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Top 5 Tips for Remote Hiring

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for many companies, prompting a reevaluation of operations and policies, especially related to remote work. Companies were forced to get creative and have taken extensive measures to protect their employees by limiting in-person interactions, including throughout the hiring process.

Despite the economic fallout and hard-hit job market, many organizations continue to source and onboard new employees. The work-from-home, mid-coronavirus-pandemic world calls for a strategic hiring plan. Read on to learn the top five tips for remote hiring.  

1. Determine What You're Looking for in a Remote Worker

For many businesses, new hires are starting their positions from the comfort of their homes. Although workers may begin in a remote capacity, it's important to identify what the role will look like long-term. Will workers be expected to report to the office once it's safe to do so, or will the position remain remote or become a hybrid experience? What soft skills are important for this role, and do they differ depending on where the work is performed? How does the remote, hybrid, or in-office status change your expectations for the role?

Not everyone is suited to remote work. It requires focus, self-motivation, and responsiveness. Remote work typically depends on communication and collaboration through technology. On the other hand, in-office positions usually require face-to-face communication and interpersonal skills. The office may also be more rigorous in terms of policies such as dress code, schedules, etc. Once you determine the short and long-term mode of the position, you can better identify the characteristics that will be critical to success.

Be sure to consider these factors and communicate them clearly in the job description and throughout the interview process.

2. Communicate Remote vs. In-Office Differences

With so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, many company leaders are unsure if, and when, it will be safe to bring their employees back to the office. Some organizations are choosing to limit their workers' risk of exposure by keeping them at home if their jobs can be performed remotely.

For example, Facebook has opted to keep its workers remote through the end of 2020. Coinbase, a digital currency corporation, has become a "remote-first" company, allowing all workers to work remotely indefinitely if they choose to.  

 

However, if your company plans to bring workers back to the office in the future, it's important to be upfront about how this will impact new employees. Will their work schedules change? Will there be a more stringent standard for breaks and meal periods? What new policies will be applied? Will new responsibilities be added? If an employee begins their job working from home, you don't want them to be blindsided by changes when they arrive at the office.

3. Pay Attention to Communication During the Interview Process

If your organization allows employees to work from home, it is especially important to pay attention to their virtual communication skills during the course of the remote hiring process. You will have a chance to evaluate the candidate's habits, communication skills, and work ethic in action. Pay attention to whether they respond to emails in a timely manner and meet deadlines. The nature of the remote hiring process will shed light on the candidate's responsiveness and his or her ability to work without face-to-face interaction.

4. Be Flexible

Flexibility and leeway are more important than ever, especially for remote hiring. The pandemic has introduced uncertainty and worry in individual's lives while reducing human interaction and support. Many people have been laid off and are struggling to make ends meet. And, they now face the added stressors of a remote hiring process that includes fickle technology, poor WIFI connections, and even power outages.

As you move through the hiring process, aim to bring out the best in candidates by being flexible, kind, and empathetic. Try not to judge them based on elements outside of their control. Rather, focus on attitudes and the way difficult or inconvenient situations are handled. Occurrences like these may shine a light on their soft skills like adaptability and emotional intelligence, which can be a strong indicator of job success.

5. Be Professional

Life happens, of course. The internet is slow, the link to the video call isn't working, candidate resumes get mixed up, and the list goes on. Although you can't prepare for every possible scenario, as the interviewer, you should make every effort to show your professionalism and enhance the candidate's experience. Here are a few tips:

  • Don't be late. You expect the candidate to arrive on time; pay them the same respect. Jumping on a video call at your convenience shows the candidate that you don't value their time.
  • Don't be rude. Even if it's obvious that the candidate won't be a good fit for the position, refrain from being short or unkind. Although it may feel like the interview is a waste of time, don't forget that you are representing your organization. Cut the interview short if needed, but keep the lines of communication open for future job opportunities that may be a better fit.  
  • Don't drag out the process. Continue to communicate clearly with candidates throughout the interview process and be honest. Avoid stringing candidates along if you know they aren't suited for the roll. Especially now, a job opportunity may have a life-changing impact for some. If they aren't right for this position, reject them promptly so they can move on.

Companies are continuing to navigate the COVID-19 world and doing the best they can to hire candidates and continue operating as normal. The companies that are succeeding are those that embrace change, aren't afraid to get a little creative, and put their employees first. When engaging in remote hiring, the most important thing to remember is to communicate openly and never lose sight of the human element. Follow this, and you'll attract the right people to your organization.

Reach out to us at FrankCrum Staffing for help on sourcing and hiring the right remote candidates.

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