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Surviving the Sudden Shift To Recruiting From Home

Two weeks ago, you had a 30-minute commute and a fairly routine schedule. This week, your dining room has been turned into a home office, and you’re navigating the strange new world of working remotely.

At DoubleStar, we have been working remotely since 1993. With so many of our clients working remotely for the first time, we thought we would share the best practices we’ve learned over the years from delivering recruitment services remotely. This Is not a comprehensive list, but rather our best advice for making sure that you can make an impact from working at home that will hopefully equal the impact you are used to making working on-site.

  • Make sure you are clear on the overall direction and your goals from your leadership team. Ask questions to clarify what new/different things you will be responsible for delivering.
  • Schedule time to reset expectations with your hiring managers during the first week. Confirm current priorities and explain any temporary changes in the recruitment process, roles, and responsibilities.          
  • Increase communication with your key stakeholders, including hiring managers and teammates. This will help you to provide regular updates on your progress as well as stay on top of any new developments with their priorities or strategies.   
  • If you have the technology, use Teams, Skype or Zoom when possible for critical meetings. Face-to-face video interactions can be just as meaningful as sitting across from someone and more impactful than a phone call.
  • Strive to return all voice messages and emails promptly. If your calendar is blocked for specific recruitment activities, send your leader or hiring manager a quick email and let them know you saw their message and will be available at a specific time to discuss.
  • If you don’t currently track your activity (i.e. a report from the ATS or Excel) start now. Not all managers are comfortable, at first, having remote employees. When you can show your activity, it will quickly help to build trust as you navigate this new normal.
  • The labor market in some industries is about to drastically change regarding candidate availability. Stay up to date on the external market trends and communicate news to all stakeholders so that you can be seen as the expert by your hiring managers.
  • If you encounter roadblocks in identifying candidates or filling your positions, raise those concerns early on. Don’t wait to deliver the bad news and re-plan the approach. Be direct and honest with your manager(s) and offer a solution when possible. 
  • Speaking of candidates, the conversation that you normally would have with them in person might feel a little different over the phone or the Internet. Take some time to prepare how you are going to introduce your company and the opportunity considering today’s climate. 
  • Make sure that you explain your current hiring process to potential candidates. For example, if they are selected to progress to a hiring manager phone screen or video chat, but that is as far as it will go for now, tell them that up front. 
  • Develop a communication plan to keep your viable candidates warm. Consider touching base with them once a week via text, email or telephone to stay connected and up to date on their status.

Remember, while our current situation seems unnerving, it will hopefully be temporary. If you are fortunate and your business has not halted hiring, you can continue to make an impact. Focus on the things that you can control including the frequency and speed of your communication, your overall sense of urgency, tracking your activity/progress in a report, and sharing your knowledge/expertise in recruitment. Stay positive and stay in touch and you will be in great shape to support your employer no matter where the location.