Hiring the right workers for a remote environment can be challenging, but these 11 tips will help you reach—and retain—the best employees.
While some companies have made the call for their workers to return to the office, many businesses are opting for a fully remote or hybrid environment to allow for a better work-life balance. That means finding the best team members is no longer just about hiring the right employee with the best skills and qualifications; it’s about hiring someone who can also excel in a remote environment.
But what does that look like? Maybe it’s someone who’s a self-starter, can manage multiple deadlines, isn’t afraid to ask for help and doesn’t need to be micromanaged. That “someone” could differ based on your type of business, so it’s important to know the type of person who will succeed in your remote environment.
Keeping your someone in mind, it’s also important to offer a work environment where people want to work. With the amount of competition available for remote positions, you need to stand out from the crowd. Start with these 11 tips to help you hire the right remote workers for your business.
Get organized and create a hiring process
Before you post a new job and start scheduling interviews, stop and get organized. The competition for remote workers is fierce, and you need to put your best foot forward. Think through how the hiring process will work, including timelines for scheduling interviews, the next steps in the interview process and how to onboard new employees. Potential candidates should see how efficient the process is, so expectations are set from the start.
Create intentional job descriptions
Don’t repurpose the same job ad for each open position. Outline the specific and necessary qualifications and expectations for each position. Otherwise, you can miss out on qualified candidates because you’re asking for every possible skill under the sun. Be intentional with each ad and only list the skills necessary to do the job well. Also, don’t forget to advertise that it’s a remote position.
Look for remote work history
While it shouldn’t be a requirement, take special note of candidates who have worked remotely in the past. Chances are, someone who has previous remote work experience is likely to be more comfortable in that environment.
Use an online scheduling tool
To make scheduling interviews simple and easy, use an application like Calendly to cut down on the number of emails exchanged to nail down a mutually available time. This allows the interviewee to choose a convenient time based on your schedule.
Be transparent about the hiring process
Inform interviewees about the hiring timeline and expectations. Let potential candidates know how the process works, if they’re chosen to move on to the next round (or how many rounds they can expect), what that will look like and how many days until they’ll hear from you. If you leave them in the dark, chances are another company will snatch them up, leaving you with the loss of a great candidate.
Invite them to a conversation, not an interview
The interview process can be anxiety-inducing for both sides. Let potential candidates know you’re just there to have a chat, and allow the conversation and questions to flow naturally. It will help you gauge whether they’re a good culture fit (more about that later).
Include immediate team members in the process
To get a good feel for a potential candidate, include the team members they’ll work most closely with to see how they interact. If you’re a manager, take yourself out of a team interview so everyone can speak candidly. Trust the feedback your team provides you with after the interview.
Ask questions geared around culture
Any new teammate needs to be a good culture fit. Assess your current company’s culture, mission and goals, and tailor questions around them. Does the potential candidate share the same values and goals? Are they standoffish or do they look bored? Is there a good camaraderie during the conversation
Assess final-round candidates with a trial project
Some candidates may seem great on paper and in person, but the real test is once they’re hired. To prevent a subpar hire, assign a trial project. Not only will you get to see the quality of their work, but you can also observe how they perform under tighter deadlines.
Be mindful of everyone’s time
Because the demand for quality employees is at an all-time high, make the hiring process as streamlined and succinct as possible. One way to do this: Include a competitive salary range in job ads. There’s nothing worse than getting through the interview process only to find out that the salary is too low for a candidate.
Create an onboarding process
Once a potential candidate is hired, ensure they’re onboarded to the team quickly and efficiently. Create a streamlined onboarding process so that all new employees are onboarded the same way every time.
The work landscape is changing, and more workers are looking for the flexibility of a remote position. While your business may not be able to support that at this time, it’s important to consider the future when making new hiring decisions. Use these tips to help you get started with hiring your remote workforce.