As companies continue to hire through the coronavirus pandemic, the process for onboarding new hires has become more complicated. Processing pre-employment background and drug screens requires more oversight as delays are likely. In the case of criminal background screens, many government offices are closed and are unable to complete the process as quickly as they typically do. Clinics and labs that provide drug screening services are either closed or may now require scheduling appointments. Throughout the onboarding process, there are several ways in which you can manage the potential delays while setting proper expectations for both the hiring manager and the new hire.
Communication– Allow for additional time in the process when estimating potential start dates. Once a target start date is determined, keep everyone in the process updated as each step is completed. Communicate any delays as they happen.
Urgency– Create a sense of urgency with the new hire to complete each step as quickly as possible. Any time lost on submitting paperwork or completing the drug screen can be avoided if the new hire understands they need to move quickly!
Follow Up– As you go through the onboarding process, continue to reach out to the new hire. They will be glad to hear from you even if you don’t have new information. Make a point to check in often.
Attention to Detail– Further delays in the onboarding process can be avoided by making sure that any paperwork submitted is 100% accurate. Any errors force background investigators to reach out to the new hire with questions that can cause further delays.
Be Flexible– Hiring managers and HR can allow new hires to start despite pending, less-critical sections of the onboarding process. Getting a new hire started while awaiting these results is a great way to maintain business continuity.
Stay Calm– The onboarding process will get done! Keep in touch with the new hire consistently and offer them reassurance that you will get it done together.
The good news is that companies are still hiring, candidates are still getting job offers, and the onboarding process is still manageable. By creating urgency, communicating consistently, remaining flexible, and eliminating errors in the paperwork, you can manage the onboarding process more easily during this unusual time.
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