How to Hire Remote Employees
Many employers are facing a hiring season in a world where shelter in place orders are still in effect. This means they’ll be forced to replace or add on long-term team members remotely. Hiring remote employees comes with its own set of challenges, but there are still lots of ways to find and hire the best possible team members for your company.
Many companies were already in the habit of hiring remotely even before the pandemic. Let’s dive into how you can use some of their strategies to find talent that will propel your team goals for the rest of this year and beyond.
Why is hiring remote employees great for business?
Hiring remote workers isn’t just a way for companies to adapt. Sure, candidates may have to endure the awkwardness of remote interviews, but hiring remote employees is good for both businesses and job seekers.
Here are just some of the ways businesses win when they hire remote employees:
- Remote hiring makes it easy to find the best talent. Anyone with access to the internet becomes a potential candidate. This is especially helpful if you’d like to find a location-specific professional who lives in a different city or country and can speak to the needs of that audience from a knowledgeable point of view.
- Remote hiring saves money. USA Today estimates that working from home saves about $4,000 for each of your employees who no longer have to worry about commuting costs, lunches away from home, and professional clothing. And it could save your company as much as $10,000 per employee on expenses such as office space, real estate, and physical job perks like parking passes or lounge supplies.
Remote hiring is most effective for those thinking long-term. If you want your next team hires to stay on the team for more than a year or two, remote hiring gives you at least one major advantage: no commuting. Commuting is a major factor in employee job satisfaction. Well over half of all employees say they would change jobs if they could find a similar position with a better commute. And what better commute is there than the one from the bedroom to the home office?
How to hire remote employees effectively
Just like in-person hiring, conducting remote interviews should be efficient and relatively painless for all parties. When it comes to hiring remote employees, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Being strategic and considerate can go a long way.
- Follow these steps if you’d like to make smart remote work hiring decisions.
Have a clear picture of who and what you need for this position. Review similar job listings from brands in your industry on Monster or LinkedIn to find specifics you may not have thought to include before, such as experience with certain tools (such as Wrike’s work management capabilities) or websites. This is one of the best ways to narrow down the talent pool and speed up the hiring process.
- Look for talent in the right places. If you’re looking for a single independent contractor, you can use a free trial of LinkedIn Premium’s Recruiter option to narrow down potential employees by experience level, primary languages, and profile keywords. Additionally, consider putting a job listing up on sites like Toptal.com and Upwork.com.
- Check for business credentials and accolades. Do a keyword search for any of the top five business associations on their resume materials. Concrete statistics such as proven growth by percentage thanks to campaigns they’ve personally led work, too!
- Nail down your strategy for remote interviews. Create a well-rounded list of questions that cover their personality, background, and skillset. When hiring remote workers, it’s also good to consider if they’re in the same or similar time zone as your target audience. This is especially important if you plan to have many social media events where active community management and hosting is required.
- Respect their time. Some of the most common issues job seekers run into with remote interviews include interviewers running late to their meeting, excessively inconvenient meeting times, and expecting the applicant to lead the conversation. There are ways you can help candidates mitigate this type of stress and put their best foot forward. In practice, this looks like entering the Zoom interview room five minutes early, choosing meeting times that are more convenient for the candidate, and having a meeting outline ready to go. Also, try not to ask questions about the candidate that you can easily view on their resume, application, or LinkedIn profile.
Interview questions for remote workers
You’ve put up job listings for remote employees and now you have some great candidates lined up. What’s next? It’s time for remote interviews.
These interview questions for remote workers will cover the major components of your remote worker search, including their background and personality.
- What’s your experience with working remotely and how do you tackle big projects when you’re not based out of a physical office?
- Can you tell us about a time you helped implement a unique business strategy that paid off?
- What are your thoughts on addressing the pandemic and events surrounding it within our business strategy? (This question is especially important for customer-facing positions that require strong emotional intelligence.)
- Are there any requirements listed in this job description you feel you can improve upon? If so, do you have a plan for how you’ll continue to grow and develop your skills?
- Do you have a go-to WFH productivity hack that helps you stay focused while working remotely?
- What tools or resources do you use to stay on the cutting edge of business news and trends?
- What’s your approach to remote communication and collaboration and how do you handle situations where you and a co-worker’s ideas are not aligned?
- What would you change about our current business approach and why?
- How much direction do you need from us to get started? Do you prefer active feedback from management or would you like loose guidelines with minimal supervision?
Top tips for conducting remote interviews
Besides a great internet connection and a video chat platform with high-level security, here’s what you’ll need if you want to learn how to hire remote employees effectively:
- Consider how enthusiastic they are about the position. Pay attention to what they’re passionate about and note if those passions overlap your top team priorities for the year.
- Ask about their experience with certain types of work experience or similar past positions on their resume. Find out what they learned from those experiences. It will give you a better idea of how they’ll most likely deal with successes and failures at your company too.
- Learn about their point of view on business in 2020 and beyond. It’s an interesting time to be a remote professional thanks to the global pandemic and emerging new business practices. Both of these have brands scrambling to reorient themselves and better serve their audiences. This is why it’s good to know where your potential candidate stands on these topics — they’ll likely shape the way we think and relate to one another for the foreseeable future.