Human Resources & Covid-19 Trends




As we enter 2021, we still face the organizational problems of the Covid-19 pandemic every day. While all organizations are built and operate differently, there are some major similarities we are seeing across the board that these businesses are facing, especially in the field of human resources. The following topics detail many of the trends HR professionals can expect to experience.


Virtual Interviews

Many employers needed to move to virtual interviews. But this also entails some unforeseen technical and organizational difficulties. When setting up an interview for the candidate, make sure they are aware that they will be receiving a link to join the virtual interview when it is time. Also notify the candidate that if he or she does not have access to a computer with a video camera, they may call into the interview by audio alone. While preparing for the interview, test out your company's technology. The audio and video components both need to be turned on and working properly. Always give yourself extra time for possible technological or internet connection issues, as you should be flexible with your candidate if they should experience these as well. As an HR professional would for any in-person interview, make sure to have a structured technique. Prepare a list of questions, and make sure the meeting is interviewer-led. After you've checked off all of these boxes, make sure that you have a quiet, well lit room to interview in, as this can also impact the quality of an interview.


Virtual Onboarding

After you hire an employee, make sure you have a good onboarding process, even if it is virtual. You can explain and send all start dates, new hire documents and processes the employee needs to complete prior to their first day by email or phone. For their actual first day, it is a great idea to set up a video meeting or phone call to review their documents with them and answer any questions they may already have. Even though you may be working remotely, you still need to receive, inspect, and retain Form I-9 within the first three days an employee is hired. HR professionals can review the IDs virtually during your video onboarding meeting, or the new hire can email you electronic copies of their ID. When completing a Form I-9, employers should enter COVID-19 in section 2 as the reason for the physical inspection delay. Once the organization returns to the office, the same staff member must review the IDs in person within three days of returning, and add a notation indicating "documents physically examined" along with the date. If the employee needs to be present in the office, make sure to inform them on all of the processes and procedures the office has in place regarding Covid-19. Some of the safety measures Donnelly-Boland requires include mask wearing, temperature taking, social distancing for mshesko@donnelly-boland.com | 412-882-5383 x1120 Maddie Shesko HR Generalist II work stations, and capacity limits for bathrooms and elevators.


The CARES Act & OTC

Over the counter medications (OTC) are now considered eligible expenses for HSAs and other tax-advantaged arrangements such as health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA). New Quarantine Guidance The CDC recommendations for a quarantine period continue to change. Based on local circumstances and resources, there could be new guidance regarding the recommended quarantine period. If you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, quarantine may end after day 7 if you receive a negative test, or day 10 without a test.


Contact Tracing

Donnelly-Boland created its own internal form to help track possible exposures. This provides an easy way for HR professionals to organize and track exposures in the office, as they may be difficult to avoid completely. The form asks about the employee's current Covid-19 status, where they have been in the office, and staff members with whom they were in close contact. This ensures everyone with a possible exposure is contacted. If you have any questions about your own HR procedures, reach out to anyone in our HR Department.

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