All About the Remote Hiring Process

by Victoria Mckee

When the pandemic began in 2020, employers had to make a sudden shift, gearing towards full-time remote working. While some companies have welcomed their employees back into regular offices, others have kept the work-from-home set up permanently. You can find many companies like Shopify and Facebook announcing their plans to allow their employees to work remotely indefinitely!

Some of the main reasons employers endorse telecommuting are health concerns and cheaper overhead. Employees also reap numerous benefits through working remotely, with surveys showing that employees are happier with work-from-home setups.

As a result, many HR departments and hiring managers are looking into the remote hiring process. However, the remote hiring process isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It’s easier said than done, to the point you’ll feel it’s frustrating and time-consuming.

If you’re wondering how to successfully conduct the remote hiring process, read on!


Why Hire Remote Employees?

Hiring remote workers can help organizations expand to various parts of the world, allowing them to offer better customer support. Having remote employees can also stretch the organization’s budget and improve employee experience! Take a look at the benefits:


Broaden the Pool of Talent

Since organizations won’t need to factor in location, they can hire people working anywhere around the world, living in different time zones. Because of a location-diverse workforce, teams can cover even more working hours and offer better customer support. Furthermore, there’s the opportunity to monopolize sales opportunities from other areas.


Reduce Business Costs

Since employees usually work at home or in shared coworking spaces, you won’t have to worry about the significant costs behind rent, workspaces, utilities, food, and other office management supplies. It also saves employees time and money from the commute, which they can use for more productivity.


Increase Employee Happiness

Remote Hiring Process

Because remote employees will have more autonomy, working at times when they feel the most productive, they’ll experience less stress and more happiness compared to traditional employees in an office.

Besides increasing employee happiness, the option to work remotely will also increase employee retention!


Step-by-Step Guide to the Remote Hiring Process

As you probably know, the remote hiring process is different compared to the process for on-site employees. Human resources must adapt to new practices, such as updated job descriptions to attract the best candidates for the position. Follow these steps:


Determine what you need in a remote employee

Before anything else, you should list down the skills and qualities you’re looking for in the ideal candidate. It would be best if you also thought of strategies when evaluating potential remote employees when it comes to:

  • Collaboration skills
  • Communication skills
  • Culture fit
  • Adaptability
  • Self-motivation
  • Time management

Make a rubric for the hiring team to use to measure the candidates. The rubric needs to focus on the core competencies required to fulfill the remote employee role successfully.


Write a proper remote job description.

Once you determine the things you desire from the ideal candidate, you can create the remote job description. Be sure to include key terms to have people see it as a remote work opportunity, attracting adaptable, organized, and self-motivated people.

Here are the things to include:

  • Job Title – Have a clear job title accurately representing the role’s duties. To make the open position easier to find online, use keywords like “virtual,” “remote,” or “work from home.”
  • Job Description – Introduce the open position, including what the person will do, their day-to-day activities, and how it contributes to the organization’s goals.
  • Position Details – Specify details such as whether the role is full-time or part-time which parts of the world the employee can work from if the application is open to all applicants worldwide, among other things applicable and required for the organization.
  • Skills and qualifications – Outline the skills and qualifications you want from the ideal candidate, including education, previous experience, soft skills, and job-specific skills.
  • About the Company: Include company information about the mission, values, culture, commitments to inclusion and diversity, dedication to remote workers, and any benefits and perks.

When creating a job description, consider following these tips:

  • Use inclusive language.
  • Avoid jargon. Instead, use descriptive and straightforward words.
  • Outline the company’s expectations for any travel and schedule availability. Let the job seeker know if he can set a flexible schedule, needs to visit the office regularly, or have the option to work from coworking spaces and the like.
  • Include relevant keywords related to remote working so job seekers can easily find your posting. Add keywords like “virtual job, work remotely, remote job, telecommuting job, work from home, work from anywhere.”
  • Before posting the position, edit and proofread it.


Post and promote the open position

Remote Hiring Process

Once your job posting is ready to publicize, it’s time to post and promote it! Here are platforms where you can promote remote jobs, as well as source and recruit candidates:

  • Remote Job Boards – There are numerous online platforms where organizations can post their open positions, either free or paid.
  • Recruiting Software – You can use software to manage the candidate pipeline, find new candidates, and maintain an organized database of job applicants.
  • Social Media – This is an extremely valuable tool when recruiting remote candidates. Organizations can take advantage of social media to post open jobs, either from the company’s official account or in industry groups such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Encourage the company’s recruiters to have a more active presence online and be available for any candidate questions. Furthermore, use campaigns and hashtags around specific jobs, partnering with marketing initiatives to put your posts out in the world. Try using various visual formats like videos, which showcase the organization’s culture and team members.


Screen the remote candidates

Remote interviews are less expensive, easier, and more convenient for scheduling. Recruiters and HR can yield many candidates this way. While this is beneficial, it’s also overwhelming when dealing with dozens to hundreds of interested applicants!

We recommend using a recruiting software or project management tool when screening initial candidates, then save the ones who pass the pre-screen for team members to evaluate.

When screening remote candidates, use the hiring rubric you created earlier, ensuring that their application’s skills and experiences reflect what you want and need from the ideal candidate. We also recommend conducting an initial phone screening with your pre-screened candidates to know them more and ensure that the open position suits them well.

Furthermore, we also suggest giving the candidate an assignment, which would test their remote work skills. That way, you can better evaluate what it’s like working with the candidate. You get to see how the candidate can solve problems, work with deadlines, and learn more about their communication methods.


Preparing for the interview

Once your top candidates pass the initial phone screening with the team, the next part is the remote interview.

First, you must assemble a hiring team by identifying the important decision-makers for hiring this particular job. Think of who will work and manage the candidate the most and if anyone reports to him. That way, you can quickly determine who will interview the candidate and the competencies they will interview for to remove duplicative questions, only receiving the necessary information.

During the interview, use the hiring rubric to know the critical requirements and skills to look for. Before the interviews, make sure to adjust and acknowledge any hiring biases hiring team members may have. Also, be honest and transparent with the team when hiring for a particular position, seeing whether in-person or remote interviews are appropriate.

Besides that, here are other tips to follow to conduct remote interviews:

  • Determine the length of interviews in every hiring phase.
  • Depending on the company, role, and remote work policy, determine whether the interviews should be conducted on-site or remotely.
  • Consider how many times the candidate would be coming into the office if he got the job. If they need to go to the office regularly, it may be worth conducting at least one face-to-face interview.
  • Some companies may conduct initial screenings and first-round interviews online, then bring candidates on-site for the final interviews to meet the team in person. However, other companies would conduct all interviews online. Find what works best for you and your team, depending on your local government’s rules.
  • If you plan to bring the candidate on-site, look into booking travel and lodging, especially if they live in another city or country. Look into the airfare, car transportation, and accommodation for candidates and who will be responsible for the expenses.


Conducting the interview

Remote Hiring Process

Now, you’re ready to conduct the official interview to know the candidates! This will also give the hiring team an opportunity to ask questions and build rapport with the candidate.

Prepare for the interview ahead so you and the team can use the interview time for actually interviewing rather than reviewing resumes and asking duplicative questions.

Before the interview, review all the candidates’ resumes, the hiring rubric, and the interview questions you will ask. If you’re conducting the interview remotely, ask all the interviewers to join the call a bit earlier, so the candidates know you respect their time and are fully prepared for the remote hiring process.

Here are extra tips to follow when conducting remote interviews:

  • Consider the candidates’ time zones and locations when scheduling their interviews.
  • Use appropriate video conferencing software and hardware so you can see the way candidates handle themselves for remote meetings.
  • If you plan to conduct interviews from locations outside the office, make sure you have quiet and clutter-free surroundings.
  • Check the software and hardware you plan on using prior to the remote interview.
  • Use active listening throughout the interview to connect with the candidate better. You may not assess body language adequately because you won’t meet in person.
  • While the candidate is displayed on a monitor or screen, look at your camera occasionally, which replicates eye contact.
  • Wait for a second or two after the candidate responds to account for lag time in case of slow Internet connections. This prevents you from cutting them off if they have more to share.


Debrief and evaluate

Hold a debrief after the interviews with the key hiring stakeholders. That way, everyone involved can share their opinions and help offset individual hiring biases.

Review the hiring rubric for the open position with different team members, carefully looking into the important requirements and skills the job calls for. Afterward, ask the team members whether or not the candidate moved forward in the remote hiring process, expressing detailed reasons for their decision.


Follow up

At this point, it’s time to make the critical decision! Do you and the team plan on moving the candidate forward in the hiring process, or is it time to hire them? Update the hiring team members on the final decision before informing the chosen candidate.

Once everyone is informed and agrees with the decision, follow up with the chosen candidate and congratulate them! Include information such as the next steps of the remote hiring process, including additional interviews, the offer letter, and other things depending on what your company and team require. Send all the updates promptly, quickly connecting the chosen candidate with human resources and those they must direct any questions to.

Furthermore, introduce the new hire to their remote team and get them online as soon as possible. For remote managers, you must establish a sense of community right off the bat. Poor sense of community is a huge complaint from many remote workers, which may result in a bad start with the new remote hire!


Wrapping It Up

The remote hiring process doesn’t need to be daunting, especially when your organization is new. Through the proper knowledge and preparations before posting the open position, you’ll have less trouble and get to focus on hiring the best candidate suited for the job.

Hopefully, this guide on the remote hiring process informed you how to create the best job description to find the best candidates, conduct interviews, narrow down your options, and hire the one your organization needs. Keep these tips in mind as you set forward with the remote work setup. Good luck, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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