Recruiting During Coronavirus: Part 4 – Virtual Training

May 05, 2020
| Jeff DeModna, Extensis VP of Recruiting
corona-part-4-2.jpg

During the previous parts of our series, “Recruiting During Coronavirus” we talked about Virtual Interviewing and Onboarding. Now that we have discussed how to get your candidate through the process and in the door, the next step is training them.

There are different challenges that present themselves when training someone remotely. However, the goals are still the same: get your new hire comfortable enough to be an asset as quickly as possible, while still giving them the ability to become a part of the team, culturally. Below are some best practices on how to do so:


IDENTIFY THE PROPER SYSTEMS

There are multiple systems available that make digital training possible, but the key element to all of them is video conferencing. Different systems have different strengths and come in at different price points. Adobe 9 is currently rated the highest level of virtual engagement due to the different types of trainings such as one on one, live webinars, side chats and remote desktop options. Microsoft Teams allows you to use the entire Office suite such as planner, forms and the calendar. It allows easy access to video chat as well as the ability to house documents and assignments. Other options could be GoToMeeting or Skype for Business.

PRO TIP: Turn on your webcam. Let your new hire see your face. Video conferencing helps to improve communication and establish relationships. As we initially mentioned in our virtual interviewing blog, you get to see the body language and facial expressions, which leads to a more effective and faster collaboration.


IDENTIFY THE RIGHT TRAINER

Having the right person as your trainer is the most important piece to this process. Not only will they pass along institutional knowledge, but they should exemplify the company’s core values and culture, be the new hire’s go-to in-house resource, and act as a liaison between the new hire and the rest of the organization.

If volume dictates and funding allows, we recommend establishing someone in the sole position as trainer. If it must be a hiring manager or member of the team, it is imperative that this person understands the importance, they carry in the betterment of both the new hires growth as well as the organizations growth as a whole.


OVERCOMING CHALLENGES WITH HR TECHNOLOGY

With responsibilities of their own, a trainer may not realize the importance of their role and may not prioritize new hire training over their own work. In the worst-case scenario, they might even portray a feeling of annoyance towards the new hire’s needs. So, what should a trainer have set to make sure they are providing what they need to the company’s new hire?
  • Daily Schedule – The schedule should have touchpoints in the morning, afternoon and at the end of the day. It is important to give assignments or tasks where they learn in the morning session, do it throughout the day with an early afternoon check in and then present back to the trainer at the end of the day to make sure the information is sticking.
  • Curriculum – Before the new hire starts, the trainer should put together a prioritized list of training objectives. This should include activities, training sessions, virtual meet & greets and discussions with subject matter experts within the organization.
  • Checkpoints – Extensis’ Sales Training Manager, Jaclyn Cohen preaches, “Don’t mistake movement with momentum.” Completing the assignments doesn’t necessarily mean they are strengthening their skills sets. Set aside certain days throughout the process to check in with the new hire and ask to relay back the information they are absorbing. Mock presentations and situational simulations work great for this. For example, at Extensis, we have a 60-day Sales Training Program. On day 30, our reps do a mock sales pitch which includes a PowerPoint presentation and involves sales leadership. It allows the trainee to do the job in a safe space and receive feedback from experienced members of the team.
  • Set Goals – Put forward expectations of where the new hire should be within certain timelines. This will allow them to understand what is expected of them and give the manager the ability to gauge what kind and how much work they can start to assign the new hire. It also allows for a self-evaluation of the training program.  
 

A DIGITAL OFFICE ENVIRONMENT

There are different ways to make your remote employee feel a part of the team.
  • Digital Coffee – Morning coffee with a co-worker is the most common way to start the day in any office, so let’s do it virtually. Keep discussions light and limit it to 10-15 minutes that it is never deemed as a burden.
  • Team Channels/Chats – Create and use multiple communication channels for your team, one for work related items and another for non-work-related items. In the non-work-related channel, bring your company culture online. Include the team with events like theme days where people share pictures of their last vacation or have a running chat that includes pictures of their pets.
  • Group Activities – Accomplishing something with a fellow team member brings great pride in being a member of the group. It also opens up the opportunity for each to learn from each other. A more experienced employee can add insight to how the company works in certain situations, while the new hire can enlighten the more experienced employee with tips used in their previous roles.
  • Formal Acknowledgment Platform – At Extensis we use 15/5 as our platform to provide intercompany appreciation for what other members do to help make our job easier. The digital high-five is a great way to give a member praise that the entire company can see. Don’t have an official platform? Create outlets for acknowledgment whether it be a team meeting dedicated to “best wins” or “biggest assist”.


EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

On site employees learn a lot just by being in the room. It is the managers responsibility to further the education of all their employees, but more importantly pay attention to ones that are remote. Without a continued education plan, it is easy for a remote employee to plateau quickly. Work with the trainer to develop a monthly training session.


For more information regarding Recruiting During Coronavirus, visit our blog for parts 1 – 3. In the final part of this series, we’ll explore the Bring Your Own Device policy and best practices to keep employees engaged.

Is your leadership team adapting to the challenges of remote training? Contact us today to learn how HR technology can support your management team’s efforts.