Your processes for hiring new employees may have shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses may find that hiring and recruiting is becoming a challenge. In fact, a survey* conducted by Oasis, a Paychex company, of businesses in the Accommodation and Food Services industry or travel arrangement services reveals that 67% of these businesses say managing the hiring and tracking applicants process is something they see becoming more challenging in the next 12 months. Moving forward, it might make sense for some of those changes to carry through to the post-pandemic work environment. Technology investments that were necessary for business continuation during the COVID-19 pandemic have the potential to continue to help support remote workers. Some businesses may also be considering increasing the number of employees who work remotely, allowing the business to downsize commercial space.
Conduct a Job analysis
A job analysis can help identify the skills, knowledge, education, abilities and experience a prospective candidate should have to perform a specific job. Analyzing the current work load and the amount of time you estimate it will take to complete each task can help you refine a job role and give you a better idea of what you're looking for when reviewing resumes and applications. A job analysis should also assess the level of work experience needed, as well as appropriate levels of education, training and/or need for certification. For comparative purposes, research similar roles and responsibilities from other companies or jobs.
When writing a job description, you'll need to communicate what you're looking for in a candidate as well as the employee's responsibilities. A highly specific job description will help determine the most qualified applicants and are also critical for performance management. Items to consider including when creating job descriptions are:
- Job title
- Employee classification
- Key responsibilities, skills and qualifications
- Salary range and benefits
- Work schedule
- Physical requirements
You should also inform applicants if the work is or can be performed remotely. Flexibility in the workplace can be an enticing perk and a valuable recruiting tool. If you do allow for remote work, you may also want to include certain skill sets needed, such as the ability to work in virtual teams and good communication skills.
Finding qualified candidates
Your search for job applicants should include a comprehensive strategy to help you reach out to a variety of job seekers. Remote capabilities provide the benefit of expanding the potential talent pool and allowing hiring companies to search outside of their geographic area for job candidates. Some of the most popular methods of employee recruiting include:
- Advertisements on job posting websites
- Employee referral programs
- Word of mouth
- Social media engagement
- Job fairs
- Career pages of company websites
- Storefront posters for retail establishments
- Considering past candidates if resumes are kept on file
Depending on the type of skills you're searching for, one or more of these methods may help you target specific job applicants in your industry. Once a position is filled, you can analyze the response from each method and be able to revise your strategy in the future.
Checklist for hiring employees
Following a standard set of procedures for hiring a new employee can help you fairly evaluate and select the most qualified candidate. Maintaining the proper documentation will support hiring decisions, should questions arise in the future. Employers should also review their obligations under federal, state and local laws related to hiring practices.
Reviewing employment applications
As applications roll in, you'll need to review submissions and choose the candidates who meet your job qualifications. This process can be managed through an applicant tracking system.
☐ Identify the top candidates. Online tracking can identify candidate matches by scanning prior experience or skills listed in resumes. Applicant tracking systems can also increase efficiency and response times compared to a manual review of resumes, helping to ensure you don't miss out on available talent.
☐ Review internal and external candidates with hiring manager. Once you’re selected the top candidates based on data from the applicant tracking system, forward the resumes and cover letters to the hiring manager. Work together to decide who will be contacted for interviews.
Set a job interview strategy
☐ Determine the steps in your interview process. This could include a basic HR screening interview, an in-depth conversation with the hiring manager or possibly additional time scheduled with higher levels of management or the direct employees the new hire would work with.
☐ Schedule Interviews. Try to coordinate schedules to increase the efficiency of the interview process for both the candidate and interviews.
☐Review the candidate's job application and any submitted materials, such as a resume.
☐ Interview prep. Devise a set of questions that you ask all applicants for the position. You may also want to ask follow up questions related to their individual application materials. An interview should also inform the candidate about the open position and the company as a whole. Be prepared to offer this type of commentary to ensure a better employer-employee match. It is also important to train supervisors and those who will serve as interviewers on nondiscrimination laws, and providing instruction on appropriate interviewing questions
☐ Remote Interview prep, if needed. When an interview is taking place remotely, you may want to make slight adjustments. Questions can be similar, but the tone of the interview may need to change when the conversation takes place over a video or phone call. If you're open to hiring remote workers, ask the candidates about their experience working from home and if they believe they can thrive in this type of environment.
☐ Interview follow-up. Gather feedback from everyone involved in the process to help you decide your next steps in regard to each candidate.
Conduct Pre-Employment background Checks
Pre-Employment Background checks can help protect employers by allowing them to confirm applicant credentials and skills before the hire.
☐ Review employment regulations related to hiring. Different government agencies have addressed whether and for what purpose background checks can be used as a tool for employment and termination of employees. In many cases, local, state, or federal legislation and regulations may restrict the information employers are permitted to obtain prior to an offer of employment or may consider in an employment decision. Employer should review their obligations under applicable laws and regulations.
☐ Request authorization. The candidate should authorize a background check as part of the application process, but with a separate release form, which allows you to make the necessary inquiries to validate prior employment.
☐ Check references. You may also want to ask the candidate for professional references. Professional background screening services are available to assist with pre-employment background checks and can provide you with insight into a potential hire.
Compile a benefits and salary package
☐ Assemble a compensation package including salary and benefits. Many employers create their benefits and salary package prior to identifying potential candidates for hire.
☐ Make a Job Offer.
☐ Negotiate, if necessary.
☐ Inform other candidates of your final decision.
Create a personnel file
☐ Set up a new file for the employee. All hiring-related documentation should be stored in a personnel file as the individual transitions to employment with the company. New-hire forms will be added to the file and pertinent data uploaded to your HR platform to ensure the employee is paid correctly. Demographic information may be used for analytical purposes.
Hiring remote workers
A hiring checklist may include specific detail for remote workers. All new hires will likely need to receive company orientation and training. While those who work in the physical workplace may receive this in the workplace, consider whether remote workers will need to come into the workplace or whether they can complete it online. You may also want to make sure that remote employees are added to the company's online discussion groups and welcomed by their new co-workers. All employees should be transitioned onto company technology platforms and given any equipment they require to do their jobs from a remote location.
 * This national survey was conducted with 300 business leaders and managers from the hospitality sector who employed between 11 and 250 employees. The online interviews were conducted by Bredin, an independent market research company located in Boston, MA, from April 21 to May 16, 2021. Of the 300 survey participants, 81 percent were from Accommodation and Food Services (AFS), and 19 percent were from Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services (TA).