How to Hire Remote Employees? 

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

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:

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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 focussing on the desirable character traits and education, tell them what would be expected from them. This would help the candidates in matching their skills with the requirements, and assessing 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, if you’re hiring for an individual contributor role, this limitation may not be important. You may enable an asynchronous communication process for these employees. This would help you in keeping the working process smooth.

So, assess the requirements you have and decide whether or not it is feasible for you to focus on a time zone.

Define the requirements clearly

Even though a number of 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 it is the case with you, 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 to this, 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 methods of recruitment would not be as successful during remote recruitment processes. Traditionally, a candidate is screened by a recruiter first, an on-campus assessment is scheduled, post 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 either have a small skills assessment round before the screening process or you can screen first and assess later.

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 on quality.

Other than this, you can place aptitude tests or business communications proficiency tests. This would help you gauge whether or not a candidate fits the bill.

Post that, you can screen the candidate and assess specifically for the role. This two-way assessment process would help during the interview process, too, as a number of skills would 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 all would be present during the interview process and their designations.

If several people are conducting the interview, decide amongst yourselves the topics you’d be focussing on. 

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

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

And lastly, communicate with all the interviewers involved on the same day. Take out the pros and the 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 really sets the tone of your candidate’s experience with you. 

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

Onboarding, on the other hand, are activities that induct a new employee regarding the tools they’d be using, 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 material and video material in the videos.

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

So, rather than onboarding one person 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 again and again.

Create a personal connection

Ask the team members to introduce themselves to the new recruits to help people make personal bonds, too. 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 new recruits in the cultural activities of your organization so they get to engage with people outside of their teams as well.

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