Until recently, many companies only hired locally. The coronavirus pandemic upended that practice, forcing employers to go fully remote practically overnight. Since then, many organizations have changed their work policies to allow more employees to work from home — or wherever they may happen to be.
Remote work offers benefits to both employers and employees, especially in the form of time and financial savings. Many talented candidates gravitate towards working remotely because they want the freedom that comes along with being able to set their own hours — especially if they have other duties around the house, such as those related to child-rearing. Employees are able to focus on work without worrying about commute time or costs. In turn, this gives employers more flexibility, too. Organizations are freed from the worry of leasing additional office space or buying office furniture and equipment.
Managing a remote workforce, however, comes with unique challenges. Communicating and collaborating with workers who aren’t physically present in an office takes careful planning. That planning begins with the recruiting and hiring process. Read on to find out how to find and bring on great remote employees to your workforce.
Before starting the hiring process, make sure your company is ready for remote work. To prepare, put the right tools and processes in place to manage remote employees. This may include investing in project management software and remote communication tools such as Slack — as well as determining policies for when workers are expected to be online and available, such as the traditional 9 to 5.
Organizational culture also needs to be conducive to remote work. Since employees will not be in the office every day, it’s essential to ensure they’re still be able to collaborate easily with their teammates. Prepare an onboarding process for remote workers that familiarizes them with the necessary tools, equips them with the support they need, and gives them a way to ask questions and bring up concerns.
A remote hiring process can save organizations on their bottom line. By taking away the need for face-to-face meetings, employers no longer have to pay for travel expenses for candidate interviews — and can save on travel time to boot. This makes the entire interview process easier to set up, as online interviews can be arranged more flexibly.
Zoom and other video meeting technologies can make the online interview process streamlined and effective. Recruiters and hiring managers no longer need to send long emails back and forth. Instead, they can talk in real-time, having conversations with potential employees to ask and answer questions and dispel any confusion before an offer is made.
By allowing for remote work, employees can pull from a wider variety of candidates, as they aren’t limited to hiring in their immediate geographic area. But this also means candidates have more choice in the companies they choose to work for. Thus, attracting the best candidates requires having an attractive — and accurate — job description.
When crafting a job posting, make sure to remove unnecessary requirements that might prevent otherwise qualified candidates from applying. If you list education or work experience requirements, ensure that these are truly necessary. In addition, try to make the application process as smooth and simple as possible. Too often, candidates are asked to fill out duplicate forms or undergo unnecessarily long interview processes. Streamline your hiring process to make sure that each step is essential to vet candidates for the open positions you have.
While many employees today specifically seek remote work, others still prefer going into the office in person. The reasons for this can vary. Some workers may like the social aspects of in-person work, while others may simply not have an ideal setup for remote work at home. Whatever the case, it’s essential that remote positions be reserved for candidates who actually want to work remotely. Otherwise, you could end up with an unhappy workforce.
When hiring remotely, select candidates that can work well on their own, without direct on-site supervision. Check also for remote communication skills, as video, phone, email, and chat will be the methods they’ll have to communicate with other employees once hired.
Hiring remote employees is a great way to expand your talent pool and build a more diverse workforce. By making your hiring process more remote-friendly, you will be able to attract candidates from all over the country — or even the world. In addition, top performers who might not have considered working at your company previously due to its location may become interested in joining the organization. Take the time now to prepare for the next wave of remote talent.