Changing your onboarding practices post-COVID
COVID-19 turned our lives upside down, and now that things are getting back to normal, recruiters might be looking to put their hiring and onboarding practices back to how they were in the good old days before masks, hand sanitiser and the general feeling of impending doom that came with living through a global pandemic. However, there is no escaping the fact that the coronavirus lockdowns have led to a massive leap forward in the efficiency and feasibility of remote working, even for businesses like recruitment agencies which have traditionally focused heavily on a physical office presence.
Before you go rushing to put everything back how it was before - stop and review. Can anything stay the way it is now? Has remote working actually improved and streamlined any of your onboarding processes? Before you do away with things that are saving you time and money, it’s worth taking some time to evaluate your processes. Don’t just revert back to default because you can. Stepping back and examining the process from start to finish can help you identify which areas should stick and which need improvement. In this blog, we take a look at how recruiters can make the most of their onboarding process in a post-COVID world.
Undertake a review
Examine your onboarding process from start to finish - you could even try a SWOT analysis or business process review to identify any particularly strong or weak points. There may be time-consuming things (either for you or your contractors) in the past, that COVID has provided swift online solutions to. For example, do you really need contractors to come in to provide documents, or can this be done online?
Keep in touch with your contractors
Maintaining good communication with your contractors is key, particularly in times of transition. If you do change any of your onboarding procedures, make sure you keep your contractors in the loop as to what to expect. For your regular contracting clients, you can even seek their feedback - how was the onboarding process for them? Were there any bottlenecks or hold-ups? Was everything clear to them? Take this chance to learn from their experience to improve your practices going forward.
Communication needs to be ongoing throughout the entire process of your relationship with the contractor. Don’t just assume that because you’re back in the office now, they will come and find you if they need help and support. Regular check-ins - by email, phone, or Zoom - can help identify any problems that arise with a contract and allow you to step in to resolve things with the end client swiftly and tactfully. They will also help you anticipate when a contractor might need another placement finding, and if you’ve had a good relationship with them you’ll be able to develop an in-depth knowledge of their skills, strengths and experiences, meaning that slotting them into the perfect opportunity will be even easier next time around.
Keep things organised
If your office is intending to aim for a blend of remote working and time in the office, it’s worth considering a project management tool. This will help your team plan for who will be in the office when, schedule important collaborative work and keep tabs on your client list. These tools can be particularly helpful if you’re fielding phone calls from contractors and end clients when you’re at home and you don’t necessarily have access to the same systems and data that you would if you were in the office. There are lots of project management software packages on the market, so it can be hard to know where to begin. Kingsbridge has put together a handy guide to some of the top options to help our recruiter partners keep everyone on the same page.
Send new contractors a welcome kit
One of the most helpful things you can do for your contractors when they first come on to your books is supply them with a welcome kit. This is designed to be a one-stop-shop for all their questions, giving all the things they need to know when they’re just starting out. You can send a welcome kit electronically - as an email, pdf or website page - or aim for the old-school tactility of hard copies sent through the post or handed over in person at the office. Whatever method you choose, there are some essentials that we think you should include in every welcome kit:
- Details of the best ways to contact you;
- A step-by-step guide to the onboarding process so they know what to expect;
- Clear details of any legal or contractual requirements or responsibilities the contractor must fulfil - this should include any insurance requirements;
- Guidance on Health & Safety, Data Security and other relevant workplace legislation.
For recruitment agents that partner with Kingsbridge, not only do we provide fully compliant, comprehensive insurance packages targeted to contractors, including that all-important professional indemnity and public liability cover, we can also support you and your hiring business by providing copy or literature to include in your welcome pack. Our materials can break down the required cover simply and explain why insurance is an essential purchase. Contractors also have the option to add on our IR35 Protect cover. In the event of an IR35 investigation by HMRC, this unique cover will flex to support whoever is deemed to have responsibility within the contractor supply chain.
Our price promise means we’re a great value option, and recruitment agents can partner with Kingsbridge and receive a commission every time one of your contractors takes out a policy. Find out more on our partnerships page or give one of the experts in our Partnership Development Team a call on 01242 808742.