Clyde Q+A: Demonstrating and Creating Culture in a Virtual Workplace.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, many organizations implemented a hiring freeze in an effort to avoid additional payroll expenses amidst economic uncertainty. But eight months later, as we await a vaccine, many organizations have to plan for 2021 and continue staffing for the future, rather than just surviving the present. A number of organizations will have to conduct the entire interview process, not to mention starting every new employee’s professional and cultural life cycle, through a computer. At this point, the hiring team at Clyde Group has been through six hiring and onboarding cycles as we’ve continued to grow even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though tools like Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Webex have become second nature for most, virtually interviewing or onboarding can still be difficult and awkward. We believe most of those difficulties can be mitigated or avoided altogether with some strategies we developed this year.
- PREPARE. PREPARE. PREPARE. No matter how many times you’ve done an onboarding meeting or interview, there are always unexpected moments, questions, and answers. The more you coordinate with your co-interviewers and plan how you’re going to introduce the company to a new employee, the better!
- Create additional touchpoints. Virtual processes often feel more confusing or isolating than being in person. Do your best to make the candidate or new hire feel comfortable: build additional email outreach or video meetings into your timeline to give a candidate or new employee a chance to ask any questions, clarify logistics, and feel like a priority.
- Focus on culture. Company culture is difficult to convey in a virtual onboarding meeting or interview. But even amidst the pandemic, culture remains an important factor for many potential and new employees. Use creative solutions to bring new people into the fold. For example, at Clyde Group we implemented a scavenger hunt in the first week of a new employee’s tenure, filled with tasks like “have virtual coffee with the longest-tenured employee outside of our CEO” or “share a fun fact about yourself in the team Slack channel.”