Social distancing, perspex barriers, face masks, these are all part of the new way that we must interact with each other in 2020. Conducting the tasks related to human resources and staffing is not exempted from these restrictions or best practices.

So how can an organisation support the “no touch” future of interacting with their employees and future employees? Fortunately, we live in a truly amazing digital age and there are several solutions and techniques that can offer not only a no touch solution, but some interesting advantages as well. HR teams need to be as agile and adaptive as any other part of an organisation, so its important to consider alternatives to the ‘normal’ way of doing things to support the continuity of business.

I’ll address a few key areas, but keep in mind that these technologies can be used in many diverse circumstances and chances are your organisation may have adopted some of these already, but perhaps only in areas outside of HR.

Let’s start with the process of hiring. Though many organisations do not have hiring new employees anywhere near the top of their priorities, other organisations cannot hire quickly enough. But how do you interact with a candidate or an employee job seeker virtually?

Video interviewing is becoming a very hot topic among many organisations these days because of the ability to interview a person without inviting them into a facility, in close proximity to other employees. Products like HireVue and Sonru are good examples but there are many. The way video interviews generally work is to allow a candidate to record themselves answering questions. So unlike a Zoom, or a Microsoft Teams conference, the interview may not be held live, and instead be completely automated.

The candidate receives an email message with a link to begin the process. After a short testing phase to make sure the candidate’s camera, internet speed and sound are working, the candidate is given the opportunity to practice answering some questions first. Finally they will record their interview. Some solutions will provide a timer both to read and understand the question, and also to answer the question.

One nice aspect of this process for the candidate is that they get to rehearse, and they don’t have the pressure of someone watching them. For the recruiters, there are all kinds of metrics, and AI driven analysis that can be derived from the videos not only from how the questions were answered, but also from more subtle cues like facial expressions, where their eyes are looking, and more.

Digital Signatures
At some stage, your employees or prospective employees will be asked to sign a document. Whether it is their employment contract, or company policy – handing them a piece of paper that they – ewww – touch, is not acceptable. So enter the technology of digital signatures.

There are many technologies available, some able to stand up in court better than others but in every case the person doing the signing is doing so in an entirely digital way. One standout is DocuSign of course who offers the concept of a ‘digital signature’ that incorporates sophisticated technologies to prove that a person really did sign a document. Signatures can be a graphical representation of an employee’s actual signature, or facsimile or just some letters standing for their initials.

The signature itself is not the important part, it’s all the underlying data to support its validity that will hold water with your company’s legal team.

In conclusion, though these are some excellent and widely used techniques, there are still many organisations that have not made the move to a “no touch” or even a “low touch” environment when it comes to interacting with their prospective and existing employees.

Aside from these employer side solutions, HR needs to be a key player in other areas of employee life also, like supporting working from home technologies and techniques that also support social distancing. Hopefully these examples will light the fire of action with you and your HR team so you can be bold and adopt technologies like these to support your employees and job seekers. When it comes to sound “no touch” solutions, you cant touch these.