In an age where 18% of people now work remotely full-time, remote recruitment is no longer an unrealised pipe dream but an everyday reality for countless companies attempting to tap into benefits including increased productivity and far wider talent pools. In fact, you could argue that remote recruitment is the buzzword we’re all scrambling to keep on top of right now, especially considering that as many as 73% of departments are expected to benefit from remote workers by 2028. Not only does this highlight the value of this employment switch in the first place, but it also points to the reality that companies who don’t get on top here will quickly find themselves behind when it comes to the already-challenging job of securing top talent with every recruitment drive.
The trouble is that, as a concept that was hardly even considered across mainstream employment before 2020, remote recruitment is still very much in its infancy, and companies attempting to feel its benefits are inevitably coming up against a range of recruitment issues as a result. Most notably, despite providing easier access to the best talent, in theory, employers are finding that remote processes, in themselves, make it increasingly difficult to guarantee quality employees. This has already led to escalating costs due to the need for reemployment in many instances, as well as notable profit and reputational losses due to poorly fitting remote team members. All of which begs the question – how exactly do you ensure the quality of a new hire that you can’t meet in person?
This is surely a question that we’ll continue to ask as remote landscapes evolve and, over time, it will inevitably begin to resolve itself. However, even as we’re all still finding our footing here, there are a few crucial ways to increase your chances of finding the right remote team, the most prevalent of which we’re going to discuss here.
Set clear expectations from the beginning
A large part of the problem with remote recruitment right now is that employers don’t know what they’re looking for here, leading to confused recruitment drives and calls for candidates who never truly know where they stand. This uncertainty is inevitably leading to the employment of individuals who, by no fault of their own, may fail to tick boxes that you didn’t even know to put on your checklist in the first place. Hence why the first and perhaps most crucial step for you to take here is to simply be sure that you’re setting clear, realistic expectations from the moment you advertise roles of this nature.
Of course, this is true with any employment drive to some extent, but remote recruitment particularly requires you to consider a range of additional priorities that may not even relate to the specifics of your advertised role, including –
- The scope of employment (global vs closer to home)
- Skills such as independence and forward-thinking
- Existing equipment (e.g. laptop, printer, smartphone)
- Existing tech/software understanding
All of this should factor on top of what you expect within any given remote role and is a sure way to make it far more likely that new remote employees will have the skills to not only fill a job role but to do so with entirely new ways of working in mind.
Tailor your job listings
High-quality job listings are always crucial for ensuring the interest of top talent and should include everything from clear job descriptions to information including salary ranges, benefits, and a little about your company. All of which should be displayed in a concise, eye-catching listing positioned on top platforms like Indeed. But, the chances are you already knew that. What you might not be quite so clued up about is how to tailor a remote-specific job listing that’s equally able to attract the best possible candidates.
Perhaps the main thing to note, in this sense, is the fact that by expanding your talent pools, you’re also expanding the competition that you’re inadvertently up against, and your remote job listings should always reflect that. In particular, you’ll find that clarity here is key to ensuring prospects that are on precisely the same page as you, and who understand without a doubt that this role is fully remote. Largely, that means using words like remote, work from home, and distributed throughout your listing, as well as ensuring that it’s obvious what you mean by those. The inclusive language that already matters a great deal in standard listings also comes into its own here, with gender-neutral, culturally diverse language inevitably helping you to reach out on even a global scale. While it might not be necessary for a standard listing, you should also take the time to outline the equipment that these remote hires will need to hand, as well as outlining expectations including attendance of daily meetings, and also any long-distance recruitment processes.
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Work with a remote-friendly recruiter
As much as clear expectations and tailored listings can help to narrow down the right remote recruitment pool, you may still find it difficult to hand-pick the best candidates from that selection. After all, you haven’t the first idea about what talent looks like from a remote standpoint. Hence why it’s also well worth working with a high-quality recruiter who has experience in specifically remote employment drives. If in doubt, this is a great step to take from the very beginning, as an experienced recruiter can help you to both narrow down on what you’re looking for, and can even create job listings for you that are sure to receive recognition in the best possible places. Furthermore, specifically seeking recruiters with large databases and a recruitment CRM can help you to connect with industry-specific remote prospects that have already been vetted and verified for their quality. In turn, that can take a great deal of weight off your shoulders, ultimately helping you to avoid ever making costly remote recruitment mistakes, whether this is your first or fiftieth remote hire.
When choosing a recruiter that’s most likely to help you in this instance, you’ll especially want to consider things like –
- Industry-specific understanding
- Influential capabilities
- Services offered (do they provide job listings/handle interviews?)
- Existing talent
- And more
Perfect your remote interview process
As mentioned, most quality recruiters will take care of interviews for you but, if you aren’t going down this route or prefer to interview candidates yourself (thus ensuring that you know exactly who you’re bringing on board), then it’s also crucial that you perfect your remote interview process. To some extent, everything you’ve done until now has been a slightly different approach to things you’ve likely already done plenty of times during recruitment in the past. However, once you reach the interview stages, you’ll likely be entering entirely untested territory. Proper planning, and an understanding of how you can cover those gaps, are therefore crucial for helping you to always choose the right, quality remote candidate.
It’s especially important for you to realise that, without things like face-to-face interactions and body language, ensuring recruitment quality requires more ingenious ways of testing the waters. These are still very much in development, but as well as the thorough reference checks that you would usually conduct, they’re increasingly involving –
- Video: Video should play a crucial role in any remote recruitment drive, and can be used in a range of different ways to help you to gauge future employees that you aren’t meeting in person. Replacing the need for CVs with quick-fire video profiles can particularly help you to begin narrowing down your options based on mannerisms and personality rather than simple skills listed on paper. Equally, conducting your interviews themselves via video means that you’ll still be able to make use of indicators like eye contact and body language in general. This can lead to a far more rounded idea of those candidates and their strengths regardless of distances.
- Revealing tasks: Without being able to see people in person/witness how they interact with their surroundings, it can be tricky to truly determine how they’d act under pressure. Hence why setting online tasks like workplace scenarios or difficult client requests can help you to gauge skill sets, ensuring remote hires that stay calm under pressure and react to things the way you’d like to see in reality.
- In-person meetings: For obvious reasons, hiring on an international scale removes your ability to meet any candidates in person, but if you’re keeping even remote hiring onshore, it’s worth keeping this open as an option during the later stages. Most candidates will be willing to travel for a final interview once you’ve narrowed things down to two or three viable options, providing you with an opportunity to determine quality once and for all.
A final word
As remote hiring becomes more of a norm across industries, the processes involved to ensure candidate quality will inevitably become second nature. Until then, these techniques are sure to help you pick the best from even that wide and ever-expanding remote talent pool.