The phenomenon of remote work is growing steadily over time. Thanks to the widespread adoption of remote work from both employers and workers, it is posed to continue changing our society’s norms.
There’s no better time than today for organizations to recruit and hire a remote-based team. Firstly, they’ll enjoy the advantages of a remote workforce. And secondly, these companies will act as a model for others looking to adopt the remote-first concept.
Here’s our guide that will help any industry to recruit and hire a remote-based team in 2021. We have divided the piece into four sections from the planning stages right to the end of the recruiting lifecycle.
A. Pre-Recruiting Stage
The pre-recruiting stage is essential to understand how you can hire a good remote team. This section will cover some of the pre-recruiting process basics to make sure the entire process runs smoothly for all parties.
In the pre-hiring stage, you first need to figure out that why you are even hiring. Let’s read more about it.
1. Figuring Out Why You Are Hiring a Remote Team
Why have you decided to hire a remote team? What are you trying to accomplish by hiring a remote team? These are some of the questions you must answer before moving onto the next portions of this piece.
If you are unsure of the goals and missions you hope to achieve with a remote team, it’s this is the time to start thinking about them.
By asking yourself why you want a remote team, you’re creating an assessment of your remote team’s goals and outcomes. Before you make the move of hiring a remote team, be crystal clear on why you are doing it in the first place.
After you have cleared the air by figuring out the reason for hiring a remote team, it’s time to create a sample model of your remote team.
2. Creating A Sample Model of Your Remote Team
Now that you have established your goals, it’s time to determine how to achieve them. A sample model of your ideal remote team can help identify the role, responsibilities, and skills you’re looking for in your candidates. This, plus considering what the culture and communication will look like, will bring the picture of “who, what, and how” into clearer focus.
Here are a few questions that will help you do that.
- How can I present my company as an exciting workplace?
- What are the values I’m looking for in the candidates to maintain the culture of my company?
- What benefits will I be providing my remote workers to boost retention and productivity?
We now have two puzzle pieces in place. Let’s complete the picture of the pre-recruiting stage by looking at the rough steps of the remote hiring process.
3. The Remote Hiring Process
The remote hiring process indeed varies from company to company, but here are the typical steps to hire a remote team.
The pre-recruiting stage in the remote hiring process includes everything we have stated above.
Preparing to Hire Candidates
This phase will push you into preparing for hiring candidates. From writing and publishing a remote job posting to preliminary pre-screening, you’ll be all set to hire the right candidates.
Once you are done screening the candidates for your prerequisite skills and experience, it’s time to conduct interviews. Select the candidates that fit your needs best and move forward to the hiring and onboarding process with them.
Don’t worry; we’ll cover the next two steps in more detail.
Let’s dive in and learn how to prepare for hiring your remote-based team.
B. Hiring Candidates – The Preparation Phase
Let’s stay big picture for a moment. Preparation is the key to efficiency and success down the road in the hiring process. First, follow these five steps to prepare for hiring a remote employee – and then we’ll move onto the next portion of this preparation phase.
1. Five Basic Steps To Prepare For Hiring A Remote Team
Decide Your Remote Hiring Situation
Are you looking to build a remote-only or remote-first team? Decide if your team will be fully remote or only part-time remote.
Once you have made a decision, you can figure out if prioritizing people with remote experience is a good idea or not.
Figure Out Time Zones
Remote teams often face difficulties when collaborating due to time zone differences within teams. As the head of the remote team, you will have to figure out the best time zone that’s suitable for all the remote workers, or break a single team into smaller “shifts” that align with their location and working hours.
You’ll need to efficiently deal with different time zones to make the most of your remote team.
Picking the Right Tools
All remote teams solely rely on the applications that keep them connected with each other. Without the right apps, you can’t expect your team to stay on top of their communication.
From video conferencing apps to project management solutions, you’ll need to pick the best tools for your remote based team.
Investing Time to Understand Different People
One of the best things about a remote-based team is you get to experience working with people from different backgrounds. Although it’s a perk, it can be daunting to manage a group of diversified people.
As the head of the remote-based team, you’ll have to invest your time understanding and supporting those people to get the best out of them.
Creating a Budget for Real Life Get-Togethers
It should go without saying: we don’t encourage you to meet your remote team during the pandemic. However, still earmark a budget and spend it on real-life get-togethers with your remote team when it’s safe to do so.
Are you done preparing the steps? Great! Now let’s see what you need to look for in a remote worker.
2. Things To Look For In A Remote Work Applicant
Autonomous Work Habits
The first and the foremost thing you should look for in a remote work applicant is their ability to work autonomously. You must look for people who can manage their own time and make wise decisions independently.
Senior people, freelancers, and consultants are the candidates for remote work. Unlike entry-level employees, you won’t have to coach and structure them very much with routine work.
“In order to be successful, you have to be enormously autonomous. We give all of our distributed employees test projects and evaluate this quality.” – Jessica Tiwari, VP of Product Management at Upwork.
Strong Communication Skills
Your remote workers will be far off from each other – and they’ll only communicate via text, call, or video call. For them to be effective via digital communication mediums, they must possess strong communication skills.
Look for candidates who have a background in writing blogs, leading teams, and/or who are good listeners. Don’t settle for people who rely on others for motivation, as they might run out of steam without constant support.
Effective communication is crucial to a team’s success. If your remote workers don’t have strong communications skills, they are better off in another type of role with different expectations.
Sharp Collaboration Skills
Remote teams feed on collaboration. If a remote worker in your team isn’t effectively collaborating with others, they are slowing down the team.
There’s a reason why 75% of the employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important.” Collaboration boosts the team’s overall productivity, drive, and motivation and sets them apart from low-performing teams.
When analyzing a remote work applicant, make sure that they possess sharp collaboration skills.
Now it’s time to craft a remote job posting. Here’s how to do it the right way.
3. Crafting A Remote Job Posting
Remember the sample model you created for your remote based team? It’s time to implement it and make a sweet job posting. A typical remote job posting will include the following pointers:
- Job title
- Requirements and qualifications
- Summary of job or role
- Company description
- Essentials skills for the role
Wait a minute. Before you finalize the remote job posting, here are some things worth mentioning to ensure a successful job posting.
A Successful Job Posting Should Include:
- Remote description
- Accurate and searchable title
- Company’s story
- Description of an ideal candidate
- Clear-cut responsibilities
- Salary and benefits
- Detailed steps of the hiring process
The preparation phase is always long when you are looking to recruiting and hiring a remote based team. Let’s switch the gears and explore the next section of recruiting a remote team in 2021.
C. Interviewing Applicants
It’s time to meet with the potential members of your remote based team. But before you jump into an actual interview, you need to filter out hundreds of applicants. Here’s how to perform the applicant filtering effectively.
1. Filtering Candidates
Managing Interviewees Manually
Set up a separate email address for applications. If you have posted multiple jobs, create folders and put the applications in their specific folders. Automate this task by using an email tool.
Then, create application criteria and use it to filter out the candidates. After that, use skill assessment tools to judge the rest applications.
Sorting Out Applicants Using ATS Tools
Applicant Tracking System or ATS tools can help you filter candidates in a snap. An ATS tool streamlines the applications and filters out the candidates according to the rules and preferences you have set. 78% of recruiters say that using ATS has improved their quality of candidates.
Once you have chosen a group of people you will interview, follow this interview strategy to pick the best candidates.
2. Interview Format
Typically, there are four to five steps in an interview that allow you to assess the candidates. Follow this interview format to short-list the best remote workers for your remote team.
During the screening interview, you must look forward to evaluating the candidate on elements like soft skills, remote experience, and other basics.
Don’t get into the nitty-gritty details of the job yet. Try to analyze the candidate on the big questions only.
Now it’s time to start asking all the technical questions. It will help you to figure out if the candidate is right for your company.
From the company’s culture to work demands and ethics, cover each topic and make sure you get the most out of the candidate. Get them talking, explaining, and elaborating while you’re together.
Testing the Candidate with a Task or Project
Test the candidate with a task or project related to the job role. Note that this step should only be for the candidates who have cleared the screening and in-depth interviews.
As a good faith gesture, be sure to pay the applicants for the time they’ll spend to complete the task or project.
Last and certainly not least, the people who have passed all the three stages will now have to go through the final interview. During this interview, you have access to all the top-notch candidates.
According to your company’s values, job role, candidate’s skills, and other criteria, select the candidates to whom you want to extend an offer.
It can be hard to get the information you’re looking for from candidates just by chatting. Here are three essential interview questions that will help you pick the best candidates.
3. Three Important Interview Questions to Ask:
How will you stay productive at home?
Many remote workers face various challenges to stay productive at home. You must ask them how they are planning to tackle the challenges that might impact their productivity. Only the passionate candidates will be able to answer this question with confidence and ease. This is also a great moment to share accommodations that are available for remote workers.
What will your daily work schedule look like?
Remote workers have the advantage of working at any time of the day they want. But as a team head, it’s vital for you to know when they’ll be working. This will help you learn about their habits and needs, and will be an insight into how they will fit into your team’s role.
What best practices do you use to collaborate with others remotely?
Ask them about their remote communication style. If they aren’t sure or it isn’t a priority, they likely aren’t a strong fit. Keep an open mind, however, with candidates who express creativity in this area – they can be powerful culture additions to the team.
Every company is switching to remote-based teams in some area or another. Remote work isn’t just a hype anymore; it’s becoming the new normal.
So what’s stopping you from recruiting and hiring a remote-based team in 2021? With this piece, we have made sure that you don’t face any problems when hiring a remote team for your company.
Take a look at these other guides:
- 4 Things You Need to Know About Hiring Your First Remote Employees
- Top HR, Legal Compliance & Payroll Solutions to Hire & Manage Remote Teams
- Hiring and Onboarding Junior / Entry-Level Professionals for your Remote Teams
- How to Insure a Remote Based Team
- Remote Work Trends & Stats for 2021: The Present & Future of Remote Work After Covid