The Remote Hiring Guide: How to Find, Interview, and Hire Top Talent

12 / 15 / 20 | Employers

The coronavirus pandemic may have changed the way you source, interview, and hire talent, but it hasn’t changed the need for businesses to find and connect with great candidates. As more companies adjust to the new normal, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve and refit your recruitment strategies to the current remote reality. Follow along with our helpful guide to remote screening, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding to keep your business ahead of the competition.

Search and Screen

The first step in the recruitment process is finding great candidates for your open position and screening those candidates that do apply. Here are four steps to follow as you look for the right employee for your company.

1. Define the job

In order to find the right person for your job, you’ll want to start by clearly defining the role, the responsibilities, and the skills and experience needed to meet the job requirements. But instead of using a generic job description or a list of general required skills, try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of listing the basic duties required for the call center role you’re looking to fill, get into the details. What does a typical day look like on the job? What kind of inquiries or requests will the position handle most? What does success look like in this role?

A detailed job description helps set clear expectations for job seekers from the start and increases your chances of finding candidates that align with your requirements.

2. Reach out to your network

Sourcing talent remotely can make it more challenging to get a good read on a candidate’s personality and overall fit for your organization. Reaching out to your network and professional contacts when searching for candidates can help you avoid these issues by offering extra context. Your network can recommend qualified candidates based not just on skills, but on what they know of a candidate personally.

Working with a staffing company can also be beneficial because you’ll get access to a larger network and thus a bigger pool of potential candidates. A staffing company handles the screening process for you, ensuring the candidates that end up on your desk are a great fit.

3. Focus on the candidate experience

Applying for jobs can be a stressful experience in the best of circumstances. Add a global pandemic into the mix and what is already a challenging process becomes even more complicated, especially for those who might be newer to the hiring process. That’s why it’s important to consider the candidate experience when building your remote hiring process. How will you ensure clear communication with candidates? Can you provide resources or update your FAQ page so that candidates can quickly find the answers they need? The more efficient your process is, the easier it will be on everyone.

4. Make it repeatable

Remote hiring is here to stay, at least for the near future, so you’ll want to make your screening, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding process repeatable. You don’t want to keep reinventing the process for each new position. Taking some time to plan ahead now and lay out a process will save you time in the long run.

When creating your remote hiring process, these questions can be a helpful guide:

  • Who needs to be involved in the hiring process and what is their role?
  • During the process, how will candidates be evaluated?
  • Who is responsible for communicating with candidates and updating relevant stakeholders?
  • Do you have touch points built in that allow the hiring team to check in, discuss, and adjust as needed?

Once you’ve laid out your process, it’s time to move on to the interviews.

The Interview

You’ve narrowed down your list of candidates. Now it’s time to find out who’s the best fit for your job. Ensure a great remote interview every time by following these three recommendations:

Upgrade your space

If you can’t be in the office while conducting interviews, the next best option is to set up a HFH (hiring from home) space. Ideally, you’ll want a quiet area free from distractions, but let’s be honest, that can be hard to find these days. If a private space is out of the option, it’s nice to give your interviewees a heads up so they don’t get thrown off when they hear your kids/partner/pets in the background.

Also, do your best to create a professional setup. Maybe that means using a fake background to block out the cluttered mess behind you or simply adjusting your camera to hide the rest of the scene. And don’t forget to dress as though you were in your workplace. We expect candidates to present themselves professionally, and interviewers should do the same.

Go for video

For organizations used to in-person hiring, the switch to interviewing and hiring talent remotely can be a challenge. The usual nonverbal communication and body language cues just aren’t as easy to pick up when you aren’t face-to-face. That’s why video interviews are so crucial. They allow you to see the candidates, get a feel for their personality and behavior, and determine how well they’d fit into your company culture. If live video interviews just aren’t possible, consider having candidates record a short video of themselves as an alternative.

The right questions

If your remote hiring process is based off your in-person process, chances are you’re asking questions that might not be as helpful as they could be. Instead of sticking with the usual questions during your video interview, consider adding in more behavioral questions. Ask candidates to explain how they’d handle relevant scenarios and look for specific examples and details. These types of questions will help you get beyond a candidates’ skill level to discover the other attributes they’d bring to the job.

Hiring and Onboarding

Now that you’ve completed the interviews it’s time to make an offer to your chosen candidate and onboard them. In normal times, new employees would be able to immerse themselves in the workplace environment, meet their new team, and get settled into the job. With remote onboarding, a few adjustments are necessary to ensure these important steps still happen.

Schedule time to connect

In place of in-person meetings and the informal introductions that would usually occur, schedule times for your new team member to connect with co-workers, managers, and others within the company. Because connections don’t occur as naturally during remote onboarding or in remote work settings, it’s crucial to ensure these human interactions still take place and new employees feel like part of the team.

If face-to-face meetings just aren’t possible, encourage current employees to reach out via email or messaging app to offer a quick hello. This will help build connections that make your new employee feel like part of the team from day one.

Prioritize technology

Are there systems and equipment your new employee will need in order to do their job? In the world of remote work, basic items like a computer, good internet access, and a company email have become essential. How will you ensure new hires get the equipment and training they need quickly? Is your IT team prepared to help a new employee get up and running? Prioritizing technology access and planning ahead of time will make the onboarding process much more efficient.

Searching for great candidates? Atlas Staffing can help your business find and hire top talent remotely. Reach out today to get started!


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