My name is Brandon Garcia and myself and three others were recently hired here at MyOutDesk, a company that serves over a thousand organizations in virtual assistant services, in the middle of the pandemic. The country being on lockdown shouldn’t stop you from hiring an important talent to become an essential part of your team, help the company scale and grow your business.
We thought it would be a good idea to share my experience with you, what I learned and some other tips and tricks to help you onboard new hires in 2020 while fighting Covid-19.
It’s hard enough to find talent and hire an employee but to do so during a pandemic certainly adds extra layers of stress and anxiety for both new hires and the employer. After a week since starting with MyOutDesk, I can confidently say that they did a great job and other companies should learn from how we did it.
- Interview Process
- Preparation – Before the new hire starts
- First Day – Welcome to The Team
- Setting new hires Up for Success
All of my interviews were conducted online virtually via Zoom, not including an introductory conversation over the phone.
Video chat was an essential aspect of this process and needs to be utilized. After my phone interview, I conducted two Zoom interviews. First, one-on-one with my direct report, then a group interview with them and the Chief People Officer. They were thorough interviews and I was given ample opportunity to ask any questions or address concerns.
Video calling was an essential aspect in developing rapport for both sides!
Just like most things in business, preparation is a major key to success. I’ve interviewed Megan Patterson, our Chief People Officer, who is an MBA with 16 years experience in HR and asked her to share some of her expertise. She has been with MyOutDesk for four years and carries SPHR, SHRM-SCP certifications.
“Everything needs to be front loaded virtually, you don’t have the luxury of handing a person a document or having these impromptu conversations. You need to front load what’s needed and give a lot of timing around responses needed to come back to the organization or for them to learn.
We really tried to empathize and walk-through what our new hires would be experiencing. How can we make them feel the most included? Especially since everything is mostly remote and our old processes are obsolete. Knowing that they are not going to know any of the organization, how to balance the lack of information with comfort at the same time is always the goal.”
First Day, Welcome to the Team
I was hired with three others and we spent our first week in the office training together. We then transitioned to a full-time remote position for the duration of the lockdown.
Every time we entered the building, our temperatures were taken, recorded, and signed off by an employee. Masks were mandatory unless you were six feet apart. We were greeted with a “Welcome to the MOD Family” signage with our names on it, company shirts, laptop, and accessories.
Nearly every step was well thought out, planned, and executed. This made me feel reassured like I was being set up for success and not thrown into the fire. The biggest takeaway here for me was patience. Make sure you have a plan, trust that process, time things out well and your new employees will be better off for it.
We were all greeted virtually with a Kudoboard, an online tool that helps teammates gather virtually, send appreciation in text, images, gifs, and videos all in one place. It was really awesome to see all the positivity and greetings from my new teammates which really made us feel welcome.
Every new hire filled out a brief survey that asked us about our food and snack preferences, among other personal details, prior to our first day. Throughout our training, we were treated to an individual’s favorite lunch and had some of our favorite snacks in the breakroom pantry already.
This attention to detail and thoughtfulness goes a long way while not taking much time or effort to accomplish. I put “BBQ” as my favorite food and on day two of our training, I was eating tasty brisket from a local BBQ spot.
We were also given a gift of a dozen cookie dough balls that were from a local bakery, one of the new hires listed cookies as their favorite treat and that’s how we ended our first day. Hard to beat that, right?
Setting New Hires Up for Success
We were set up with equipment, a laptop, mouse, keyboard, and headphones from day one. We were assured that once we transitioned to virtual work, our home setup would closely mirror what the office setup would be.
We got the freedom to choose equipment for home and office within certain budget constraints that fit our needs. If I wanted to spend the budget on a new chair or extra monitors, or headphones, that was up to me. Being comfortable and productive at home is essential.
We were given the ideal goals for our role, how it will factor in company success, and once fully trained, what was expected of us in that role.
“Pacing is critical, because we can’t see each other in person. The schedule is more minimal, knowing that the ramping up period is longer because it’s remote. Making sure that we learn from mistakes, usually the biggest pain point for companies is not being ready for the new hire and the new employee feeling like an afterthought. We just never want someone to feel that way, and when it’s remote, you need to send emails and coordinate internally with everyone to be ready to launch the onboarding. Tighter planning, more forethought than if you were in a physical environment.” – Megan Patterson, Chief People Officer, MyOutDesk
Even though I did not have a sales role, MyOutDesk used the sales process to get us familiar with the business, processes, customers, obstacles, bottlenecks, and what we are doing day-to-day that makes us most successful.
We were in on real virtual sales calls, podcast interviews with our CEO, witnessing how our new co-workers talked about the business with customers and how they responded.
Including a non-sales person like me in this training gave me perspective on successful ways we are selling our services and real-life customer objections. This helped me learn about the company and will likely fuel ideas for future campaigns to address possible obstacles for potential customers.
Finding the right talent and hiring them is not easy and doing so virtually due to Covid-19 is extremely challenging and hard to get right. Preparation, Time, Training, Patience, and Inclusivity are all key elements of a great onboarding experience.
Luckily, MyOutDesk is a virtual assistant services company, helping companies like yours hire phenomenal virtual assistants to help handle your business, that is what we do. MyOutDesk is your partner in the remote workplace with over 13 years of experience serving 6,000 clients. Last year, we saved our clients $55 Million Dollars as the highest-rated virtual assistant company with more than 500 verified 5-star business reviews. We can help you avoid much of the pain of hiring someone to help you scale, in or out of a pandemic, while saving you and your company up to 70% of the cost. The need to wear a mask, be socially distanced, or even live in the same state, is not necessary!
Envisioning A New Reality For Your Business
MyOutDesk takes the hassle out of finding the right talent for your company by relieving the burden of tasks and processes that bog down your schedule and stunt your company’s growth. The reality is virtual assistants help entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and we are the industry leader in virtual staffing.
If you’re interested in tapping into the unearthed potential in your business, schedule a consultation with us at no cost to you, and let us show you exactly how you can gain a competitive advantage with MyOutDesk!
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Did You Know? MyOutDesk’s origin story is set during the last global financial crisis of 2008. Yes, that’s right — our business started by scaling businesses with virtual assistants during a recession! Pioneers of virtual assistant services, our first client in 2008 went from five to seventeen VAs with a completely revamped organizational model in short order, and he told MyOutDesk, “Our virtual professionals have shaved $250,000 off our monthly overhead.”