An astonishing 42% of the total U.S. labor force now works from home on a full-time basis. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the global corporate landscape and transformed the way we do business, there was a broad trend toward remote work. In fact, prior to the current widespread work-from-home requirements, remote work grew 91% in the last decade.
In many industries, working from home is the new normal for the foreseeable future. The way companies manage their existing employees is changing dramatically. It only makes sense that recruitment strategies and hiring procedures would change as well.
Keep reading to uncover our top tips for recruiting employees remotely!
1. Be Specific in Job Listings
Know exactly what qualities you’re looking for, and be as clear as you can in any posted job listings. A more accurate and specific listing means you’ll have to do less work later on in the hiring process to filter out applicants who aren’t the right fit for the role.
Often, the skills and experience you’d look for in a remote worker are identical or very similar to those you’d look for in an in-office worker. However, there are some essential traits of remote workers that you should look for in any employee that will work entirely or primarily from home. Employees who work remotely need to be particularly organized, adaptable, and self-disciplined. They also need to be excellent communicators.
Include the following sections/information in any job listings you post:
- Clear job title
- Job description that accurately details responsibilities, role, and tasks
- Details of the job; include whether the role is full- or part-time, whether you prefer local remote workers or are hiring globally, and whether there are specified work hours
- Required and preferred skills and qualifications, previous experience, and education
- About the company
- Benefits and advantages; include items like health benefits, pension or retirements plans, and paid leave, in addition to any technology or reimbursements provided
2. Cast a Wide Net When Sourcing Candidates
Whether you’re searching for potential workers locally, nationally, or globally, you have the advantage of a larger pool of candidates when you hire remotely. Take advantage of this by advertising the position as broadly as possible.
Because so many people are actively looking for work remotely due to COVID-19, they’ll already have their “go-to” websites and job boards. Post your listing on as many sites as possible, including the traditional job boards as well as some of the newer ones targeted specifically at remote work and telecommuters.
Here are some ideas for places to to list your job openings:
To truly ensure you’re not only casting a wide net but that you’re casting the right net that’s targeting the right potential candidates, consider working with a professional strategic recruiter with experience sourcing remote workers that knows how to match you with the right person for the role you’re looking to fill.
3. Look for Previous Remote Experience
Job listings and careful interviews can take you far, but the only way to be completely sure you hire someone capable of working remotely is to hire someone who already has! That’s why it’s a good idea to look for candidates who have previous experience working from home.
This ensures they have the right skills, mindset, and self-discipline to telecommute. It also means they may already be familiar with some of the apps, tools, and strategies your organization uses to manage remote workers, share documents, conduct virtual meetings, and stay organized.
4. Take Advantage of Technology
Companies around the world are turning to collaborative apps and tools to keep their employees connected, improve channels of communication, and increase productivity. These same tools, including some apps designed specifically for hiring and recruitment purposes, can be used to source and hire remote candidates.
Technology can also be effectively used to interview potential hires, conduct skill assessments, and even compare various candidates’ skills and qualifications side by side. Given that experts now believe the current shift toward remote work caused by COVID-19 is likely to be permanent, the time and money you invest in these technologies are likely to pay off, since you’ll probably use them to build relationships with remote employees for years to come.
5. Don’t Skip Interviews
It can be tempting to skip interviews with remote candidates. After all, you may not be able to meet them in person and they won’t be coming into the office on a daily basis, so does it really matter if they “fit in” to your corporate culture? But the interview process is just as important for a remote role as it is for an in-office role. In fact, it’s arguably more important.
Conduct interviews over Zoom, Skype, or another virtual platform, preferably one your organization already uses regularly. Rather than asking predictable questions, which almost never generate personal or in-depth answers, ask tangible questions that require tangible answers and examples.
Look for candidates who not only provide superior answers to your questions, but also ask good ones of their own. This indicates you’re dealing with someone who’s engaged and ready to learn.
6. Utilize Skills Assessments
Using pre-employment testing and screening tools like trial projects or trial work periods to evaluate the skills of potential hires has been shown to reduce the amount of time you spend hiring and training new employees.
Measuring a candidate’s ability to perform the tasks of the job for which they’re applying is arguably even more important for a remote role than for an in-person one. That’s because it tends to cost more and take more time to train an employee remotely than it does to train them on site.
Take advantage of the tools available to you to ensure you match the right candidate to the role you need filled. Here are some of the many types of pre-employment assessments at your disposal:
- Cognitive ability tests
- Physical ability tests
- Knowledge tests
- Aptitude tests
- Personality tests
- Honesty and integrity tests
- Polygraph tests
- Medical exams
7. Don’t Forget Culture and Values
Just because many of your employees—or even the majority or all of them—may be working from home indefinitely doesn’t mean your workplace culture and organizational values are any less important.
In fact, it’s more important than ever to maintain a collaborative and cohesive culture. Hiring candidates who share the values and long-term goals of your organization builds loyalty and encourages shared standards. Establishing and maintaining the right corporate culture begins with the people you hire and the relationships they build with one another.
Infuse your recruitment and hiring practices with your organization’s broader values. Include your long-term goals and mission in your job listings, ask interviewees culture-based questions, and hire folks who share your values, work-ethic, and ideology.
8. Have a Plan for Managing Workers Remotely
When you hire an employee remotely, you invest in your organization’s work-from-home future. The current trend toward remote work is likely to be long-lasting and potentially permanent. That’s why it’s important to think carefully about how you plan to manage and evaluate remote workers on an ongoing basis, and it’s important to build this strategy into your long-term goals.
Consider investing in online tools, programs, and other infrastructure that will help you manage your team in a virtual, work-from-home environment. Here are some essential things to plan for:
- Onboarding remote employees
- Accommodating employees’ changing work-life balance requirements
- Conducting virtual performance reviews
- Measuring productivity remotely
- Coordinating employees who are working from different time-zones
Build Effective Remote Hiring Strategies Into Your Long-Term Organizational Goals
With the unprecedented number of people now working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the business landscape is evolving and employer-employee relationships are changing. Companies all over the globe are facing new challenges. Those that respond by embracing and confronting these challenges head-on have a competitive advantage over those who do not.
At Rush Recruiting & HR, we’re actively helping businesses of all shapes and sizes implement strategies that not only address the current business climate but anticipate future changes. Let us help you develop your HR strategy, hire the right people, and reach your short- and long-term goals.