Remote work is here to stay. Almost 75% of all professionals expect remote work to be a permanent fixture moving forward and a whopping 97% of employees have no desire to work from the office full time (and are willing to seek other employment if asked to.) That’s both good and bad news for HR and recruiters. The ability to work remotely is a must-have for the top talent in the market so if a company offers remote work as an option, they’re likely to attract better, more qualified candidates. On the flip side, that leaves HR up to the task of overhauling their recruitment process to work for remote candidates.
To kick start the process of updating your recruitment process to meet the needs of remote workers, we’ve put together a handy guide to hiring remote workers that includes the top five things you can do during remote recruitment to help you find quality employees.
Although remote positions grant companies access to a wider talent pool, candidates also benefit from having more job options. In an already overcrowded and hypercompetitive labor market, this puts even more pressure on HR and recruiters to grab the attention of the best remote talent available. This means getting your job listings posted in the right places and the right way.
Since the pandemic, platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor have made it easier to label job listings with a remote location, helping companies and job seekers alike. To maximize a job listing’s appearance in search results, changing your location to “Remote” rather than where the company is located is vital. On top of that, using commonly searched phrases like “work from home” in the written job description will boost its reach as well.
To reach the most qualified and most experienced remote workers, you might consider advertising and posting the job listing on dedicated remote job boards too. Websites like FlexJobs, JustRemote and We Work Remotely were popular amongst the remote worker community before work-from-home became a necessity. These more niche websites are popular with individuals who are more accustomed to working remotely and possess the soft skills necessary (like communication and self-discipline) to excel in such an environment.
The biggest difference between hiring locally to hiring remote workers is seen in the interview process. Information that interviewers and applicants often rely on like body language, active listening skills and a first hand look at a company’s operations is lost when the human interaction is removed from the interview. Without this experience, both interviewers and interviewees have less information to go on when making a hiring (or job selection) decision.
Luckily, the loss of this unspoken information in a virtual interview can be made up in other ways. Inviting candidates to sit in on a department scrum or a brainstorming meeting with their prospective team will help give them insights into remote operations and how teams work together. This also allows hiring managers to see how viable a candidate is for the team. Group interviews instead of one-on-one help too. Here, interviewers can work together to get a better read on a candidate while the candidate has a chance to see more faces of the company. These types of changes fill the information gap remote interviews create so both sides can make a more informed decision.
Determining whether or not an applicant is in line with the culture or company brand often happens during the interview process, but without a face-to-face meeting, remote recruiters and HR personnel may find it harder to pick out those who align with company values.
Finding a great cultural fit means higher retention rates and lower costs for companies and greater job satisfaction for applicants. With so much emphasis placed on a company’s culture it’s necessary for remote recruiters and HR teams to figure out an alternative way to test culture compatibility.
The company culture can be infused into every step of the remote hiring process. During the application phase, avoid using vague phrasing like “great work culture” and instead be specific, for example, “Great work culture that values rest as much as it values hard work.” Additional questions that speak to the applicant rather than the position weed out unfit applicants too. A highly collaborative work culture might include something like “Walk us through how your ideal team would work.” Then, including one-way intermediary video interviews also provide insight into an applicant’s way of thinking. These let you see how applicants truly view themselves and their work. When in-person interviews aren’t available, culture fit assessments can be peppered throughout the remote hiring process in other ways.
Signing online for the first day at a new job is a lot different than walking into a bustling office full of employees. Without the constant presence of coworkers to guide new recruits through their first days, new remote hires are less able to access necessary company information which can result in feeling isolated. The absence of this guidance results in higher training expenses and gives new hires a negative impression of the company.
HR can improve the onboarding process for remote workers to address these issues in a few different ways. For example, having access and knowing where to find relevant data and information is easily solved by including a short “who to ask/where to find” tutorial in onboarding. Including a communication breakdown and introducing them to key people in the company (even outside of their department) helps mitigate any organizational issues they may face on their own.
The social aspect of joining a new company can (and should) be addressed during remote onboarding too. Making sure departments or the company as a whole carves out time for proper introductions helps fight against feelings of isolation and replicates the in-office experience of meeting your coworkers. Even something as simple as shipping a welcome box of company swag could do wonders to making a new remote hire feel like part of the team.
Hiring remote workers and managing remote teams heavily relies on clearly establishing what’s expected of employees during recruitment.
For remote recruitment, expectations outside the immediate needs of the role should be highlighted in order to make sure candidates will be on the same page with the company and whatever team they may be joining. For instance, availability. Is your remote office asynchronous or does it expect its staff to be available during certain parts of the day? Explicitly laying down such requirements lets new remote hires know exactly what’s expected of them and when. This is especially true for communication.
Setting communication expectations like daily check-ins or time tracking keeps remote hires in the fold and helps them establish productive and healthy remote work habits that will benefit the company and avoid miscommunications.
Remote work has changed the way we conduct business and recruitment is no different. By adjusting recruitment to cater to remote workers, companies gain a competitive edge in hiring among available talent and are still able to gather all the information necessary to make an informed hiring decision. While hiring remote workers may look and feel different than the recruitment and hiring process of days past, the outcome is still the same
HR leaders know that the work they do adds strategic value but with so much on their plates, productivity, on-the-job learning and employee retention can get pushed aside. Take steps to engage your workforce and curate a culture that thrives. With Teramind, you can capture all types of user activity and behavior data that can be leveraged to promote a productive culture and more.
But don’t just take our word for it…