Staying Connected During a Pandemic: A TecHR QnA with Casey Welch, CEO at Tallo

Originally published by TecHR Series – April 7, 2020

Co-founder, President, and CEO of Tallo, a platform that helps connect talent with the right opportunities had joined us in the TecHR interview series earlier this year, to share his thoughts on the evolving HR Technology landscape. (Catch the complete January 2020 interview, here!)

Today, given the current world situation and the importance of “staying connected” in a remote work environment, we asked Casey to share his thoughts on some best practices and tips that can help HR teams and global businesses thrive through the current pandemic.

Catch the excerpts:

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Casey, it’s good to have you back! Can you tell us how the last few weeks (given the current world pandemic situation) has been for you/ Tallo?

It’s nice to be back! It goes without saying that the past few weeks have been challenging – to varying degrees – for everyone. As folks are practicing social distancing to stay safe and healthy, students and professionals are sacrificing spending time together in person to connect and network. I’ve always believed in the power of technology to facilitate these connections virtually, and the past few weeks have put that to the test. I created Tallo to give talent the ability to showcase themselves and get noticed by companies and colleges online, and I’m proud and humbled to say those important connections haven’t skipped a beat during these challenging circumstances. Even amidst a pandemic, employers need to stay connected with current and future talent, and Tallo provides them with an online hub to make that happen.

How would you advise global teams to optimize their HR Tech stack to ensure they have an optimized remote work process while maintaining seamless collaboration, especially during a time of crisis?

Communication, communication, communication! I can’t imagine a situation where open and consistent communication would be more important. Such a sudden and abrupt shift to working remotely can be very unsettling for many workers. On top worrying about their own safety and the health of loved ones, they may be feeling isolated and anxious about the global economy. Team leads should utilize tech that allows for constant, two-way communication, like a video conferencing platform. And consider a project management platform to ensure that timelines stay on schedule and details don’t fall through the cracks. If major in-person work events are canceled or postponed, consider options for hosting them as webinars instead. We recently hosted our canceled SXSW EDU session as an online panel with dozens of attendees tuning in from across the country!

Could you share your thoughts on the top factors HR teams should keep in mind when managing teams that are forced to work remote due to a pandemic?

First and foremost, be aware of what may be occurring in your team members’ lives. Do they need flexible hours because they no longer have reliable childcare? Are they worried about a sick loved one? Now is the time to put your employees’ needs first. Show them you care during this stressful time, and it will make your team even stronger in the long run.

Additionally, HR teams should encourage flexibility. Individuals, or perhaps even entire teams, may have to shift their priorities and goals during this constantly changing COVID-19 landscape. Find your versatile team members and empower them to lead by example. As much as possible, stay optimistic and transparent. As you’re communicating company-wide announcements, look towards your team members to keep a pulse on how individuals are coping.

What are some of the things you would say every company should do to help ensure smooth processes and productivity while ensuring employee morale at the same time, during a world crisis?

As much as possible, embrace the changes. For the time being, working remotely and practicing social distancing is the new normal. Tallo has recently published some resources for companies on how to shift recruitment, interviewing, and hiring practices online. In short, just because you can’t meet with your employees face-to-face or shake a potential team member’s hand doesn’t mean that team building, productivity, or innovation should come to a standstill.

Could you share some innovative examples of what companies are doing to successfully tide over this stressful time?

I’ve been very inspired by the innovation many of our partners are displaying during this stressful time. One of our large, international student organization partners had to cancel many of their statewide competitions due to the coronavirus outbreak. Students who had worked so hard on their projects were disappointed, and were nervous that the cancellation of these regional events might prevent them from participating in the international event hosted later in the year. This organization heard their students’ concerns, and quickly took action. While they had to cancel the in-person regional events for the safety of their students, they adapted their competition structure to allow students to submit their projects on Tallo. That way, the competitive aspect of the regional events remains intact, and students will still have the ability to qualify for the international main event.

Thank you for your time (again) Casey, any last minute thoughts to share?

I have a question for the readers: how are you looking to be supported during this time? What challenges are you facing in representing your company’s brand online? Are there ways that your virtual connections with talent or employees are falling short?  Drop me a line at info@tallo.com – I’d love to hear how we can problem-solve together!

To learn more about Tallo, visit https://tallo.com/

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