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Hiring and Onboarding During the Coronavirus Crisis

Over the past month the coronavirus national emergency has impacted our lives in a way that we have never seen before. Depending on your location, “Non-essential” businesses have been forced to close, or have their employees work from home, where possible, while essential businesses have ramped up work, and hiring. Social distancing, and orders not to congregate in groups of more than two have affected us all.

Companies that are still hiring are facing this challenge head on, and having to adjust their baked-in practices.

Adapting the business challenge of Covid-19

Interviews are taking place online using video conferencing services such as Skype and Zoom. While in-person interviews taking place behind glass screens, and all without the customary introductory handshakes.

New hire documents can be completed and viewed electronically to make things easier for both the new employee and the employer. With iConnect all documents are assigned, delivered and completed electronically online. This includes your employee handbook, emergency contacts, direct deposit, W-4s, and I-9s.

When it comes to verifying employment eligibility, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued new guidance:

I-9 Guidance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS link)

Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. However, employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2. Employers also should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field once physical inspection takes place after normal operations resume. Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 additional information field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 as appropriate. These provisions may be implemented by employers for a period of 60 days from the date of this notice OR within 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first.

iRecruit customer, CRF, based in San Diego, CA tells us they chose to cancel all their in-person pre-employment appointments last week after receiving the news issued by DHS on their (temporarily) relaxed rules to physically verify ID documents for employment eligibility verification. With the switch to working from home, they updated some of their communication to candidates and new hires, and will have all new hires upload their new hire documents into iRecruit, or email what they would normally physically verify during pre-employment appointments.

Large employers like Walmart report that they have increased their hiring process to as little as 24 hours, and CVS is said to be hiring up to 50,000 new hires, while doing the majority of their interviewing online.

New Hire Perspective

When she interviewed in person a few weeks ago by her new employer, Stacy R. from New Haven, CT, did not report any difference from a regular hiring process. Fast forward to this week, a lot has changed here in Connecticut. On March 20th, the Governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont,  had issued a “Stay Safe, Stay Home Order” directing all “non essential” businesses in the state to utilize any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely employ.

So, when it came to onboarding, Stacy completed all her new hire forms online, and emailed a copy of her passport for her I-9. Stacy started her new job on Monday after receiving a work computer, which was shipped to her home, and for now, work is taking place remotely via video chat and online. She looks forward to meeting her new colleagues in person once the Stay at Home order is lifted.

How iRecruit Helps Companies During this Time

iRecruit has a flexible onboarding module, iConnect, which allows companies to assign any documents to a new hire. This could include things like Offer letters, Onboarding documents like the I-9 and W-4, and even training videos. All forms can be completed online, on a desktop computer, laptop or phone.

If you think switching to an all online hiring process would help you during this time, please let us know.


What Kind of Documents are Included with iConnect?

Walmart shortens hiring process to ‘as little as 24 hours’ for coronavirus hiring surge (Read @ HR Dive)

CVS Adding 50,000 Jobs – Interviewing Online (Read @ USA Today)

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