Remote work is on the rise. Technology has made it possible to be productive from virtually anywhere, and both employers and employees are taking advantage of the opportunity.
There are obvious benefits to this. If you’re hiring remote employees, you don’t have to restrict your search to a limited geographical area. This makes it easier to find qualified candidates. Additionally, if your company encourages leaders to manage with a purpose, you likely already have a system in place that lends itself well to remote work.
That doesn’t mean hiring remote workers is always simple. Because this development is relatively new, you may overlook some elements of the process that are not so intuitive. Keeping the following tips in mind during recruitment will help you make the right remote hiring choices:
Research remote job descriptions
Crafting the right job description has always been a key element of finding qualified candidates. However, the unique nature of remote work means you may need to include additional information you might not include in a traditional description.
For instance, is the role remote-first or remote-friendly? If team members span across time-zones, will that make communicating difficult? Can remote employees work according to their own schedules, or are they expected to work according to the same general schedule as all other team members?
Study how other companies in your industry have written job descriptions to determine what type of information you should include in yours. Candidates appreciate the thoughtfulness and clarity you put in, and that can help distinguish you from other companies looking to hire them.
Schedule some face time
When hiring remote employees, don’t assume you should communicate solely over email and the phone. Speaking with someone face-to-face is still necessary because simple factors such as body language can tell you a lot about a person. While it may not be possible to bring all candidates to your office for an in-person interview, a simple solution is to schedule a video conference.
Focus on the right skills
When hiring employees who’ll be working in your office, you might typically focus on questions about their job-specific qualifications. Although that’s still important when hiring remote employees, you also need to ask questions that tell you whether you can rely on them to stay productive without constant supervision. Encourage them to speak about their time management skills, find out what type of environment they typically choose to work in and ask if they have succeeded while working remotely in the past.
Extend the onboarding process
Onboarding may technically last a day or two for new hires in a traditional office environment, but in reality, the process can last weeks (if not months). New hires will likely have questions that may not have been addressed thoroughly enough during the initial onboarding. When they share an office with coworkers and supervisors, they can easily ask those questions.
That type of instant communication is not as easy to achieve with remote employees. Thus, it’s smart to modify your onboarding process accordingly.
The best tactic is to schedule a week or two for new remote workers to visit the office in person. Immersing them in the culture for their first few weeks on the job allows you to provide them with all the information and resources they need to thrive. However, if that’s not possible, you may want to consider other options, such as creating onboarding videos, or virtual reality onboarding.
Hiring the right candidate who will want to stay for years and contribute to the growth of your business continues to be challenging. Add remote recruitment, hiring and ongoing work and it may seem impossible. By leveraging technology and communicating effectively, you can assemble a productive and successful remote workforce.