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Hiring from Afar: 6 Ways to Prep for Successful Remote On-Boarding

July 22nd, 2020

Image of a woman with curly brown hair on a laptop screen on a wooden desk. There is a plant and computer monitor in the background. The woman is dressed in business attire.

If you’re interviewing and on-boarding candidates remotely, auditing your hiring process is critical.

Pre-pandemic, there was a quiet confidence that remote employees had (at some point) met another team member in person, had an in-person interview, or were available for an in-office meeting. Should the need arise, face-to-face interaction was readily available.

But even as many states start to re-open, some companies are opting for remote onboarding and full or partially remote work. However, with many offices closed, companies restricting visitors or practicing social distancing – the opportunity to meet someone before they start working, even once, has been limited.

While your current employees may be thriving remotely, they have a distinct advantage over new hires.  They’ve worked in-person together, understand their positions, and know their projects.  The rapport is already built. Expectations are clear.

But hiring and on-boarding someone you’ve only met via video chat is daunting if it isn’t part of your regular practice. There is a real risk of underperformance or lack of engagement from someone who otherwise would be a spectacular hire. Navigating these virtual changes, clearly defining the process, and accepting that you cannot hire the same way will lead to productive, remote hiring.

Define Your Hiring & Interviewing Process

While the overarching hiring process may not change – screenings, interviews, skills tests; the way in which these occur does. Defining the process means understanding the details. Who is taking on the responsibility for the process – who is managing it? Often, a hiring manager or HR manager will act as a point person on-site, introducing candidates to their interviewers, providing check-ins, and serving as the welcoming committee.  But virtually, this cohesive and automatic progression is replaced with meeting invites and email chains. 

Additionally, it’s important to audit your hiring process and adapt it to the current situation.  If timed skills tests are traditionally taken on-site, what is new procedure? Does a tech test now weigh more in the consideration process? Is it more important than hiring for the right culture fit or hiring someone who is eager to learn and be part of the team?

Defining the process gives a clear picture to internal stakeholders as well as candidates.  Everyone can expect and understand the interviewing timeline, the priorities, and what factors are the most crucial in deciding to hire.

Remote On-Boarding

The hiring process isn’t over when an offer is extended.  This is truly the beginning of building a rapport with a new employee. By accepting a position, an employee has bought into the job, but buy-in and engagement are critical every step of the way.  We think of ‘Day One’ as meeting colleagues, filling out paperwork, and observing company culture. But when this interaction disappears, who takes over to welcome and engage the new hire? 

The details matter. How are work authorizations being filled out? Will there be a virtual welcome happy hour? Has someone been in regular contact with the new employee; giving them an outline of what is expected their first week? It may seem like a lot of fanfare, but it’s a ritual we automatically perform when a new employee arrives on-site. 

Set Up for Success

Hiring is about filling a business need. Projects aren’t finished and goals aren’t met without the right talent.  And this means setting up your employees for success. Regular in-office contact and feedback is natural, but it’s easy to be out-of-sight and out-of-mind in a remote position, especially as the new guy. Remote employees (particularly if this isn’t your regular practice) aren’t adjunct members of the team.

Who is responsible for the new hire’s success?  Who can they go to with issues? Who will introduce them to managers or co-workers? Who will help them understand and thrive in the team dynamic?

Setting up an employee for success means starting on day one. It is your responsibility as the employer to provide this support and structure. It is less haphazard than sending someone down the hall to fill out forms or grabbing a coffee with a manager.

Defining Goals

Broadly defining the goals of the job should occur before the first interview takes place.  These goals should narrow and be explicit by the time your remote employee gets starts.  Without measured goals, you are setting up your new hire for failure.

It should be abundantly clear what the work product is the first days, weeks, or months. Both sides need to understand the measures of success and how evaluations will be performed.

Communicating Changes

What does remote on-boarding actually mean? Even if your organization hasn’t made formal return-to-office plans, it’s important to clearly communicate the expectations to your new hire. What is the narrative around returning to the office? Will some people continue to work remotely?

Be upfront about the changing situation.  Whether it is temporary, evolving, or unknown – it will save a lot of confusion and frustration later.

Hiring in a Vacuum

Don’t assume that you are the only company that is hiring. In areas like technology where unemployment continues to be at record lows – candidates have multiple competitive offers. They’re spending less time commuting and have more time to interview at their leisure. Whatever hiring process you define, consider the timing, be competitive with your offer, know what you want, and assume that you aren’t the only one pursuing this person.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to hiring during this time. Successfully hiring and on-boarding remotely is new for many organizations. It is likely more involved, and more process driven than what we’ve come to know as standard practices. But maybe this shake up will force us to audit ourselves and clarify what is most important.

If you are unsure how to begin to define your process or haven’t worked frequently with remote employees, Talener can help. From sharing current market data to helping you audit your hiring practices; we are available to provide insight and guidance to navigate the ‘new’ normal.

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Posted in Clients, News, Talener Blog, Uncategorized

H-1B Premium Petitions: USCIS Extends & Expands Suspension

September 13th, 2018

Employers should adjust hiring time frames when preparing to onboard H-1B employees.  The suspension of the premium H-1B processing means that employers should factor in normal petition and approval time (2-6+ months), particularly if they are considering a time-sensitive hire.

What does this extension & suspension mean?

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept initial petitions for premium H-1B visa processing as of September 11th, 2018.  This will apply to most of the H-1B visa petitions that are filed at the California and Vermont Service Centers.

The California and Vermont Service Centers are responsible for initial petitions for a nonimmigrant worker (H-1B specialty occupation).

When does it take effect?

The expansion and extension of the current policy took effect on September 11, 2018 and is currently slated to remain in place until February 19, 2019.

What is a “premium” H-1B petition?

A premium H-1B petition is a way for an employer to pay an extra premium processing fee to the USCIS to have the H-1B decision within 15 calendar days.

As an employer, what does this mean?

Employers who are willing to sponsor an H-1B applicant after September 11, 2018, will not be allowed (in most cases) to file a premium H-1B visa petition to expedite the process.  Potential employees who require the H-1B visa through the employer will be required to submit their H-1B petition through regular processing.

What if I have an H-1B employee and they need to change their status or extend their visa?

Services will still be available to employers for status changes and extensions of current nonimmigrant H-1B visas.  The suspension of the H-1B premium petitions only applies to those who are beginning a new petition process.

How long does the USCIS take to process a “regular” petition?

Every situation is unique. Average processing times can vary between 2 and 6 months, but it could be longer.

Does the expansion and suspension of H-1B premium petitions affect me if I don’t reside in California or Vermont?

Yes. Only the California and Vermont Service Centers process these types of initial H-1B visa petitions.

Are any employers exempt from this policy?

Yes. Cap-exempt employers, typically higher education institutions or non-profit organizations associated with a higher education institution are excluded from this policy.

Can an employer make an expedited request during the time that premium processing isn’t available?

Yes. They can make expedited requests but the USCIS will generally not approve the request unless there is a compelling reason, backed by supporting evidence.


To find out more information about your specific situation, please visit the USCIS website.

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Posted in Clients, Talener Blog

2013 Business Insider IGNITION Mobile Conference

March 22nd, 2013

Just as the Internet and the World Wide Web have significantly disrupted the business landscape in the last decade, advancements in mobile technology are now overtaking web-based services and further pushing our economy into the digital realm. We are learning that even companies that until recently seemed like superstars, such as Facebook and Google, are at risk of becoming lame ducks in a rapidly evolving, mobile-first world. Tobias Rich, VP of our West Coast Operations, and I attended this incredible gathering of people who are evolving mobile business to discuss what’s happening now, what’s coming up next, and how the business landscape will continue to shift.

Some topics and insights that were particularly interesting to me included:

  • Mobile Product Development
    • Multi-screen interactive experiences are an inevitable trend – in 10 years, all screens (even TV) will be as interactive as our phone and tablet experiences presently are (Deep Nishar, SVP of Product @ LinkedIn)
    • Even traditionally B2B businesses will need to shift towards end-consumer centric product design to compete in mobile channels (Dave Goldberg, CEO @ SurveyMoney and husband of Sheryl Sandberg)


  • E-Commerce Usability
    • Monetization of mobile experiences is essential beyond display advertising, but it needs to be frictionless.
    • “Back End” payment processing is still by and large in need of innovation, despite interesting attempts to create a frictionless UI/UX (Patrick Collison, CEO @ Stripe – he was a millionaire at 19, started Stripe as his 3rd company at 23)


  • Content Discovery + Disruption
    • Rich media is being replaced by rich content, which means an elegant fusion of User-generated content and Professional copy. It’s not just about interacting anymore, it’s about engaging and connecting to content. (Mark Young, VP of Mobile Strategy & Business Development, Mobile & Emerging Platforms @ NBCUniversal)
    • The new advertising media model is a seamless, organic integration of frictionless ads, branded content and context-sensitive experience embedded in mobile applications (Dave Martin, SVP of Media @ Ignited)
    • Gaming and Social Networking are the two largest engagement methods on mobile devices; 19 of the 20 top grossing iOS apps are one of these two (Bart Decrem, SVP and GM @ Disney Mobile)
    • 3 key performance indicators for the success of mobile advertising are: Vanity (Brand awareness/impressions), Buzz (Peer-to-Peer metrics), Revenue (Monetization strategy). 


  • Mobile Monetization
    • 2 pioneering ideas for monetizing mobile experiences: (Bill Gross, CEO/Founder @ IdeaLab and UberMedia)
      • Dynamic Advertising  – ad retargeting based not just on what sites a user visit, but what they do on those sites and who they are as people, as inferred by advanced analytics often social in nature
      • Conquesting – advertising to people visiting or thinking about one’s competition, leveraging dynamic advertising and “sociolocal – social/location”. Imagine if you were eating at a restaurant, and a competitor across the street was able to advertise a free dessert to you for after your meal, in the form of a digital ad or text message sent to you if they were aware you were nearby… 


Other topics discussed included:

  • Gaming and the Multi-Screen Experience
  • The New (Mobile) Enterprise
  • Next Generation Mobile Devices and Services – there are no more mobile monopolies, everyone must continue to innovate and execute!!! (Kevin Packingham, Chief Product Officer @ Samsung Telecom)
  • Location as the New Frontier in Mobile Tech – this data, if properly acquired and analyzed, can yield extremely strong insights into end user behavior, interests and most importantly intentions
  • Investing in Mobile — VCs will not be looking to invest in companies looking to be the “X” company for the “Y” space (i.e. the new Instagram for birdwatchers), they’d rather take shots on disruptive ideas, and Mobile-first is not the same thing as Mobile-only
  • The Native Application Economy – this is where the money is going to come from in mobile, one way or another, cause this is where users spend the majority of their mobile time and where high engagement correlates strongest with revenue generated

All in all, the conference was a remarkable experience and networking opportunity – had the great pleasure of meeting past and present clients (including an old hiring manager of mine from LA!), as well as get some talk time with the leaders of companies that may become future customers! As well it was great to know what these business insiders (no pun intended) consider to be the future of this amazing, highly disruptive mobile technology emergence – should certainly provide some great content to provide to our networks. If anyone wants to learn more about what was discussed at this conferences and some of the insights we were able to garner – feel free to call me at x3702 anytime!

Posted in Client News, Clients, Current Events, Events, News, Talener Blog

Talener Group Donates to Reindeer's Effort to Aid Hurricane Sandy Victims

November 13th, 2012

Talener Group is proud to announce a donation to Reindeer’s efforts to bring relief to those affected by hurricane Sandy through their Little Care Box program.

Reindeer is a client of Talener Group and we were very happy to be able to help with their efforts as a Rock Star Partner.

This effort is meant to provide items that make life a little easier after a disaster.  As Reindeer so eloquently puts it:

“There are lots of organizations out there focused on getting the basic necessities up and running after a disaster. Our goal is to give people a way to provide a little extra comfort to those affected, and importantly, let people know they care.”

Talener is inviting our clients and candidates who are able to join us in supporting those in our area who are hurting most right now.  You may feel free to donate to or volunteer with Little Care Box or please look into donating money or time to other rescue/relief organizations.

Posted in Client News, Clients, Company News, Current Events, News, Talener Blog, Talener Culture

Holiday Timesheet Due Dates

November 13th, 2012

As we are nearing the Holiday Season, We want to make sure that our Consultants know when timesheets are due.

  • Timesheet periods run from Monday through Sunday and are due each Monday. 
  • Pay dates are every 2nd Friday and include time from the previous two weeks. 
  • Timesheets received late are included for payment in the normally scheduled next payroll date after they are received.
  • Timesheets must be accompanied by either a physical signature by your client manager or an email from your client manager indicating their approval of the related timesheet.
  • Timesheets are to be submitted via email to or via fax to (917) 720-1079.
  • Time may either be entered directly to the BeyondPay portal or to Talener’s Excel timesheet (or, to client’s timesheet system, if applicable).  In either case, client manager approval must be included as per above. Simply clicking “Submit” in BeyondPay does not mean your hours will be processed; you must send us an approval via email or fax.

The following table reflects the timesheet due dates and pay dates for 1099 and Corp-to-Corp Consultants through the end of the year (W2 Employees and Temporary Employees may have different due dates, please reach out to the operations staff at for those due dates).  “Cutoff for inclusion in Payroll” date (at 5p ET!!) reflects the absolute deadline for when an approved timesheet must be received in order to be included in the “On-time Pay Date”.  Approved timesheets received after such date will be paid in the next normally scheduled payroll date after they are received.  As we process the payrolls through a 3rd party system and banks need 2 days to process direct deposit payments, we have zero flexibility beyond these hard cutoff dates.

Week ending

Timesheet due

Cutoff for inclusion in Payroll

On-time Pay date

Sun, 11/04

Mon, 11/05

Mon, 11/19

Fri, 11/23

Sun, 11/11

Mon, 11/12

Mon, 11/19

Fri, 11/23

Sun, 11/18

Mon, 11/19

Tue, 12/04

Fri, 12/07

Sun, 11/25

Mon, 11/26

Tue, 12/04

Fri, 12/07

Sun, 12/02

Mon, 12/03

Tue, 12/18

Fri, 12/21

Sun, 12/09

Mon, 12/10

Tue, 12/18

Fri, 12/21

Sun, 12/16

Mon, 12/17

Fri, 12/28

Fri, 01/04/13

Sun, 12/23

Mon, 12/24

Fri, 12/28

Fri, 01/04/13

Sun, 12/30

Mon, 12/31

Tue, 01/15/13

Fri, 01/18/13

Sun, 01/06/13

Mon, 01/07/13

Tue, 01/15/13

Fri, 01/18/13

As it is reasonable to expect that your client manager may be out of the office at some point during this time for holiday / vacation, we highly encourage you to plan ahead and inquire with them about a proxy or replacement approver before they are away.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.  As always, if you have any questions, please contact your Talener Relationship Manager and/or

-Talener Operations Team

Posted in Client News, Clients, Company News, News, Talener Blog

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