The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos to many working practices. Businesses have closed physical premises and limited their contact with the public. Many have been forced to implement remote working and management strategies, often without any experience in the area.
We can choose to see this as a learning curve, however. It’s an opportunity to see how our businesses can benefit from remote teams. This approach can be an enormous boon for diversity in our recruitment too. It provides us with access to talent from across the globe. For the uninitiated, though, this is not without its challenges.
What methods can we adopt to source the right employees for our new remote workspaces? What tools can we use to make the process more accurate and efficient?
Searching and Attracting
Where do we begin sourcing candidates for remote positions? Thankfully, there are already online marketplaces and job boards that specialize in remote working. AngelList, Remote.co, and Stack Overflow are among the most popular. When the world is leaning heavily toward remote workers, there’s a lot of competition for attention, however.
Your posting on these remote hiring spaces needs to stand out to attract the most suitable candidates. You’re already likely armed with a full job description, but this is unlikely to draw the eye of the high-quality potential candidates who are now flooded with options. Therefore, your posting on these sites should include the following:
- Clarity. You need to communicate precisely what the job is so the candidate is clear on what they’re applying for and what they’ll get in return. Above all else, make certain to mention that the position is a remote position, and also mention how long you expect it to stay that way.
- Personality. Your posting needs to communicate the brand voice and company culture. Include a catchy title. Describe what makes your business attractive and important. How will candidates both contribute to these values and benefit from them?
- Simplicity. Make the application process as simple as possible. If they can provide you with a resume and cover letter at the click of a button, give applicants the opportunity to do so.
Social media can be a powerful tool in recruitment too. You should already be using your accounts to build your brand voice, develop your audience, and interact with others in your field. Create content about your recruitment needs and what it’s like to remotely work for your company.
Using the Process
You may only be able to use remote means for recruitment, but this doesn’t need to be an obstacle. In fact, this can be beneficial. The specific methods and tools used in the remote hiring process can efficiently narrow down your candidate options and help you to source the right employees.
You must first capitalize on your relationships with the relevant department heads who have the job openings. Gain their input on the role you’re hiring for, and together build an understanding of exactly what qualities you need most for a remote candidate in their department. Is it the ability to efficiently use certain software? Is it being able to solve problems using remote tools? Once this is done, you can understand how the remote hiring process can be used to best test these qualities.
Best practices for hiring remotely really aren’t that different from the in-person methods you’re used to. In both cases, you’re using the tools available to you to identify the candidate with the most appropriate characteristics. Resourcefulness and customer service drive can be accurately revealed in the remote interview process. If the role requires the employee to use a specific, remote working communication platform, interview while using this software and simulate problems or issues they might face. You can also use this to evaluate how well they might approach communicating with other remote team members and customers, whether by video or text.
Optimize for Remote
There were relatively few companies that fully embraced the idea of remote teams prior to COVID-19. As a result, many are approaching remote recruitment and hiring as an entirely separate beast to our regular methods. Instead, we can address our current challenges and prepare for future changes and crises by optimizing our current hiring practices to be suitable for remote workers.
Make remote video interviews part of the regular screening and selection process. While many organizations screen by telephone, video calls can help establish a more valuable early connection, as well as give an insight into how candidates approach their remote communications. Request essential documents — such as resumes, cover letters, and even work samples — via a cloud platform. This can not only help you assess whether a potential candidate’s organizational and filing skills are suitable for remote working, but also easily keep track of paperwork for all candidates.
You can optimize onboarding to be suitable for both physical and remote spaces, too. All parties should be able to easily access paperwork online; everything from the employee handbook to contracts. You should take care to ensure that not only can employees sign their documents remotely, but that there are clear, effective measures, such as user authentication processes, to ensure that security is maintained.
While many businesses may have been forced by our current crisis to utilize remote workers, there are many benefits to be had from embracing this approach. By adjusting our job postings to catch the eye of the best remote employees, optimizing our current practices, and using remote tools to design appropriate interviews and tests, we can source the right candidates to contribute to our success.