• Matt Raskin

05 | Talent Foundation: Virtual Reality

Updated: Sep 13



Previous Post: 04 | Talent Foundations: On-boarding Employees


The Future...

We either progress or regress; there is little room for maintenance. Technology accelerates this reality by forcing all of us to evolve if we want to keep up. 


Moore's Law observes that the number of transistors in dense integrated circuits doubles every two years. Think about what your phone does today vs. two years ago - the times truly are changing. And just imagine what we can do in two years, and then two more.

These leaps in technology have connected the world in ways organizations are just beginning to embrace. Technology has changed the way that organizations build teams and select talent. Virtually enabled organizations can now select talent from the entire nation vs. a 50-mile proximity. Tech is changing the structures and norms of organizations to bring new opportunities & exciting challenges. 


The Talent Foundations Series is intended to provide a starting point for better talent practices. Our goal is to increase awareness and intentionality around talent foundations and workflows for organizations. 


This post will focus on exploring the fundamentals, mindsets, and resources needed to build and best support a virtual team.


Intention & Foundations

There are no real hacks when it comes to talent. Effective hiring, whether in-person or virtually, requires intentionality and time. Onboarding new employees requires focus and effort to ensure they have the guidance needed to build success in their roles.


Getting it right virtually requires that we have established the right foundations for identifying and selecting the talent we need.


Foundations for Talent: Virtual or In-Person


01 | We start with Role Clarity

  • Do we know what we need and why that matters to our organizations?

02 | We think through key foundations for talent

  • What are we trying to accomplish? Why?

03 | We build a recruiting workflow that makes sense for our organization

  • What type of talent are we looking for, where will we find them & how will we engage? Why?

04 | We define how candidates move through a recruiting workflow & are selected

  • What are the stages of our recruiting workflow? Why?

  • How will individuals be qualified or disqualified? Why?

  • Who is part of the interview team? What is their role? Why?

05 | We clarify how new employees will onboard (org, team & role)

  • What does this employee need to know about our organization? Why?

  • How does their team operate? Why?

  • What are the expectations and goals for their role? Why?

Virtually selecting and onboarding talent will be challenging without these foundations defined and in-place. No tool can supplement for a lack of clarity or intentionality in our process.


Tools & Technology

We have to remember that tools are simply that...tools. Tools and technology should help accelerate our plans, goals, and intentions. We often believe that tools are the entire solution, but this is rarely the case.


If we own a hammer, it doesn't mean that it will build a house for me. We need plans, resources, skills, abilities, permits and so many other items for the hammer to be useful.


Tools and technology are the same when it comes to talent. Once we know what we are trying to accomplish, they can be mission-critical, but we must remember they are the tool not the singular solution.


Shortcuts never are, and this is more true when it comes to selecting and onboarding talent. That being said, when we have great plans and foundations - the right tools can change the way we engage and work.


Below you will find some tools that can help us accelerate our plans.


Helpful Tools: Once We Have A Plan


01 | Human Resources Information System (HRIS) 

  • HRIS systems help centralize and streamline many Human Resources functions (Onboarding, Performance, Payroll, Benefits Management). The also can integrate to other systems (ATS, LMS, PMS) to unify data regarding your organizational structure. 

  • Examples: Gusto, Zenefits, Bamboo & Workday 

02 | Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) 

  • ATS's help to streamline & scale the recruiting process for organizations, from posting jobs, candidate communication, pipeline management, and much more. 

  • Examples: Greenhouse, JazzHR & Lever 

03 | Learning Management System (LMS) 

  • Learning Management Systems help organizations build, share, and scale training within organizations. From organizational onboarding to role-specific training, learning management systems helps to centralize, direct, and track learning progress for individuals/teams/organization.

  • Examples: Lessonly, Litmos & Trainual

04| Performance Management System (PMS) 

  • Performance management systems help set, track, share & update goals and development for employees/teams. Often HRIS systems will include PMS solutions as part of their offering. Performance management systems help create clarity across organizations, teams, and individuals.

  • Examples: Lattice, 15Five, Reflektive

05|Employee Engagement Platform (EEP) 

  • EEPs pulse an organization to help uncover and track the levels of engagement within an organization. Research shows that an engaged workforce outperforms disengaged talent. These tools help give voice to the organization and help increase action and accountability. 

  • Examples: Culture Amp, Lattice, Culture IQ & Tiny Pulse

06 | Internal Wiki or Knowledge-Base

  • Internal Wiki or knowledge-bases helps centralize and share information, operations, plans, and policies within an organization. Wikis help unify focus, develop single sources of truth, can align teams and increase collaboration. 

  • Examples: Atlassian Confluence, Notion & Basecamp 


07 | Chat or Communication Platforms 

  • Chat platforms allow for individuals, teams, and organizations to chat and connect via multiple communication channels. From messaging, audio, and even video - chat platforms help reduce geographic barriers and centralize communication. 

  • Examples: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat (G-Suite)


Mindset & Approach 

Everyone is looking for hacks or short-cuts when it comes to growing business and talent in virtual environments. We see that organizations that best develop talent in a virtual environment have clearly defined fundamentals and select tools that accelerate this work.

These organizations understand the WHY behind their actions and select resources that help accelerate toward their goal. 

  • Why are we hiring for this position? 

  • Why are we asking these questions during the interview? 

  • Why is this person a part of the interview process? 

  • Why does a new employee need to understand our mission, vision & values? 

  • Why do we need to define roles, goals, and expectations for our employees? 

The why is about increasing clarity and accelerating the right behaviors. This level of intentionality is not geographically dependent - it's leader dependent. 


The best leaders get the fundamentals right and they understand the why behind their actions. 


Moving Forward

This series of articles has been created to help each of us define our WHY when it comes to identifying our organization's needs, the talent required, and how we will help build their success. In-Person or virtually - the fundamentals make the biggest difference. 


Remember that it is ok to slow down to go fast, and getting our fundamentals right helps us grow amazing organizations in-person or virtually. 


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