The coronavirus crisis has sparked dramatic changes ranging from rapidly implementing additional health safety measures to suddenly transitioning to a remote workforce. While measures to contain the crisis have hampered some organizations, many companies have had to accelerate hiring because of additional demand. Some businesses have been able to successfully cope with IT staffing and recruiting from a safe distance, and we will explore here what you can take away from their experiences.

While remote work had already grown more common before the Coronavirus outbreak, social distancing and safety measures prompted the Society for Human Resource Management to refer to working at home as “the New Normal” in a recent article. As an example, they published results from one study that showed as many as two-thirds of corporations had encouraged at least some of their employees to start working from a home office instead of returning to their corporate office.

We have seen that many tech and online businesses have had to staff up to cope with higher demands for their products and services to accommodate social distancing measures. Some examples include software companies that provide workflow management and collaboration tools for online employees and eCommerce companies that sell common goods online.

It is not surprising that larger tech-based businesses already had the culture and infrastructure to support a remote workforce. Facebook and Microsoft had encouraged working remotely for years and quickly transitioned to fully remote work. Other organizations had not adapted a remote culture yet. They were approaching this as a new challenge and had to adjust rapidly to remote IT staffing and recruiting.

Consider the Benefits of Remote IT Staffing and Recruiting

Recruiting remote candidates offers four initial apparent benefits:

1. A new, expansive pool of candidates, both passive and actively searching. Plus, all of the potential people who may not have been able to previously carve out the time or make the arrangements for travel because of their current jobs and family responsibilities.

2. If the business has typically paid for travel costs, remote interviews can save the investment costs once spent on airplane tickets, hotels, and meals for candidates.

3. For long-distance or local recruits, remote hiring and onboarding can help speed up the time it takes to find and place people.

4. By having remote interviewing technology and this new protocol in place, many companies have removed the stumbling block of relocation. In the past, if a candidate were considering finding employment outside of their current metro area, a company would expect them to come onsite for an interview.

Given travel restrictions and particular distracting guidelines, companies now will consider interviewing a candidate outside of their region who intends to set up a future residence nearby as they have the tools to interview them remotely. This ability speeds up the hiring process, which no longer is taking months or even weeks, and many report it is liberating having all of the traditional constraints removed. We are confident that with the right processes, tools, and proper support, you can successfully hire remotely.

For example, one of our clients stated they benefited by speeding up their normal recruiting process to a matter of days as opposed to weeks. While it is not always possible to guarantee such quick turnarounds, the efficiencies of hiring remotely could help almost all businesses speed up their typical process. That is particularly true for clients of OpenArc. With years of experience with IT staff augmentation and a dedicated team, we have the people and resources to help you find and vet qualified candidates before they’re invited to interview.

Coping with Remote IT Recruiting Obstacles

While businesses can enjoy some distinct advantages by using standard online tools to interview and onboard new employees, some hiring managers did report challenges because they needed to make the shift so abruptly.

Even some hiring managers who understand the advantages of hiring remotely, particularly during these times, often doubt if they can tell if candidates would merge well into their company’s culture or possessed the needed skills without an in-person meeting. Here is some advice our clients have found useful during this unique time of hiring

Hold remote interviews with the team: Empowering team members to contribute to the hiring process can help the group make better choices and make new employees feel welcomed by their latest work family from the very start. Even if the new employee and the entire team works remotely, it is essential to try to ensure everybody can work together. Since collaborating remotely can take a little more effort, especially when people are adjusting, we recommend employers prioritize finding the best matches for both tech skills and personality by having OpenArc pre-screen the candidates followed by a group interview hosted by the hiring manager.

Interactive Remote Programming Interviews: Even though you cannot conduct a side-by-side interview, you can virtually set up a replicated experience by using screen mirroring apps to mirror actual programming work as much as possible. Another option would be to gamify your assessments. Using a third-party platform, you can easily include in-depth virtual assessments for technical hires as part of your interview process.

100% Remote Start Option: With social distancing, and offices at limited capacity, the rise of having a new employee start without ever stepping foot into your office is not unattainable. With the technology we have in place, OpenArc’s recruiting team and our operations team will work with your HR department to ensure successful onboarding. OpenArc has the capabilities to deliver a fantastic onboarding experience that is 100% digital, from sending out the offer letter to benefit enrollment and preparing all the necessary forms and paperwork.

Conclusion: You Don’t Have to Develop Your Remote IT Workforce on Your Own

The Coronavirus epidemic sped up the emergence of the remote workforce. The right technology can enable these work-anywhere employees to function productively from their home office, a client’s job site, or a Starbuck’s as they could inside their company’s headquarters. After this crisis flattens, businesses with the agility to rapidly deploy remote workers will emerge more robust because of this added flexibility.

Whether you need remote hiring support, help effectively finding remote talent, or access to high-quality placeable talent, we have the capabilities to support your needs. Schedule a consult with us today. Remote and in-person meeting times available.

From our sponsor

NEXTpittsburgh features sponsored content on topics considered to be relevant to our readers. For more information on sponsored content please contact info@nextpittsburgh.