Going through the hiring process for a new employee is stressful for everyone involved. The recruiter is tasked with finding the ideal employee who has a unique combination of skills, experience, and organisational alignment for the role. Hiring remote workers adds another level of difficulty because the candidate has to possess a whole other skill-set. The pressure is on to make the best decision and not risk wasting valuable time and company resources on a new hire that doesn’t work out.
Remote job seekers on the other hand face a different kind of stress. They spend hours pouring over job postings to try and find that perfect opportunity. Once it’s been discovered they slave over writing a cover letter and resume that will perfectly represent who they are on two 8.5 x11 sheets of paper. And the arduous process doesn’t end when the application is submitted. There’s still the waiting to hear from the company, the agonizing decision of when to follow up (A week? 10 business days? Is the position still even open?!), and the indeterminate interview process for those lucky enough to get that far. The horror!!
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We spoke to job seekers in the Remote Mission community and researched job postings to come up with 3 tips that companies can implement to improve their hiring process, especially for remote workers. By following these tips you will be more likely to attract quality applicants and find your ideal candidate.
1. Judge Candidates by Skills/Personality Traits Instead of Experience
This is a HUGE pain point for remote job seekers and one that may actually be detrimental to your company. Very often there is so much emphasis placed on years of experience or formal education and not enough put on whether the person could be the best one for the job. In this ever-evolving world we are living in, someone with years of experience may not be as up to date on current industry trends or the technological needs of a remote worker as someone who is just entering the field. Or a person who is changing careers, may have transferable skills that will bring an entirely new perspective to your organisation. Skills testing can be easily implemented into the early hiring stages to better identify potential candidates. Looking at skills first also helps to eliminate unintentional hiring biases which can increase your organisation’s diversity. One of our Community Member's, Diana Madaleno, shared this great resource of the Top 10 Diversity Recruiting Tools for 2018 which is worth taking a look at if you're interested in finding ways to increase your diversity.
2. Be Clear About the Position and Company
To find your ideal new hire, it is essential to be as clear as possible about what the position entails, what the company culture is like, and what the benefits are. Being crystal clear about organisational culture will attract employees who thrive in the environment you offer and deter those who would be a better fit elsewhere. This will further distill the resumes that you have to sift through and make it easier to find your new team member.
Remote Mission Community Members Shuu and Aliz both expressed the importance of explaining exactly what “remote work” means in your organisation, especially when posting a remote position.
For example key things to keep in mind when posting : Do you want someone in a certain region or time zone? Can your employees be based anywhere in the world? Or can staff work from home one day a week?
All of these are valid options, but it’s not fair to you or remote job searchers to go through the hiring process if someone wants to work from a coffeeshop in Bali but you expect them in the office for weekly staff meetings. Oh...and listing salary on a job posting should not be optional. There is no need to try and skate around this issue since it will be a key point in the hiring process. Your company should have, at the very least, a range of what is budgeted for any new position and being transparent about this from the beginning will prevent potential issues later on. Also, since it’s proven that men are more likely to negotiate a higher salary than women, if you’re being ambiguous about salary you are, unwillingly of course, perpetuating the gender pay gap.
3. Have a Defined Recruitment Process
Every job seeker at some point has felt the dread of waiting to hear about the next steps when submitting an application. Whether it’s waiting to hear if they’ve been selected for an interview, if they’ve moved to the next stage of the process, or if they’ve gotten the job. What makes it worse is when there is no indication of what that process is or where they stand. Those times when it seems like their resume has been sucked into a black hole somewhere. As Community Member Carla Frola told us, “The lack of information can be really upsetting and you as a candidate never know if you can ask for info or if that would make you look too pushy or desperate.”
Another problem job seekers face is when they find a position that has been posted two weeks ago or more with no information about how long the company is accepting applications. Often in these cases, they will spend the time on an application only to find that the position has been filled. On the other hand, to avoid that, they may just assume it’s too late to apply and you could miss out on your dream candidate.
Before posting for a position decide how long it will be open and put that deadline everywhere the job is listed. Indicate in the posting whether resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis or after the deadline. Spell out when interviews will take place and how many stages there will be. It is, of course, impossible to respond to every application individually, but by having a defined process and being respectful of your applicants’ time you will find hiring becomes much more streamlined. You’ll also receive significantly less emails from confused job seekers trying to figure out the status of their application.
By implementing these tips when recruiting for remote workers you will receive better job postings and make your hiring process smoother, easier, and friendlier for everyone involved. You’ll also be much more likely to attract quality candidates who are aligned with your company values, which is key for your future remote workforce.
Written by Laura Talbot