For business owners and employers, the Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated a shift in recruiting, hiring, and managing employees. The business world is beginning to find its stride in the new post-Covid environment. Remote hiring is the new norm. Candidates expect remote opportunities, and businesses that succeed in hiring effective remote workers have a distinct advantage in this new, emerging economy.
Hiring remotely is all about strategic recruiting, careful vetting, and finding the right cultural fit. In many ways, traditional hiring practices still apply. Hiring still involves writing effective job listings, reviewing resumes, and interviewing candidates. However, to be successful in your hires and gain a competitive advantage in the new remote economy, it’s important to adapt these practices to a remote setting.
How Hiring Practices Have Changed
Sourcing, vetting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding employees are not new practices. Many of the old strategies and approaches still apply in a virtual environment. Don’t throw out the old rule book entirely. But a virtual setting does require tweaking many of the traditional hiring practices. One of the major trends we’ve seen is that, with remote hiring, the entire process has been shortened from start to finish. It takes less time to recruit, interview, and evaluate candidates remotely, and employers are making quicker decisions. It’s also become increasingly common to conduct multiple rounds of interviews That’s because it’s much easier to schedule candidates for virtual interviews, since it doesn’t require them visiting the office. Another noticeable trend that’s come with remote hiring is that employees and employers don’t always live in the same city, state, or even in the same country. Job seekers have many more potential employers to choose from, and hiring managers are able to choose from a much larger and more diverse pool of candidates.
Sourcing and Recruiting Remote Candidates
When hiring for remote positions, it’s important to be purposeful. Start by carefully considering and formalizing your expectations and detailing what you’re looking for from potential hires. Are there any absolutely essential qualifications? Required education or training? What are the soft skills you’re looking for? This will help you craft a specific, clear job listing. It’s a good idea to include a detailed description of not only the position you’re hiring for, but also the mission, culture, and values of your organization. Then, post your description far and wide. Don’t limit yourself to local job boards or local candidates. Also, don’t forget the possibility of hiring internally. If your organization has internal job boards, utilize those as well.
Vetting Candidates Remotely
Review cover letters, resumes, and applications carefully and eliminate candidates who don’t meet your needs or expectations. As you go through this process, try to keep an open mind. Even if a candidate’s resume is missing an element in your listing, it’s often still worth reading their cover letter and other application materials. Especially in an online environment with a large pool of candidates to choose from, someone may just surprise you.
Prior to interviewing candidates (which you should absolutely still do when hiring remotely), consider checking their references, conducting a background check, browsing their social media, administering skills assessments and other tests to gain additional insight into potential hires’ abilities, traits, and skills. From cognitive and personality tests to knowledge and aptitude exams, to ethics and integrity tests, you can learn a lot through a few short online assessments. Just keep in mind that if you require candidates to jump through too many hoops before granting them an interview, some may walk.
Conducting Remote Job Interviews
If there’s one component of the hiring process that’s changed most dramatically in the new remote environment, it’s probably job interviews. Gone are the days of candidates waiting in lobbies to be called in for that all-important job-interview handshake. Although it may be tempting to skip interviews in a remote hiring situation, try to avoid doing this. Interviewing candidates for cultural fit and getting to know them is arguably more important in a virtual work environment. In fact, because virtual interviews can be conducted from home and are often more convenient for both you and potential hires, you can actually interview more candidates and put them through more rounds of interviews.
Here are a few tips for conducting remote job interviews:
- Try to interview candidates over Zoom, Skype, or other video-conferencing software rather than over the phone. This allows you to get a sense for candidates’ people skills, enthusiasm, and nonberbal cues.
- Don’t focus too heavily on candidates’ resumes in interviews unless you have specific questions about them. Doing so can distract you from listening carefully as they give their answers.
- Try to ask a good mix of knowledge-based, example, skills-focused and cultural-fit questions.
- Ask candidates about previous remote experience and how they’ll fit in with a remote team.
- Keep an eye out for candidates that not only give great answers to your questions, but also ask a few of their own; this is a sign of enthusiasm and interest in the position.
Choosing a Remote Candidate
Even though hiring remotely can feel like less of a commitment, making the right decision is as important in a virtual workplace as it is in a traditional office environment. The cost of a bad hire is extremely high in most industries, and can be truly astronomical in some. It’s much better for both your organization’s effectiveness and bottom line to make careful, smart hiring decisions with a long-term strategy in mind than it is to have to restart the hiring process because you made the wrong choice.
Be purposeful and take additional steps to gather more information if you need to, especially if you’re choosing between two final candidates. It’s a good idea to involve multiple people in all hiring decisions so you can talk through the pros and cons of each candidate.
Professional Recruiting & HR Services Built for the Future
At Rush Recruiting & HR, we know how important your hiring decisions are to your organization’s success. We provide award-winning services to optimize your recruiting and hiring practices for the long term. We’re here to help you adapt your sourcing and recruiting, vetting, interviewing, and hiring-decision processes to ensure you secure great hires and excel in the new remote economy.
Contact Rush Recruiting & HR today to learn more and find out how we can help you.