We know that the conversation around “the new normal” is becoming a tired one. But similar to sales or partnerships, Human Resources (HR) is a profession highly dependent on human connection—and meeting in person is usually a pretty big part of that.
Since moving the entire organization to work from home, our HR team has had to revamp their entire process, quickly. We changed our workflows, switched tools we had come to rely on, and had to do it all while working remotely. And we aren’t the only ones. It was a tough transition, and every company shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel when learning how to manage work from home HR, so we’re going to share a bit of what we learned. We’ve outlined below the challenges we faced, what we learned, and a few best practices that can save your team a lot of trial and error.
WFH HR, from video interviews to remote onboarding
Awareness: Sharing our stability
As the radius of industries affected by coronavirus widens, millions of people around the world are having to reevaluate their employment. It is a sensitive time for applicants, recruiters, and companies who are all attempting to maneuver these circumstances.
We made a decision early on that this company-wide shift to remote work would not affect any of our business goals, hiring included. With everyone onboard internally, we had to express that same determination and stability externally. In order to do that, the HR team:
- Reached out to all sourcing companies we were working with to reiterate the message that yes, we are still hiring and more than ever. We sought to understand the strategy of each sourcing company and sat (on a call, of course) to refine their messaging to fit the times.Launch internal and external campaigns centered around our continued recruitment efforts. An online social campaign around remote work was launched:
- As well as an internal campaign to have current employees use our referral program to refer friends that are looking for a new challenge.
- Shifted interview messaging to address the challenges applicants are facing. You can’t deny that everything is different today than it was 5 months ago. The HR team worked together to make sure they addressed this with all applicants to make them feel at ease.
Remote interviewing: Reassuring prospects and refining processes
Any interview is a two-way relationship. At monday.com, we want to understand if an interviewee could be happy and successful here— but on the flip side, the interviewee has their own concerns, priorities, and goals that we need to recognize, too.
In this time that rings more true than ever. HR teams need to be aware that this is a time of unprecedented uncertainty.
Our recommendation? Sit with your team and understand what the market strengths of your company are and relay that to applicants. For our team, showing the proactive resources we’ve built around remote work, outlining the ways we are supporting our community during this time, and explaining that our wide customer base allows us to not be vulnerable to industry volatilities, helped to put our applicants at ease.
Here’s what we send to new applicants:
Virtual interview tips
Gathering tools that make sense for the roles you are recruiting for can be a huge step forward in making the process smoother and as close to an in-person experience as possible. The main points to keep in mind are:
- Easy collaboration
By allowing the interviewer and the interviewee access to work from the same platform at the same time simulates an in-person interview as much as possible. For us, G Suite such as Google Docs has been a real lifesaver here.
- Real-time updates/access
Maintaining a natural flow is crucial to pick up on signals from the interviewee and making them feel comfortable. For this, ensure your HR team is equipped with proper internet access and clearly communicate with the applicant that they will need strong internet access as well.
- Intuitive interface
For many people, the start of the interview could be the first time the applicant has ever interacted with the tool you use. For that reason, it’s crucial that the UI be easy to use and not intimidating, you don’t want the first 15 minutes of an hour interview to be spent learning the platform.
- Constant availability
For our remote interviews, our HR set up Zoom rooms for each interview and stayed in the “room” the entire time the applicant was working on their assignment, that way they are always available for a quick question.
- Trained interviewers
If you want the interviewee to feel at ease, the interviewer must first feel confident in the new methods and tools. Having an in-depth training session with all of the interviewers to make sure everyone was educated, comfortable, and informed on the new tools and processes was crucial to us when building a new process.
- A place for feedback
The most important factor in building and refining new processes is gathering honest feedback and implementing as many suggested changes as possible. We opened up individual Slack channels for every phase of the interview process so that everyone could have a place to get advice, give feedback, and talk about what did and didn’t work for them.
Closing the deal: Bringing office charm to WFH
One of the most important aspects of an interview process are the factors that cannot be planned—getting a sense for the vibe of the office, seeing how colleagues interact with one another, and a million tiny cues that tell the applicant whether they could see themselves in the company or not. Our team knows that for many applicants, coming in to see the office is a big turning point that really helps people be able to see themselves at monday.com. In an attempt to recreate that crucial step in the process, we are currently working on a way to lead virtual office tours to give the feeling of the office’s togetherness as much as possible while remote.
Sitting with your team and understanding which step in the interview process holds the most value and understanding how to transition that value while remote can make a big difference for the applicant’s process.
Sealing the deal is far from the end of the story. Making sure a new joiner feels like a part of the team from their first day is just as, if not more, important while working and recruiting remotely. Our HR team along with IT and Ops made sure every new-starter had the essentials they needed to get started with a bang.
From videos archives of every offsite, presentations from our Co-founders, and leadership content from sales, product, and more—organized and easily accessible onboarding content has been the key to a smooth remote onboarding process.
Continuing with our Buddy Program while working remote has also been powerful. Assigning a new joiner with a more veteran monday.com team member to act as a lunch-buddy, Q&A resource, and all-around support system gives new joiners a guaranteed touchpoint in those first few uncertain weeks.
With all of the excitement around bringing new team members, you can’t forget about the incredible team you’ve already built. Supporting employees and your community during a time of uncertainty is crucial. Transparency regarding company health, a policy of understanding in regards to differing work capacities, and support to make a shift like this more comfortable will be remembered and appreciated by employees for a long time to come.
A few initiatives you can implement to soften this transition:
- Delivering desks to employees to allow for a more comfortable work environment.Boosting employee morale and supporting local vendors by sending employee care packages with items for their kids, to help them stay active, or just to say thanks.
- Allocating the unused budgets, such as for travel, to highly affected communities in your area.
- Partnering with sourcing companies to help friends of employees find work.
Investing in HR is always worth it
We don’t have to tell you that a strong HR team is crucial to any successful company. It is also one of the most difficult positions to do remotely. However, coming together with your team to identify the things about your recruitment process and your company that make you unique, and transitioning those values to work remotely, can be immensely rewarding.
Written by Daniel Weisblat, R&D HRBP and Recruitment lead, monday.com