For many in higher education, the so-called ‘new normal’ is not normal at all. There is much uncertainty about remote learning, virtual hiring, and the possibility of returning to an open campus. Many universities and colleges are facing hiring freezes and layoffs while also trying to move to hybrid models of teaching. HR departments and administrators face a similar question—how can we move to a virtual model of hiring and onboarding?
As we all try to navigate these stormy waters and determine what higher education will look like in the near, and far, future, at least one thing is certain. Because of Covid-19, there is a need by higher education HR departments to hire new faculty and staff virtually for the fall semester. But how can you hire confidently without in-person interviews? And just as importantly, how can you have an efficient and effective process, when it is all done online?
Trust the Process of Virtual Hiring
One thing that remains a priority is to focus on making your process work better for everyone involved. Yes, Covid-19 has made an already elaborate and complicated process even more complex. Some things might take longer, as you have to work around delays and figure out how to involve the right people at the right time, all while ensuring everyone has access to the right information throughout the process. Applicants face even more uncertainty as they navigate their job search, and many HR departments might not yet know what the fall semester is going to look like. But there are things you can do right away to overcome and even thrive.
First, realize that the current situation requires the digital transmission of information and that you should be prepared. Work on knowing, and make clear to staff, what information will now need to be emailed across departments and staff, and ensure you have those documents scanned and ready for electronic filling and signature. Second, make sure that your job postings are up-to-date and provide clear information as to the plans for the upcoming semester. Lastly, believe in your staff and colleagues and listen to their concerns. That trust will go a long way.
The Power of Software for Human Resources
Along with making sure the right people are involved in the process at the right time, it is also important to provide the right tools. Having an applicant tracking system with direct ties to a digital position classification system is even more crucial to ensure consistency. Check that your software is designed specifically for HigherEd and can integrate directly with Position Management. This will ensure that you are able to map position hierarchies and regulations such as title and pay that are unique to HigherEd to standard ATS functionalities for ease of use and enhanced admin experience.
How successful you are can depend on whether your current system can also function as full talent lifecycle software—ensuring continuity and efficiency from hire to retire. Having insightful data and analytics in regard to the performance of current employees can help your department make better decisions. With things so uncertain, having concrete data to make good decisions becomes even more important.
Connecting the Dots
Now, more than ever, institutions need technology solutions to facilitate the virtual hiring and onboarding of new employees. Even when things return to normal, the right system can improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of your hiring process freeing your team up to focus on student success. Software solutions can connect all of the steps involved, especially with built-in integrations allowing you to quickly shift to video-based interviewing, easy-to-use interview management, and scheduling and text messaging support.
PeopleAdmin’s platform is also designed to provide you and your team with 3rd party interoperability, right out of the box. You can easily integrate steps that are outsourced into your main system. This makes things like background checks, I-9 compliance, and e-verification more straightforward and easier to track. Streamlining your process in this way can increase efficiency and help you preemptively strike against delays.
The right HR system can help you attract and maintain top talent, which in turn makes the campus learning experience richer. It can also help you and the team avoid redundancies, inefficiencies, and security issues, all big concerns with a rapid pivot to virtual hiring and learning.