidential survey where people feel they can be open and honest.
Record a virtual tour of your site or operation (whether that is an office space, warehouse shop floor, or a transport depot). The tour could start with a message from the CEO at the beginning and then can move around the space and stop to speak to people as it goes along. This could be made interactive and could provide that person’s job role and contact details.
To discuss any of the initiatives above, further market insight or for any recruitment needs (permanent, temporary or interim) please feel free to reach out to Jessica directly.
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