HR from afar: Practitioners say remote work poses challenges for recruiting, onboarding

Although remote HR is less prevalent than a year ago, many organizations are still conducting HR functions remotely, which can pose challenges for recruiting, hiring and onboarding, according to a Nov. 30 report from MindEdge Learning and the HR Certification Institute (HCRI).

In a survey of 1,030 HRCI-certified human resources professionals, more than half said recruiting is harder than before the pandemic. Only 8% said it is easier.

In addition, 35% said remote onboarding is more difficult than in-person onboarding while 17% said it is easier. Thirty percent said remote interviews are less productive than in-person interviews; 24% said remote interviews are more productive.

“It’s clear that most people want to get back to normal, but it’s hard for many of them to define what normal really means,” Brad Neuenhaus, chief business officer for MindEdge Learning, said in a statement.

“The new American workplace is still a work in progress, so stay tuned,” he said.

In the survey, 40% of respondents said their organization conducts HR functions remotely all or most of the time, which is down from 52% last year. Another 35% said they practice remote HR sometimes, while the remaining 23% said they don’t perform any HR functions remotely.

Other challenges appear to be prevalent across companies. About 2 in 5 HR professionals said turnover is higher than before the pandemic, including 12% who said turnover rates are much higher. In addition, about 2 in 3 respondents said they’ve seen an increase in employee burnout, including 23% who noted a major increase in burnout at their organization.

As work schedules continue to shift throughout next year, HR teams and leaders should consider employee needs and preferences for remote, hybrid and in-person work, according to a recent survey. For instance, more than half of respondents said on-site work is preferable to remote work, but others shared mixed feelings about potential advantages of in-office work (such as promotions) and whether they should be paid more for coming into the workplace.