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Best Practices for Hiring Remote Workers


Working from home is more common than ever, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it offers many advantages, it can pose some challenges when it comes to hiring, especially since it's highly likely you'll never meet the employee in person. So how can you ensure the match is a good one? Jacqueline Lombardo of Boomer Consulting has some advice.

May 6th 2021
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Hiring practices are no longer dictated by physical location and managing remote teams is achievable. By leveraging technology, we can expand our teams to include people from different geographical locations, broaden our talent pool, reduce overall business costs and provide better client service. But how do you hire someone if you never meet them in person? The following tips can help.

Work on Internal Alignment

Hiring remotely allows you to access a wider talent pool, but keep in mind that not everyone is a great fit for remote work. It’s imperative to know what qualities and skills are necessary to succeed in a particular position. Do they need to have strong communication skills, great attention to detail, or the ability to be self-motivated? What qualities would make them a culture fit? Before posting the job, your recruiting team and people who will work closely with the new hire should create a rubric of core competencies on which you can rate candidates.

Create a Gender-Neutral Job Description

Unconscious bias in language is not always obvious. According to Textio, “Gender-neutral jobs not only draw a broader applicant pool, they also fill three weeks faster on average than jobs that are biased at either end of the spectrum.” When it comes to writing your job description, words matter. According to a study by Harvard Kennedy School, identical job ads that used more masculine than feminine wording affected potential candidates’ perception of gender diversity, job appeal and anticipated belongingness.

When creating your job description, spend some extra time focusing on the words you are using. Gendered wording can impact your hiring process, especially in historically male-dominated fields.

Remote Job Boards & TikTok

When hiring a remote worker, it’s important to source from candidate pools of job seekers who are open to remote work and remote opportunities. Not all candidates want to work remotely, so sourcing candidates who don’t want wastes your time and theirs.

With remote work gaining popularity, there are some great options for posting your job openings, such as FlexJobs, We Work Remotely, Working Nomads and more.

When it comes to recruiting, we also can’t forget about social media. While most of us are familiar with posting jobs on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, these are not the top social media platforms anymore. A Global Web Index reports that “over 80 percent of consumers in the US and the UK indicated they have consumed far more content since the COVID outbreak, with online videos on YouTube and TikTok being the primary media forms across all generations and genders.” Some organizations have even gone as far as hiring internal roles of “TikTok Content Creators” to focus on growing the companies brand presence online. Even major brands such as Guess, Macy’s and Ralph Lauren are leveraging TikTok for recruiting now.

Utilize Technology

When hiring, it’s important to have great communication with your internal team and with the candidates. By leveraging the right technologies, you can automate your processes, provide a streamlined and consistent process to your candidates, and feel like you are meeting them in person.

The technologies we recommend for hiring remote workers include:

  • Recruiting software. Use recruiting software to share your job posting, track and screen applicants, communicate with your internal hiring team, and have a streamlined workflow from job posting to offer letter.
  • Project management tools. Use project management tools to help you and your internal team discuss hiring goals and work through your hiring process. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Video conferencing. By now, most people are familiar with Zoom and other video conferencing options. Utilizing video can help you meet the candidate and help the remote interviewee feel like they are meeting the hiring team in person.

Evaluate Your Candidates

You made it through your remote interviews, and now you must evaluate your candidates. Luckily, you and your hiring team put together a rubric to help you evaluate each candidate on core competencies. You may also want to consider having each candidate take an aptitude test or another assessment to help you target individuals with the right skills and temperaments to succeed in their roles.

As you evaluate your candidates, it’s important to note that it’s easy to have biases throughout the hiring process. But utilizing a rubric, standardizing your hiring process, and having an interview team can help curb unconscious bias.

Recruiting is not one-size-fits-all. What worked for one job position may not necessarily work for another at your organization. By focusing on your hiring processes and exploring new recruiting channels, you can broaden your candidate pool. At the end of the day, if you go through the process and don’t find the right candidate, don’t be afraid to start over and try something different. The right person for the role is out there; you just need to find them.