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8-step guide for hiring remote employees

Posted by Shivali Anand

January 18, 2022    |     7-minute read (1278 words)

The coronavirus epidemic has permanently altered the way businesses operate, with recruiting and employment one of the most affected sectors. While some companies have had to delay onboarding new employees, others have had to hire without ever meeting them in person. Implementing a remote recruiting procedure has proven problematic for firms that have never worked online.

According to Owl Labs' State of Remote Work 2021, hybrid or fully remote work is emerging as a mainstay and will no longer be considered an anomaly. Some 71% of workers in the U.S. say they want a remote or hybrid working style once the pandemic is contained.

It's no secret that having a remote workforce provides several advantages to businesses. Three key advantages in particular deserve notice:

1. It expands the pool of qualified candidates –

Because geography is no longer an issue, businesses may hire employees from all over the world, spanning many time zones. A geographically varied staff can cover more hours, provide better customer service and manage sales in multiple locations.

2. Lowers company expenses –

When employees work from home, employers save money on rent, workspaces, utilities, food/beverage and other office administration costs. Meanwhile, according to the Owl Labs survey, 81% of respondents said they should be compensated the same whether they work in-office or remotely. 

3. Encourages employee retention –

Because most remote workers can work when they feel most productive, they are less stressed than those working full-time in an office. According to the same report, 84% of employees said being able to work from home after the pandemic would make them happier, which leads to higher employee retention.

This raises the question of what companies can do to build a remote hiring process when, according to SHRM statistics, the typical job search costs upwards of $4,000 and takes 42 days to complete?

How can companies hire remote workers?

Managing a remote workforce is not the same as managing in-office employees in terms of recruiting, onboarding, training and support. As a result, firms can start with their current employment processes. Then they'll be able to figure out which elements of those procedures need to be changed to support remote recruiting.

The eight actions below can assist firms in successfully hiring remote workers:

Step 1: Identify the competencies that an excellent remote applicant should have. Start by making a list of the qualities you're searching for in remote workers. Assess remote employees for cooperation, time management, culture/fit, self-motivation, communication skills, flexibility and other factors.

Next, create a list of criteria for your recruiting team to utilize when evaluating prospects, emphasizing the fundamental abilities necessary for the remote position.

Step 2: Write a descriptive job description.

 Include keywords in the job description that identify it as a remote position. This will also act as an invitation to self-motivated, flexible and organized remote employees.

The job title should correctly reflect the role's duties. Include keywords in the job title such as virtual job, remote job, telecommuting job, work remotely or work from home to help candidates locate the position on job boards.

Include specifics in the job description about what the candidate will be doing in their role, their daily activities and how they will contribute to the company's broader goals.

Indicate if the job is part-time or full-time. If necessary, you may also select where regions of the world the remote employee can work from. Is the position, for example, access to all worldwide candidates or just to those who live and work close to specific clients?

Specify whatever credentials and competencies the remote applicant must possess. Job-specific talents, experience, soft skills and education should be included.

Include information about the company like its purpose, vision, culture, values and advantages for remote workers.

Outline any other requirements, such as work hours, travel availability and so on.

Proofread the job advertisement before putting it out there.

Step 3: Advertise and advertise the position.

You may use the following resources to advertise remote job vacancies and attract remote employees:

Start with remote job platforms like FlexJobs, We Work Remotely,, Working Nomads and Remotive.

Recruiting software may assist in the identification of new applicants as well as the management of the candidate database. Indeed and BambooHR are two popular recruitment software providers.

To enhance the reach of your messaging, use social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as hashtags and campaigns or work with marketing agencies.

Use visual forms such as video to demonstrate your company's culture and offer potential applicants an idea of who they'll be working with.

Step 4: Interview applicants. 

Since interviewing remote candidates is less expensive, more convenient and quicker to arrange, you'll likely receive a high number of applications. Screen and select candidates using recruitment software or a project management tool to make the process easier. Getting on the phone with applicants to get to know them better, ensuring they are a good match for the vacant post and providing them activities to test their remote work skills are some tried-and-true screening tactics (such as problem-solving capabilities, how they adhere to deadlines and communication style, among other requisites).

Step 5: Interview preparation. 

It's time to start thinking about how you'll prepare for the remote interview component of the employment process. To do so, start by putting together a hiring team (key decision-makers for this position, including people who will be working with the candidate the most and those managing them). To avoid asking the same questions twice, decide who will interview the candidate and what specific talents they will be looking for.

Next, distribute the first step's recommendations to all interviewers to know the critical competencies to search for. Make sure the interviewers don't bring any hiring prejudices into the process.

Step 6: Interview the applicants who have been short-listed. 

Ensure that the recruiting team is prepared to interview prospects, ask pertinent questions and establish rapport with possible new recruits at this stage and that no time is spent assessing resumes and asking questions that might have been answered during the screening process.

Step 7: Evaluate the applicants. 

Hold a debrief with the main hiring stakeholders promptly after the interview to ensure that everyone participating in the hiring process may share their ideas and assist in countering any prejudice. Before moving further with the recruiting process, ask the stakeholders to assess all essential job competencies and provide thorough justifications for their acceptance or rejection of candidates.

Step 8: Follow up with the applicants.

 Before alerting the candidate, let all recruiting team members know that the decision to employ (or not) has been taken. Also, if there are any, inform them of the next stages in the recruiting process.

Introduce new remote personnel to their new colleagues as soon as possible to foster a feeling of community from the start.

Other good practices to think about

When arranging the interview, keep in mind the applicant's time zone and location.

To break the ice, start the interview with something lighthearted.

Use video to observe the candidate's demeanor.

Before the interview, double-check that your video conferencing software (Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) and hardware (speakers, mic, etc.) are in working order.

If you're interviewing outside the office, ensure the environment is peaceful and devoid of clutter.

In the absence of a face-to-face interview, which allows interviewers to examine body language clues, actively listen to better engage with prospects.

Look through the candidates' resumes and highlight any topics you'd want to learn more about.

If you want to record the interview, inform the candidate and get their permission beforehand.

Smile! In a virtual interview, it's critical to project your best body language.

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