The recruitment industry as a whole has had its share of ups and downs recently, in the last six months we have had offers pulled, resignations retracted, interview processes put on hold and candidates feeling relatively uneasy about moving roles or what the future holds. On the flip side we have seen some of our clients businesses flourish, they kept paddling upstream during the lockdown period and are now reaping the benefits of top technology, talent and leadership and are now busier than ever. 

With this being said the hiring market is becoming competitive again, we are starting to hear whispers from Kiwis who are going to head to greener pastures overseas, and with increased workload in a number of streams the influx of ‘brain gain’ is not quite covering the shortage of talent which is needed on the ground right now. In such a competitive market, candidates are snapped up extremely quickly.

One thing that has become very apparent during 2020 is that New Zealand is a tight team of five million and everybody knows everybody, how a business portrays itself during a hiring process and onboarding process is incredibly important and topical. The team at Tyler Wren have had a number of candidates and clients start staff during both the first and second lockdowns and there have been some vast differences in the way this was conducted. I think it is fair to say that if you hire someone in 2020 / 2021 you need to be prepared for anything to happen. You need to have processes in place and the capabilities to start someone while they are at home / or even in managed isolation for those returning Kiwis. 

We have put together a list of ‘best practices’ for onboarding remotely, or even just how to best treat and maintain your staff during the current climate.

  • Prior to your new employee starting make sure you create a checklist, this may sound basic but with everything else you are juggling at that point and time this is to make sure you cover off everything needed, or that someone else does.
  • Communication is key, a new employee wants to feel like they are part of the team and not an afterthought. Ensure you have correct equipment for your new starter ready to go and have the ability to troubleshoot those day one technology issues. Prior to lockdown 2.0 a client made arrangements for a computer and extra screen to be set up by one of the Directors at their new employees home three days prior to them starting, this ensured everything would be working on day one, which happened to fall mid lockdown. Send your new team member the plans for the business, how you want to grow, overall objectives and who their key stakeholders will be. 
  • Day one induction, make sure you run through your normal induction processes as if you were in the office, talk through the systems, training programmes and make sure they feel comfortable reaching out to ALL staff members with any questions they may have. Make sure you introduce them to as many staff members as possible and make sure they have an up to date contact list.
  • Training, make sure this is done on a programme where screens can be shared and tasks can be set for the employee to work through themselves. Starting a new role is daunting at the best of times so ensure that there is ample time for a new employee to understand what they are being trained in and that they have the time to talk through questions and the task at hand.
  • Check in at the end of each day, this could be via email or telephone, just make sure targets are being met and there are no pressing questions that need answering. This is also a great way to build rapport with key staff members. Maybe take turns checking in?
  • In terms of the greater team dynamics, have daily or bi-daily morning meetings over a video conference, this will give the team a chance to bond with each other and a new employee the chance to hear what else is going on in the business. These meetings need to be a balance of productive work and an interactive puzzle, riddle, or Tyler Wren’s favourite, a quiz or scattergories, this will take 10 minutes out of your day but will boost staff morale and the cohesiveness of the team. 
  • Finally your “Friday Drinks” needs to be a talk through the wins of the week and outline of plan for the following week. A nice touch that we have seen from a few clients is sending individual wine and cheese boxes to every employee for their end of month drinks, or morning tea goodies! This is a nice way to say goodbye to any departing employees and welcome your new employee into the fold. 

Although it’s not how anybody anticipates starting a new job, first impressions mean everything, an employee wants to feel like their new employer has thought of everything in preparation and made themselves available throughout the transition period. A solid start to a new job often means employees feel valued, accepted and is often the basis for a strong long career working for that firm. One thing that we can all agree on is that there is no real certainty to how our work patterns will be structured in the future so the more we can prepare for a range of scenarios the easier it will be to navigate.

The team at Tyler Wren are here to assist you through your next hire and happy to share their insight into best practice, please get in touch for a confidential talk through options, the market, and your future hires. 

Stevie Doubleday – sdoubleday@tylerwren.co.nz – 09 930 9828