Hiring Remotely? Here is What Has Changed

June 24, 2020 Lori Scarlett

Talent acquisition is one of the core foundational pillars of any organization. On any regular hiring day, recruitment is a complex process and has multiple nuances that need to be taken into consideration. With most companies across the globe going remote to do their part in flattening the curve of this pandemic, there has been a sea of change in recruitment and hiring, just like with other organizational functions.

Face-to-face interviews are the best way to assess talent and hire the right person for the job. This was quickly replaced by virtual meetings, where the hiring manager and other interviewers are tasked with selecting the right candidate for the job virtually. Virtual environments present a whole new world, and this has sparked innovation and creativity in hiring talent. Organizations have changed their recruitment strategy to adapt to hiring talent virtually.

At Ingram Micro, we were fortunate to be able to make this shift quickly. Our recruitment process, like many other companies, involves a comprehensive process, with multiple touchpoints from selection to onboarding. The candidate experience has been and continues to be an area of focus. All these stages remain in place, with modifications made to adapt to the virtual environment.

Phone Screen by the Recruiter. After combing through the applications, and finding great candidates, our recruiters reach out to these candidates to understand their interest, gauge their skills and talk about their experience. With the virtual world dynamics in play, the phone screen stage becomes crucial, with more time spent on understanding the candidate and explaining the role to them, considering, it would be a while before we meet the candidate in person. Another change we have noticed is that we spend more time telling the story of our culture and how we are as a company, to give them a sense of what they can expect when we return to the office.

Interviews with peers, managers and senior leadership. In a virtual setting, we have started spending more time prepping candidates for this interview. Ensuring technical compatibility for the candidate with our collaboration tools is of prime importance to allow for excellent candidate experience and enable the recruiter to have a seamless interaction. It is also beneficial to have more peers and team members that would work closely with the new person to be a part of the interview process, so the candidate gets a chance to know more people on the team and get a sense of the team dynamics. This step is critical, as this interaction replaces the actual face-to-face interview to understand the candidate and what they bring to the table.

Onboarding. Onboarding or the first day for any associate is usually the most important. They get to experience life at the company, and the relationships they build usually last them a lifetime. In the virtual world, onboarding needs to be managed differently. While we can still continue to deliver our content virtually, the onboarding process needed to be updated to ensure we were engaging with the new hires, giving them a good sense of what they can expect and being available to ensure their transition is as seamless as possible. Our managers have a robust onboarding plan for their new hires, which we have tweaked to make sure there are more frequent check ins to help the new hire settle well into the new team. We have also received great feedback from our new hires, who came on board in the virtual scenario.

‘I joined Ingram Micro Inc on May 25th, 2020. It was altogether a new experience for me to have started with my first level virtual interview and then finally got onboarded virtually … I never felt disconnected or uncertain during the entire process – from interviewing to onboarding, and I feel this is the most important part these days when we aren’t present physically in an office.’

Like every other aspect of our regular organizational functions, recruiting has undergone a sea of change. We need to adapt and modify our processes to ensure that the associate experience is better than ever.

About the Author

Lori Scarlett

Director HR, Ingram Micro Canada

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