Travel recruitment right now is incredibly slow, there's no getting around that. We pride ourselves on keeping in touch with candidates though and know that those who've left travel and those who have been lucky enough to find a new role within the industry are largely struggling with a common enemy -the WFH culture (or lack of it). I've been asked by a few candidates for tips on how to overcome being the new person whilst working remotely, and real talk y'all are not the problem...it's the organisations you're working for.
So feel free to send your boss this article and blame the travel recruitment guy if it goes down like a lead balloon (don't worry it won't haha). Now pretty much all of my points below relate to the three C's - CULTURE, COMMUNICATION and COMMUNITY. For the purpose of this article i'm going to focus on 6 main points, but feel free to message me if you have any direct questions or join our live Q&A on instagram.
1. Instant Messaging
You cannot bring on a new team member without some form of instant messaging. Without the ability to ask quick questions it can alienate a remote new starter and start a spiral of them not feeling the love. You don't want that.
I know some teams prefer group WhatsApps, some are big Skype fans, but honestly the only option for business's to invest in is Slack (and no i'm not on commission). Recently acquired by tech giants Salesforce, this incredible MSN messenger on steroids provides everything from instant messaging, channels to chat in, video calls and is incredible for staff engagement with add ons like polls and gifs. Staff can opt in or out of certain channels (whether it's sports or bake off) and instant messages remain private. Having used this at a previous company and knowing so many friends that use it, it really is a game-changer.
2. On-boarding Lunch
Fun fact: 70% of new starters deicide in the first 24hrs if the role is for them long term. That's an absolutely HUGE percentage and a stat not to be overlooked for on-boarding. I'm glazing over having the equipment arrive at your house (as this should be done) but the next most important thing is leaving day 1 having made at least one solid bond. It's f*cking hard to do that remotely during lockdown.
SO - look into pre-assigning a 'buddy' for the new team member and having a secret package delivered that the new staff member and their 'buddy' open on day 1. There's a plethora of companies that offer cooking experiences etc or hampers, so pick your fave. Having this 1:1 shared experience with a team member over video will be such a great touch and there will be at least one real life r'ship formed on day 1. Winning.
3. Water Cooler
As a plus to the above points we all know that bonding happens for smokers and tea drinkers respectively. But with neither of these being a shared experience anymore (thanks lockdown) it's a great idea to create a virtual water cooler. Once a day have 30 mins where staff can network in a virtual water cooler setting on Zoom. Again it gives the option for people to be social and stops the toxic culture of working every minute from 9-6 at home. You can even plus on the idea and make a virtual lunch club, whatever suits your team most.
Yes you may not be in the office and your companies wider plans may be a hybrid of remote/office or even full time back to the office, but you can still keep the community spirit going. Workers work better when they have shared interests and a cause. So why not set up some community teams?
You can have a green team focused on making the company (or your wfh space) greener, you can have a diversity team coming up with initiatives and educating staff, or even a social planning committee....
5. The Socials
The socials (as mentioned above) are a great way to bring staff together. It's no secret that Friday nights are team drinks and what happens on team drinks stays on team drinks, but without the escapades the culture suffers a tad and it's harder to make bonds for new starters. Even if you do a weekly company quiz (hosted by a different team member each week), a company bake off, or even a cheeky poker tournament.
Recently i was shown some software that truly blew my mind and should be considered for all companies employing new wfh starters. It helps to establish wfh routines, empowers your staff and ultimately supports engagement. Frankli is a tool that helps streamline company goals, brings transparency to productivity, and creates a culture of inclusion. Check it out and be sure not to fall into the trap of offering staff bonus's right now and get them to fight against each other - that's not what is needed in this marketplace. Instead utilise the transparency card and outline what the company (and your new starter) needs to be doing with clear KPI's and company goals + adjectives, as well as pre-planned 1:1's with managers. This is THE most important tool for businesses right now.
With many companies putting their travel recruitment plans on hold, it would be SO wise to invest in some tech and processes for when you do hire, as Bojo faffs about with the timeline for when we are allowed back into offices.