3 Ways Retailers Can Embrace Contactless Hiring and Onboarding
The ongoing COVID19 pandemic has been a time of change and adaptation for almost every retail business in America — and across the world. From mask requirements to new sanitization protocols to keeping capacity to 50 percent, these recent months have tested even the most resilient stores and locations.
During times of huge upheaval, however, there are always lessons to be learned that can make businesses better and more efficient. For brick-and-mortar retailers, one of these bright spots seem to be the rapid adoption of contactless hiring and onboarding.
With social distancing in place throughout all aspects of the hiring process, in-person interviews and training are mostly out of the question. In its place, savvy retailers are seeing the benefits of going contactless. With this industry shift, these changes are likely here to stay. Here are three ways hiring managers can embrace contactless hiring as the new standard for their brick-and-mortar store.
1. Embrace virtual interviews.
New research regarding the coronavirus shows that the amount of viral load contributes to the severity of the disease. In short, minimizing exposure by social distancing is the key to staying safe. This is why businesses need to establish a new culture of using video interviews instead of in-person interviews during the hiring process.
With the efficiency and effectiveness of video interviews done right, retailers can run through many more candidates in a shorter amount of time. Not only is this useful during social distancing, it’s inherently more efficient than performing them in person.
In-person interviews always had many points of failure. Either the manager or the candidate is running late, and a missed connection means the interview might never happen. Video interviews have changed the game for busy hiring managers, who can schedule multiple interviews back-to-back, from the comfort of their home or office. Being able to interview more candidates in any given day makes this a no-brainer when it comes to efficiency.
More intrepid businesses are even using pre-recorded videos to screen candidates. Especially useful when hiring for positions with high customer interaction, video snippets can tell hiring managers about a candidate’s personality and enthusiasm for the job.
2. Train with video.
If you imagine new hires watching a training video and nodding off, that’s a thing of the past. Yes, training videos have had a bad rap, but today’s technology makes training videos much more engaging and interactive, and studies show that they're effective in training.
New onboarding tools can help create quizzes at the end of each video module or facilitate a virtual team meeting and discussion to go over the finer points of the materials covered. Managers have the ability to check in on what videos new hires have watched, increasing accountability on both parties to be thorough with the material.
At the end of the day, especially for brick-and-mortars, there's nothing that can take the place of hands-on experience. However, during the pandemic, more businesses are learning just how effective remote training can be when it remains the best option to stay safe. Virtual meetings for real-time examples, on-demand videos, and collaborating with the team can make for a robust online onboarding experience.
3. Utilize hiring automation.
The need for contactless hiring and onboarding has accelerated the adoption of hiring technology that the industry was already integrating. With everything being conducted online — including video submissions and now training — many locations have found the benefit that comes with utilizing a platform built specifically for this purpose.
A good hiring platform can automatically screen candidates according to specific questions, move them down the funnel to the interview stage, send start paperwork, and track the new hire’s online training process. At the same time, hiring automation gives managers a better understanding of applicants by intelligently highlighting the ones that best fit the job criteria.
During the pandemic as the pool of job hunters surge, it’s going to be more critical than ever to weed through resumes efficiently. Will hiring managers manually sift through all those resumes for the perfect employee? This is where automation shines.
Contactless hiring and onboarding has been a long-time coming, and while the coronavirus isn't the way anyone wanted this to be more widely adopted, retailers are seeing the benefits of such solutions. It’s likely that even as restrictions lift, these benefits will continue as going contactless becomes the new industry standard.
Related story: How Retailers Can Adjust to the ‘Gig Economy’