Hiring remote employees can seem like an impossible task when you first consider the logistics and details involved, but there are some great ways to overcome those obstacles and find top talent that’s a good fit for your business. Here are five tried-and-true remote employee hiring strategies that actually work.
Look for Great People
Finding great employees is hard—really hard. When you’re looking for remote employees, how do you sift through all of that resumes? One strategy is to focus on finding great people instead of simply trying to find workers who are willing to work at home. After all, plenty of great employees will be more than happy to work remotely if they’re given a chance. But what makes someone great? The first step is figuring out what skills and traits make up your ideal employee. You can start by thinking about your company culture and what qualities you value most in your team members. For example, maybe it’s critical that every member of your team knows how to use social media effectively or has excellent communication skills. Once you have an idea of what makes someone great, then it becomes easier to look for those traits in your candidates. Asking questions like What does success mean to you? Or How would you describe your personality? Can help give insight into whether someone is truly great. While there are no guarantees when it comes to hiring, focusing on finding great people might help reduce some of the uncertainty involved with hiring remote employees. And even if you don’t end up hiring anyone, taking time to think about what makes a great worker can help inform future job postings.
Know your hiring criteria
When hiring remote employees, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate. For example, do you want someone who is self-directed and driven? Or would you prefer an employee that enjoys collaboration with their co-workers? Are you looking for a specific skill set or experience level? It’s best to have clear answers to these questions so that your recruitment process will be more targeted.
Stay in touch with top performers
When hiring a remote employee, there is an initial hiring period where you’ll be working with them in close proximity. After that, you’ll need to rely on other ways to communicate regularly so they can continue to add value to your business. Even if you have an established relationship with a top performer, follow up regularly to maintain rapport and make sure they still feel like part of your team. You never know when someone might leave for greener pastures.
Use passive candidates as references
Despite your best efforts, there’s no guarantee that every interviewee is going to be a perfect fit for your remote-working team. So when it comes time to make a final hiring decision, hire someone who’s able to talk with—and can personally vouch for—another employee you trust. Seek out people who are already doing some of what you need your new hire to do, and ask them if they know someone who’d be a good match. If they know one of their colleagues in a role similar enough to yours and they feel that person would make an awesome remote worker, go ahead and schedule an interview with them.
Use social media, forums, and groups to find great people.
Look for remote employees through forums, social media groups, and online communities. If you're a part of an online community that focuses on remote work or hiring remote workers, talk about your needs there. Similarly, if you know of a group or forum where people regularly ask how to find work remotely—join those discussions. Be sure to participate in these places and contribute as often as possible; no one wants to hire someone who's just looking for free advice! And whatever you do: Don't be spammy! Don't constantly post job ads—talk about your company and make yourself visible as an employer in other ways too.
Use a good remote employee vetting process.
A solid employee vetting process can ensure that you hire trustworthy, productive remote workers. Vetting helps you minimize turnover and make sure your remote employees are a good fit for both your company and its culture. The quicker you can identify whether or not a candidate is a good fit for your team, the better. To vet candidates, ask about their past experience and results. A few examples include: What was one of your most challenging projects? or Can you tell me about a time when you took initiative on an important project? These questions, help gauge how they approach problem-solving as well as how they are likely to handle day-to-day work assignments in your office environment. Take time to get to know each potential hire before hiring them.
Talk about work-life balance
One of your top priorities as a remote employee is making sure that you’re being a great co-worker. This means showing up on time and being responsive, but it also means having a balance between work and non-work activities. Of course, if you don’t mind staying in at night every once in a while to catch up on email, then more power to you! But if you work from home full-time like many of us do, make sure that outside activities are keeping you sane. Make lists for yourself—maybe take Sundays off so you can relax and recharge for Monday? Whatever helps keep your equilibrium is fine by us. It’s all about finding what works best for you.
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