5 Need-to-Know Tips for Hiring and Onboarding Remote Agents

posts by MichaelDearing

Date(s) - 08/31/2020
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Today’s newfound remote-work atmosphere has given hiring managers a tough go of it. After all, the hiring process looks a lot different when it’s being done virtually. Candidate interviews are being done over video chat, interview schedules are harder to pin down, and your hiring calendar probably looks a little messy.

Luckily there are things you can do to streamline the hiring process, especially when you’re screening for prospective customer service agents. From using multiple digital channels to relying on interview scheduling software, you can create a better candidate experience and make your life easier at the same time.

1. Use interview scheduling tools.

The interview process used to seem a lot simpler, right? However, as business needs evolve, your hiring team and recruiting team may need a bit of extra assistance. That’s why interview scheduling tools are helpful for every team member. They allow you to use a desktop or mobile app to schedule interviews in real-time. It takes less time than browsing through a calendar and it provides a better candidate experience for the applicant. Once your recruiter or hiring manager confirms an applicant’s interview, they can send out a link that shows free space on the interviewers’ calendars. It’s not as time-consuming and it leads to greater operational efficiency.

2. Screen interviewees more thoroughly.

While interview screening is a best practice, it’s even more important when looking at a potential candidate given current events. Your interview team needs to review application details more closely to ensure you can find interviewees with remote work candidate experience. This is crucial because not everyone enjoys or works well in a remote environment. After all, you don’t want to waste interview time on a candidate that will spend all day on social media, right? Unless, of course, their job is to be on social media.

3. Smooth out onboarding.

While interview scheduling software can handle many things, it can’t revamp an outdated onboarding handbook. A new team member needs to be prepared for an experience that is less than conventional. Some attributes of effective remote job and interview training include online videos, digital workbooks, and training sites that allow team members to familiarize themselves with your work platforms and communication channels. Whether you’re a retail business or an online store, it’s important to look at the analytics of your onboarding and seek out areas of improvement.

4. Use multiple channels.

You’ve likely heard that omni-channel (or omni channel) is the wave of the future. It’s true. Not only is it important for the customer experience and customer journey, but it can also benefit your team members as well. Omni channel software gives you more points of contact with new hires which allows them to reach out not only via desktop and live chat platforms but also through their mobile device. It’s an easier way to keep remote hires more effectively connected. Once you see how well multiple channels work in your business, you’ll likely want to test omnichannel marketing on your customer base.

5. Be patient.

While this should go without saying, it bears repeated in this time of unprecedented uncertainty. Remote work probably isn’t just new to you. It’s new to the prospective candidates, the recruiters, and your contact center team. While the hiring process can often look like another administrative task like inventory management, it’s important to handle hiring and onboarding as smartly and sensitively as possible. Since many brick-and-mortar stores and businesses don’t know when they’ll physically reopen, this entire process calls for an extra bit of patience.

Whether you’re a recruiter looking for tips or a business owner trying to grapple with remote operations, there are things you can do to make life easier.