Reports have been hitting the headlines about the poor recruitment and on-boarding experiences of ‘contact tracers’ hired by outsourced firms on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care to contact people who may have been exposed to coronavirus.
Reported experiences include:
- Individuals discovering during an introductory training session that the customer services role they had applied for was actually a contact tracer position
- Technical and quality issues with the training provided
- A lack of guidance on handling some challenging parts of the role
So, what lessons can employers learn from these reports when it comes to recruitment and induction?
In most cases employers who are currently recruiting will need to adapt their processes to take into account coronavirus considerations such as social distancing rules or remote working. Even in these challenging times it’s still important for employers to ensure that their recruitment and on-boarding practices are clear, effective and fair. Not only will this help employers to safely recruit the right person for the role, it can also help with staff retention. After all, no employer wants to recruit a good candidate only for them to leave shortly afterwards.
The experiences reported by some of the contact tracers highlight the importance of employers:
- Thinking carefully about how a job role is described when it is advertised – it is important that it is done accurately so that applicants are clear what role they are applying for.
- Devising a clear job description – not only can this help when it comes to assessing applicants for the role but it can avoid confusion about what the role and responsibilities are once someone is in post.
- Ensuring that there is an induction process in place which meets the needs of the organisation and effectively supports the new starter. This will usually include matters such as communicating key workplace rules and policies, expected performance standards and providing the employee with appropriate training and guidance to help them settle in and perform at their best.
- If a new recruit will be working from home, employers may face added challenges when it comes to ensuring that any induction is effective. As a new starter won’t be physically present in the workplace, they may initially find it more difficult to settle in and get to know their colleagues. Regular communication with their manager and making the most of technology will be key – many employers are likely to find that face to face introductions and training are replaced with videocalls and training accessed online. As technology is not always plain sailing it will be important for employers to ensure that new starters are able to access what they need for their role and that they know who to contact if there are any I.T issues.
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