Along with a majority of the workforce moving to remote working arrangements, recruitment activities quickly transformed as well. We have pulled together a list of the advice and resources we have gathered along the way to assist you.
Hiring During COVID-19
Now more than ever, each member of the campus community must take daily steps to care for our health. Please keep in mind your responsibility to help protect the health of others. Below is a list of FAQs related to OSU’s response to COVID-19. We have made a few temporary changes to our hiring process to help ensure the safety and well-being of our current and future employees within Oklahoma. We will continue to adapt to the situation, respond in accordance with CDC guidance, and provide you with the most current information.
Are we still hiring?
At this time, we must limit hiring to fill critical needs of the university as they may arise. We will continue to adjust our ability to hire in response to the pandemic. Please continue to explore the career opportunities with Oklahoma State University on our career site.
How is OSU handling interviews during this time?
Along with much of the workforce moving to remote working arrangements, hiring managers are adapting to recruitment in a virtual environment. In many cases, an interview may occur over the phone or through video chat (Zoom or Skype for example). Visit a website such as this one, How to Ace Your Video Interview, for tips to navigate the technology.
An in-person interview may be unavoidable. Please visit the OSU Cowboys Coming Back website for the latest guidelines and expectations for visitors.
The following safety measures are currently in place:
- Everyone must wear a face covering (mask) upon entering any public building on campus
- Maintain at least six feet of distance between one another
- No more than 10 participants in a large room
- Continue good hygiene practices: wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently; do not shake hands; cover your cough/sneeze; clean all high-touch areas in your office; do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, please follow CDC guidance and do not come to campus
OSU health officials are closely following developments and working with local, state and federal health officials to mitigate the spread of the virus within our community.
What are we doing to provide a safe environment for faculty, staff and students at
The University is working to protect our students, staff, faculty and visitors to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19. Visit our website dedicated to provide pertinent updates on what we are doing in response to the pandemic.
How long will the new measures be in place?
OSU will follow the guidance of state and federal health organizations. This is a constantly evolving situation. We appreciate your patience with delays you may experience in the hiring process during this tumultuous time. Thank you for your support and understanding.
- RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
To limit in-person contact and support social distancing, interview by phone or through video chat. Here are a few reminders to help.
- Test the videoconference platform in advance with the committee members. Check connections, voice and video quality, backdrop is appropriate and not distracting and familiarize everyone on how to use the platform's tools.
- Prepare the interview questions and coordinate speaking rotations with the committee in advance. Have an organized approach to manage the “off script” questions or remarks that come up to minimize disruption during the interview. You can designate committee members as the go to person if a subject is brought up (i.e. culture, benefits, department).
- Discuss proper video etiquette with the committee members.
- Approach video interviews with the same level of professionalism and personable etiquette as an in-person interview.
- Provide a few reminders to keep eye contact with the computer’s camera or webcam, speak clearly, nod when the candidate responds, and account for time lags when someone is speaking by waiting a few seconds after a response to ensure the speaker is done talking.
- It is proper video etiquette to mute your microphone when you are not the speaker during a videoconference to avoid confusion and noise disruptions.
- Check in with the committee and the candidate the day before the interview to answer any questions.
- On the day of the interview, have the committee log in before inviting the candidate to the video conference. This allows the committee to have a moment to gather before the interview begins.
- The candidate may be new to video interviews, so be thoughtful and forgiving of their disruptions. If you happen to hear a phone ring, a dog bark, or people in the background, refrain from penalizing your candidate. It is likely that your candidate also has to work from home, a spouse is working from home, or children are not in school.
- Help the candidate get a sense of the culture. Consider telling a story focused on your department’s role within OSU’s mission. Share your screen with the candidate and show some of the departmental communications (i.e. social media pages, newsletters).
- Send a quick note to say thank you to the candidate on behalf of the whole committee for being flexible and request their feedback.
Offers of Employment During Uncertainty
- RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
We strongly encourage hiring managers to identify a date the employee could start employment and add a statement to allow for flexibility in these uncertain times.
- “Due to COVID-19, this offer of employment, the start date and/or working hours are subject to change.”
- “With the global pandemic, this assistantship is contingent of the availability of funds and the University’s restoration of [on-campus?] operations.”
Please keep in mind the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of disruption to the University. There is a need to adjust to how work is done and processes are carried out. Consider if the hire will fill an immediate need and provide an essential service. You may want a backup plan if the start date is not met or the reasons for the contingency change.
Our best recommendation is to wait to extend the offer until the University is able to regain certainty. The new Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides up to two weeks of paid time off for COVID-19 related reasons. After 30-days of employment, the new hire may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid leave based on eligibility criteria.
If the new employee is unable to start as planned because they have COVID-19 or associated symptoms, please contact Talent Acquisition or your HR Consultant to discuss the specific situation. Guidance is subject to change based on current CDC guidance, state or federal mandates to ensure workplace safety.
Background Check Screening Update
- RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
Due to COVID-19 “shelter in place” orders, many county court offices across the nation have closed. We anticipated we would receive reports with a partial verification of the entire background check as a result of those court closures. Our vendor, Truescreen, is sending daily updates to monitor the closures and tracking our cases.
In the meantime, we have the following plan of action in place: OSU HR will determine employment eligibility based on the available information on the background check. You will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to notify you if there is a full clearance or if further screening will occur once the county court office resumes business. As we await Truescreen’s completed verification, you may decide to do one of the following:
- Allow the employee to begin work knowing the employee has not successfully completed the background check.
- Continue to wait for the final employment determination from us before the employee may begin working.
At this time, we are unable to estimate the turnaround time for a completed verification. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plan of action accordingly.
Remember all offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of the entire background check. OSU reserves the right to rescind offers of employment based on the review of the background check information.
Refer to Policy 3-0771, Background Check Policy for Faculty and Graduate Assistants/Associates (Teaching and Research), for information.
- RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
Now is the time to rethink how you welcome a new employee to the team to allow for appropriate alternatives to face-to-face interactions. Talk to your new employee and encourage them to reach out if they have questions. Keep the following items in mind as you develop your onboarding plan:
- Are there ways you can have the new employee “meet” everyone on the team? They may not have the chance to walk through the office or get a feel for the department culture on their own, so it will be up to you and your team to achieve this.
- How will you ensure they have the required equipment to perform job duties?
- Utilize online courses available through Talent Development at http://talent.okstate.edu/.
- Choose from onboarding playlists (guided online course selections), online courses to become familiar with OSU’s mission, required training.
- Working At OSU (New Hire Orientation)
- What arrangements are necessary to ensure social distancing measures are in place for the employee to complete the new hire documents (i.e. I-9, Loyalty Oath)?
- Contact Benefits to schedule a virtual one-on-one Benefit meeting.
Continue to connect with your new employee frequently and include them in team meetings. You may gain valuable feedback that you may not have considered being worth changing within your operations. For more great ideas to include in your virtual onboarding program, click here.