You’ll learn why hiring remote employees is beneficial to your business, the step-by-step method to attracting and hiring remote workers, and get tools, resources, and templates to make the process go smoothly and keep you on track for success.
• Benefits of Hiring Remote Employees
• How to Hire Remote Employees
• Tips for On-Site vs. Remote Interviews
• Tools & Resources for Remote Hiring
• Remote Hiring Templates
Since location isn’t a factor, you can hire people who work around the globe and span different time zones. With a location-diverse workforce, your teams can cover more working hours, better support customers, and monopolize on sales opportunities in different regions.
With employees working from home or shared coworking spaces, office costs, including rent, workspaces, food and beverages, utilities, and other office management items are greatly reduced. Additionally, 34% of survey respondents reported that they would accept a pay cut in order to have the opportunity to work remotely. By avoiding a commute, many employees save thousands of dollars per year.
With the ability to have more autonomy and work when they feel most productive, remote workers are happier and less stressed than those who work in an office full-time. According to our State of Remote Work survey, 83% of employees agree that being able to work remotely would make them happier.
Remote work also boosts employee retention. Remote workers are more likely than on-site workers to report that they plan to stay at their current company for the next five years.
Hiring, onboarding, training, and managing remote employees is different than supporting on-site employees. Your human resources team will need to adapt to some new practices, including updating your remote job descriptions to ensure you attract the right candidates for a work from home position. Here’s a step-by-step guide to hiring remote employees.
First, carefully map out what qualities or skills the ideal candidate should possess. Think about strategies for evaluating remote employees in relation to:
• Culture fit
• Collaboration skills
• Communication skills
• Self motivation
• Time management
Create a rubric that the hiring team can measure candidates against, focusing on the core competencies needed to successfully fulfill the role and work well as a remote team member.
Write the job description, making sure to include key terms to identify it as a remote job and to attract self-motivated, organized, adaptable remote workers.
Provide a clear job title that accurately represents the duties of the role. For ease of quickly finding jobs on job boards, include keywords like “remote” or “virtual” or “work from home in the job title.
Introduce the job. Make sure to include:
• What they will be doing.
• What their day-to-day activities include.
• How the role contributes to company goals
Specify if the role is part-time or full-time. If applicable to your business, specify which areas of the world your remote hire can work from (e.g. continents, countries, states, cities).
Is the application to all global applicants? Or is it open to those who live and work from areas where key customers or clients are located?
Outline what skills and qualifications you're looking for from a remote candidate. Be sure to include:
• Job-specific skills
• Soft skills
• Prior experience
Include information about the company like:
• Company mission
• Company values
• Company culture
• Commitments to diversity and inclusion
• Dedication to remote employees
• Benefits and perks for remote workers
(i.e. technology provided, on-site visits, meal stipends, or reimbursements)
Here are some resources on the best sites to promote remote jobs, source, and recruit remote candidates.
There are many great options for where to post remote jobs, both free and paid. Here are a few of our favorite places for employers to post remote jobs.
Social media is a valuable tool when it comes to recruiting remote candidates. Use social media to post jobs, both from your own accounts and in industry groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Encourage your recruiters to have an active presence on social media, making them available for candidate questions. Use hashtags and campaigns around certain jobs or your remote job options—partner up with marketing initiatives to get your posts out there.
Finally, don’t be afraid to try video and other visual formats to showcase company culture and your team members. Remote workers want to feel like they have a sense of who they’ll be working with and see how you leverage remote technology.
Remote interviews are more convenient, cheaper, and easier to schedule, so they yield lots of candidates. Use a project management tool or recruiting software to screen initial candidates, saving those who make it through a pre-screen for using your team members’ valuable time.
Review the hiring rubric to make sure their skills and experiences on their application materials reflect what you're looking for from an ideal candidate.
After your top candidates have made it through the initial phone screening with the recruitment team, you’ll want to get ready for the remote interview portion of the hiring process.
Assemble a hiring team. Identify the key decision-makers for hiring this position. Think about who will be working with the candidate the most, managing them, and if anyone will be reporting to them. Then, determine who will interview the candidate and what competencies they will be interviewing for to make sure duplicative questions aren’t asked and you get the information you need.
Share the hiring rubric for the role so all interviewers know key skills and requirements to look for. Acknowledge and adjust for any hiring biases members of the hiring team might have. Be honest with your team when you’re hiring for a position and think through whether in-person interviews may be appropriate, depending on the role and feasibility.
Consider how long each interview will be at each phase of hiring.
This is where you’ll get to know your candidate and give opportunities for your hiring team to ask questions and build rapport with your potential new hire. Prepare ahead of time so you can use interview time for interviewing, not reviewing resumes and asking questions that could have been discovered beforehand.
Review the candidates resume, the hiring rubric, and the interview questions you plan to ask. If you’ll be conducting the interview remotely, ask all interviewers to join the video call early to ensure that you are prepared for the candidate and respect their time.
To allow for everyone involved in hiring to have their opinions known and help to offset any individual bias, hold a debrief shortly after the interview with key hiring stakeholders. Review the hiring rubric for the role with different interview team members, carefully evaluating all major skills and requirements for the job. Then, ask team members if they are a yes or a no for moving the candidate forward in the hiring process, with detailed reasoning for their choice.
Now, it’s time to make a decision. Will you move the candidate forward in the hiring process or are you ready to hire them? Update all members of the hiring team of the decision before you tell the candidate. Let them know what the next steps of the hiring process are (e.g., additional interviews or conversations with the hiring team, offer letter, etc.) Send all updates in a timely manner and quickly connect the candidate with human resources or whoever they should direct benefits and other housekeeping questions to.
Don’t forget to introduce your new remote hire to their new team quickly and get them online as soon as possible. Remote managers: it’s important to establish a sense of community early on as it’s one of the biggest complaints from remote workers and can start your new candidate off on the wrong foot.
Use video conferencing hardware to make the remote interviewee feel like they're meeting with the hiring team in person. Check out our video conference camera comparison guide to find the right camera for your team.
These templates from Owl Labs will help you to write a stellar remote job description, find interview questions for remote candidates, and develop an interview rubric for positions at your company that can be used to evaluate potential new hires.
Download the Remote Job Description Template, Interview Questions, & Interview Rubric
Having a clear, organized process for interviewing candidates for remote roles is critical for ensuring they are a good fit for the role and the team. Being prepared will help your hiring team work faster, screen through more candidates, and prevent wasting both job seeker and team member time with inappropriate interviews.
Since effective communication and collaboration when working remotely are so important, make sure you outline the necessary competencies in your job description and interview rubric so you’re able to determine if they would be the right fit for your team.
Download our job description template, interview questions, and interview rubric to help you start the recruiting process. Happy hiring!
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