How to hire remote employees

When hiring remotely, chances are you’ll receive a huge number of applications. It is established that remote hiring and working eliminates the location factor; hence, it is obvious that the number of applications would increase, too.

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This means two things for you as a recruiter: you’ll have a wide pool to choose from, and you’ll have to screen a number of unqualified candidates.

So, to make sure your remote hiring process is as smooth as possible and you get the applications of relevant candidates, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Define the requirements clearly.

Responsibilities, expectations, and what defines success for them: these three points are the most important for any candidate. So, rather than focusing on the desirable character traits and education, tell them what will be expected of them. This will help the candidates match their skills with the requirements and assess whether or not they match the role.

Determine whether or not to focus on a time zone.

While working remotely in a team, it is vital to get on calls spontaneously to ensure the work gets done. Especially when there are dependencies within the team (which mostly are), it is better to focus on a particular time zone.

However, this limitation may not be necessary if hiring for an individual contributor role. You may enable an asynchronous communication process for such employees. This will help you in keeping the working process smooth.

So, assess your requirements and decide whether or not it is feasible to focus on a time zone.

Define the requirements clearly.

Even though many organizations are engaged in remote recruitment and accepting remote work, a few expect the candidates to join their offices when it is safe to do so. If this is true for your organization, you need to specify that to the candidate beforehand to avoid confusion and possible attrition later.

Furthermore, explain clearly what remote work means for you: whether you expect the person to log in for continuous hours or not; whether or not you have stipulated working hours; whether they’d be compensated for remote work facilities, i.e., internet, ergonomically sound set up, etc.

In addition, state what skills are expected from them while working remotely: excellent collaborative and communications skills, discipline, ability to work with a team, etc.

Define an assessment process.

The traditional recruitment methods would not be as successful during remote recruitment processes. Traditionally, a candidate is screened by a recruiter, and an on-campus assessment is scheduled, after which the interview rounds are scheduled. For remote hiring, you have flexibility with this process, too.

There are a number of ways to do this. You can have a skills assessment round before or after the screening process.


Roche, a multimillion pharmaceutical company, moved to an assessment first, screen second method because of the high volume of applications. They instituted a small situation-based question for candidates, which they had to submit with their application. While Roche’s applications dropped from an average of 300 to 80, it didn’t suffer in quality.

You can also place aptitude tests or business communications proficiency tests. This would help you gauge whether or not a candidate fits the bill.

After that, you can screen the candidate and assess them specifically for the role. This two-way assessment process will help during the interview process, as many skills will have been assessed already.

Keep the interview process transparent.

Communication is key during this process. Communicate with your candidate the platform you’ll be using, who’ll call, who will be present during the interview process, and their designations. If several people are conducting the interview, decide amongst yourselves the topics you’d be focusing on.

Furthermore, it would help if you did a trial run of the interviewing tool you’ll be using to avoid glitches during the interview process. Check whether or not the mic, camera, and speakers are working. Familiarize yourself with the tool you’ll be using as well.

You must also digitize everything. During traditional interviews, hard copies of candidates’ profiles or resumes used to be kept; this used to work as a great starting-off point. The same can be used while remote hiring, too. Keep a soft copy of the candidate’s resume aside to refer to.

And lastly, communicate with all the interviewers immediately after the interview. Identify the pros and cons of the candidate you’re interviewing. A lot of vital information may be lost if you follow up after a few days, so it is vital to regroup on the same day and debrief each other.

How to onboard people remotely -

People often confuse onboarding with orientation. While both are equally important, onboarding is the process that sets the tone for your candidate’s experience with you.

Orientation consists of one-time information like the perks they’d have access to, the policies in place, and your organization’s mission, culture, and history.

Onboarding, on the other hand, are activities that induct new employees regarding the tools they’d be using and the products and concepts they’d have to familiarize themselves with. Onboarding is often tailored to suit different roles, while orientation remains the same.

To create a seamless online onboarding process, here are some tips to follow:

Have a dedicated schedule.

Since remote workers don’t have the luxury of walking up to people and asking queries, onboarding remote employees may take longer than usual. So, to save time and effort, create an onboarding plan with defined agendas. Send them links for the meetings beforehand, and include all reading and video material in an email.

If you require them to work on an LMS for the onboarding, include the familiarization material in the email.

Rather than onboarding one person at a time, create groups to onboard them at the same time. This would also help you save time and effort because the same information wouldn’t have to be repeated multiple times.

Create a personal connection.

Ask the team members to introduce themselves to the recruits to help people make personal bonds. You can facilitate this by sending lunch or snacks to the team and setting up a virtual tete-a-tete.

You can also engage the recruits in the cultural activities of your organization so they get to engage with people outside of their teams.