Remote work isn’t news to a remote recruiter, but the pandemic has made it more common. This crisis has forced teams either start or increase working from home. Companies of all sizes are exploring a “remote culture and work style.” For this reason, access to better talents, which starts with hiring the most skilled ones, is a significant challenge for recruiters for remote jobs.
With success in the recruitment and selection process, teams will thrive with access to better talents and companies will cut on operation cost. Remote working can also improve productivity with the right people. And in the perspective of employees, they love the work-life balance, independence, and flexibility of work-from-home setups.
Not to mention, remote work is the work of the future that offers a lot of benefits like a positive impact on sustainability. For one, there’ll be less commute – meaning less pollution and demand for fossil fuel. In the early days of the COVID-19, there was also a reduction in congestion and traffic as many of us would have noticed.
But hiring remote workers require a totally different approach because we’re not just looking for people with qualified skill sets but also the right fit for a remote workplace. Not to mention, remote work is becoming a more popular choice among workers. In this article, let’s talk about hiring remote employees.
What situation will you be hiring remote employees for?
If your organization is yet to hire remote workers and you don’t have the policies for it yet, consider preparing it before creating a job advert.
- Are you hiring full time or part time employees?
- Are you setting up a hybrid team?
- Do you require applicants to have remote work experience? You might need to prioritize people with prior experience if you’re hiring a full time remote team
Establish an online presence
To attract top talents and retain them, establish a solid reputation online especially if you’re hiring remotely. Many applicants will check on your online profile, such as your website and social media pages, to know more about your company.
If you already have your career page and social media business pages, do they appear professional and help improve trust? Do they effectively display your organizational culture? Do they leave a positive impression? Do they attract employees and help them visualize what it will look like to become a part of your team?
Write a compelling job advertisement
Your job post should clearly state that you’re hiring a remote employee in every aspect of the advertisement. Most workers would like to know if you’re offering flexibility and work-life balance. They also want to feel how it is like to work in your company. In the following are my quick tips to write your job post.
Make your title clear and specific
If you’re hiring a web developer, write “web developer.” You don’t need to be overly creative on the title like writing “web magician” or some sort. Your goal as the remote recruiter is your advertisement to appear in searches and attract the right people.
Don’t just write the good stuff, like the benefits and rewards, of working in your company, but be sure to also highlight the bad aspect of the job, just like how you should when creating a realistic job preview – wherein you clearly outline the good and bad aspects of the job.
In short, be honest and transparent. It’s for your own good. You don’t want to deal with frustrated and disappointed people later, right?
Being transparent with your expectations as well as what the prospective candidates expect of the job will prevent unpleasant surprises later. Help candidates make an informed decision before joining your company to establish excellent remote teams with satisfied workers.
Write required skills and qualifications
If you haven’t figured out yet, visualize your ideal candidate and in your job description write those expectations. However, you might want to go easy on the requirements as to avoid pushing away other ideal candidates.
For example, according to a Harvard Business Review article and based on a report of Hewlett Packard, women don’t apply to jobs unless they are confident that they meet 100% of the required skills, but men are different. They’re confident about their skills at 60%, so they’re likely to apply even if they don’t meet 100% of the required skills.
You don’t also write 15 years of required experience when in reality someone can be an expert in the same job with only five years of work experience.
Describe the benefits and rewards
What do you have for your remote employees? Is there work-life balance, flexibility, and autonomy? Do you offer free computer and internet to those who will be working as one of your remote employees?
Without even saying, this part is your chance to attract top talents through selling the incentives, perks, and benefits of working for your company. However, you should also be explaining ways your company supports remote employees.
How remote is the remote work?
When writing the job description, don’t just write phrases like flexible work or remote-friendly, but also highlight if you require 100% remote work or employees reporting to and working at the office on certain days of the week. You must also state if –
- Working from home is required only twice a week?
- Employees, who are from a different time zone, should work in the same time zone as your company?
- Work can be done anywhere?
What equipment is needed?
Do you need a certain internet speed, phone, computer, or any other work equipment? Be sure to clearly state the type of equipment that the applicants should have when applying for the position.
State the schedule honestly
Even if you’re establishing a remote team, you might still expect a weekly or monthly meeting with them for updates, work progress, and announcements. Also, some companies would also want their remote team to be online in specific work hours. Adding work schedule in the job posting will attract candidates that can meet those demands.
Add key phrases to attract the right candidates
One of the primary goals of recruiters for remote jobs is to ensure that their job posting attract as many qualified candidates as possible. To do it, they don’t just write a compelling job description but also ensure that they include common remote jobs keywords, such as flexible jobs, remote jobs, work from home, home-based, telecommute, and virtual jobs.
Talk about your organization’s communication process
A key ingredient to a successful remote team is a clear communication process, and this is no different when looking for remote workers. Regardless if it’s through video chats, phone calls, project management tools, or messaging apps, be sure to include your team’s communication process in the job advert. More likely, you’ll attract remote workers who want to work in companies that can suit their communication preference.
Do a reference check
Reference checking should be done when hiring remote workers to help you verify information that is provided by the prospective candidates, including the duties they performed and technical skills they listed. It will also help you elaborate the information already provided by the candidate, including their job competence, knowledge, and other skills.
Reference checks may also help you determine the candidate’s integrity as well as evaluate one’s success chance for remote work. They can also help you rank candidates to make good hiring decisions.
A remote recruiter should also conduct a good reference checking to protect the company against fraud. It will also help you build a level of trust to the candidate in a remote workplace wherein you need to trust one with confidential and sensitive information as well as company systems, such as website credentials if you’re hiring a content writer who should also be uploading the articles or blogs on your website, which is a digital asset.
An online reference checking may also help you determine a prospective candidate’s ability to take care and manage information. It can help you predict the level of performance of a candidate through his/her past performance, which can indicate his future performance. It can also add an assurance layer as well as trust on new employees.
Background check tips for remote workers
Use technology to help you with the screening process and exchange information easily from anywhere you are, and these include documents on disclosure and authorization. [There are also ways that you can automate the hiring process, such as using job description templates.]
Comply with the laws even if you’re hiring remote employees
There are laws that can affect the hiring process. You can use background screening tools with dashboards that can provide you with the tools and resources to stay updated with the latest laws and trends that will affect remote hiring.
In addition, you can conduct verifications for new hires without collecting physical copies of driver licenses and passports, for instance. In terms of drug screening, you can use paperless drug screening providers that can provide your applicants with the instructions to choose a preapproved drug screening site, and then you’ll be notified when they’ve completed testing and review of results is available.
Such paperless testing makes it easy for applicants to complete the test anywhere they are because they can complete the screening process with any mobile device.
Use different methods to verify remote employees
A comprehensive verification process may be helpful because it will save you time and effort and give both you and the candidates the flexibility to choose a suitable method. Some of these include fax, phone, email, and technologies integrating databases.
A wide range of verification methods gives human resources departments a more flexible way of verifying new employees as well as save money and resources.
Nevertheless, background screening is an essential component of remote work. You should give attention to and comply with it because there are existing laws and updates and trends are constantly being introduced.
Check for competencies to thrive in a remote work environment
Seventy-four percent of companies want to shift some employees to a permanent remote work setup even after COVID. And in the future, there will be an increase in the number of roles that will require part time remote work at the very least. In this regard, a recruiter for remote jobs are facing the challenge of hiring people who are not only with the technical skills and experience but also have competencies to thrive in a remote work environment.
A remote employee should have integrity
You don’t supervise employees physically in a remote work environment and can’t see who is working or not. There is also little chance that you can monitor their online activities unless you can see or monitor their PCs remotely.
That is why you need to find employees that you can trust and rely on and that will deliver their best even if no one is looking.
What is a person with integrity? They’re the ones that can display and demonstrate sound ethical and moral principles and always doing the right thing even if no one’s watching. It’s one of the essential traits that a remote worker must have for a beneficial employer and employee relationship.
A person with integrity is accountable, self-aware, truthful, and responsible at all times even if they’re not supervised. They’re dependable and trustworthy and they’re reliable that they behave and do the right thing no matter who’s looking.
Nevertheless, integrity is associated with having strong ethical and moral values and principles and being fair and honest. A person who has it has a very strong sense of what’s right and what’s wrong and treats coworkers and superiors with respect.
A few things to ask candidates –
- Describe a situation in your past workplace that helped you become stronger and grow as a person.
- Was there a time when you committed a mistake and you had to admit it? Tell us how you handled it.
In the recruitment and selection process, you can also conduct an integrity test that may help you assess the prospective candidate’s tendency to be dependable, honest, and trustworthy. It will help you avoid making a bad hire because the lack of integrity in employees may lead to counterproductive behaviors as violence and theft.
It may also help you predict job performance because integrity is linked to conscientiousness, which is one of the Big Five Traits that can also predict an employee’s job performance.
A remote employee must have organization and planning competency
Without supervision, a remote worker should get the work done independently, so it’s important that they possess an ability to know and set their priorities; thus, they need to have good time management, organization, and planning skills.
As they need to accomplish the task alone, they should identify and stick with the steps to complete it as well as estimate the time needed for it. Organization skills are linked with self-discipline, and it’s an essential trait to succeed in a remote workplace. They know their goals and work consistently to achieve them.
Remote workers have work standards set for success
A good remote worker can work consistently to accomplish their task and stay productive, while also being able to pay attention to all the details involved in the tasks and think about solutions and process improvements to do better.
Remote workers possess strong problem-solving skills
Problem analysis and solving should not be missed out when determining one’s suitability to work in a remote setting because they need to work without supervision. They should be able to analyze complex situations and work toward coming up with a solution. They should also have a proactive approach to prevent the same problem in the future.
A good remote worker must not only rely on immediately available information to solve problems but also look for potential solutions at a 360-degree perspective using a logical thinking approach.
Remote workers have a high sense of teamwork
Even if they’re telecommuting, remote workers can cooperate well with the distributed team. Choose candidates with teamwork skills and that can connect with others, are responsive, and reach out to their teammates effectively.
One component of teamwork is communication, and it’s one of the characteristics to look for when hiring a remote employee. It’s the ability of communicating ideas with the group via email, phone, or personally and ensures that it’s delivered in a professional tone.
Part of teamwork is conflict management, which is the ability of mediating problems among the members of the team as well as negotiating when settling disputes.
Listening, which is a part of an effective communication, is one’s ability of listening to the concerns, ideas, and feedback of the entire team. Even for a remote worker, it is an important skill that shows that one cares and understands their peers.
One should possess self-development skills to thrive in a remote workplace
When setting up your remote team, you should also look for candidates that display self-development skills to ensure that your people will not stagnate in their remote roles but thrive in the setting.
Just as the job is remote, there will be limited available opportunities to supervise your people’s personal and professional growth, which is why it is important to hire those with commitment to grow and develop.
People with self-development skills can learn new skills that they can apply to their position, while also being able to find new ways to perform their job efficiently and effectively.
For instance, they take challenges and situations as opportunities to improve their skills and approach. They can also overcome their weaknesses and limitations while also acting upon feedback to improve and do better next time.
- Tell us about a situation in which you asked for feedback and ways you acted upon it to improve.
- Tell us about a situation when you’ve shown your willingness to go beyond what you know and challenge it.
Present and convey your company culture
Hiring remote workers for your team isn’t only about getting top talents but also ensuring culture fit people is working for and with you. This matters when measuring overall performance, too. How do you convey your company culture with applicants virtually? Check out the following tips I’ve compiled for you.
Introduce your organizational culture in your careers page
It is where the candidate’s first interaction with your company takes place. It’s the first online channel they go to when they are looking for available opportunities in your company.
Get started with the careers page of your company. Use messaging that makes you unique and that sets you apart from competitors.
For better results, you might want to allot a separate section in the job description that explains about your company, including how it is like to be working in your organization.
Going back to messaging, make sure it’s personalized displaying your company’s language and culture. Be consistent with it, though, and see to it that you’re using the same tone and language in all your messaging channels online. This includes your social media pages.
Get the applicants deeper into your organizational culture by being more specific through specific examples. One of the best ways to do this is to involve your employees.
How? Create a realistic job preview, in which a great example is an employee video testimonial that includes one of your workers sharing his/her journey with your company and overall experience. This can paint a clear picture of what it looks and feels like to be working at your company.
Use social media
Use your social media pages to introduce your company’s culture to potential remote employees. It can be in the form of “a day in the life” video of an employee working for you or a recent company review at Glass Door, for instance.
Nevertheless, you can showcase your personality on social media and not just use it for updates, news, and announcements about your organization. You can also share your remote employees’ profiles, share company stories, and celebrate company milestones.
Allot a time for the very important question and answer portion
At the end of the interview process, allot a time for the question and answer to give potential candidates the chance to clarify something and ask about it.
Be real and assess how remote workers feel about the culture fit. You should ask them what their ideal workplace is and how they’d feel if they’d have an opportunity to work at your company. While at this stage, you can also ask about how they’re feeling about remote work.
Introduce your remote team
If you already have a remote workforce, allow the potential candidates to meet with them and not just with the company’s hiring manager. This will give them a chance to have a feel of your workplace culture even if you’re hiring remote workers.
In the hiring process, you can set up specific times that allow prospective candidates to meet with other members of the team – including their peers as well as team leaders.
Interview for the remote role
For the most part, companies conduct three interviews – culture and values interview, experience interview, and final interview. The first one focuses on determining how a candidate would fit in the culture, the second one includes a short exercise to assess an applicant’s work product, and the last one involves determining the primary element to be successful in the role – like a writing sample if hiring a copywriter.
Offer a trial period
Make and offer a trial period or a job tryout to ensure finally that you’re making a good hire before making a job offer. It will allow you to see if the candidate has the characteristics and skills needed to become successful at the job and lets you determine one’s suitability in a remote work setting.
Remote Work: Now and Beyond
The pandemic has forced more teams to work remotely, and we don’t see it stopping here. Remote work is definitely the work of the future – part time, full time, or hybrid remote work. And with this said, a remote recruiter should keep up with the challenges that come with the remote hiring process. Thanks to technology that makes this whole new recruitment and selection process a lot easier.