Tips for Hiring When Working Remotely

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While some companies have paused hiring due to COVID-19, we know organizations in a variety of industries are needing to hire new employees to meet demand. For our clients who are looking to add to their teams, we are here to help.

Here are some helpful tips on hiring when working remotely.

The Interview

A remote work interview is not that different from an in-person interview. You’ll want to ask similar questions and give candidates a chance to learn about the role. However, with virtual interviews there are a few things you should coordinate beforehand:

  • What tools are you using? Will you conduct the screening interview via phone before a Skype interview? Will you conduct all interviews via Skype? What about FaceTime? Choose and test your selected tool beforehand so you are familiar with its features.
  • How familiar is the candidate with your interview tool? While you can assume that most candidates are familiar with how phones work, the same is not true for video conferencing application. Send them information on how to properly install the application beforehand to ensure a smooth interview.
  • Who is dialing? Don’t leave your candidate wondering if they should be the ones to dial your number. Let them know ahead of time that you will call them and aim to be as punctual as possible.
  • Select your environment carefully. There’s nothing more awkward than having an important interview interrupted by a crying toddler or a barking dog. Make sure you pick a room with little to no background noise where you’re unlikely to be interrupted. Additionally, if you’re doing a video interview, try to ensure you have a plain background behind you. Clutter can be distracting.

Touch Points

While frequent touch points are important whether you’re hiring remotely or not, they are even more essential when you don’t have a face-to-face connection to rely on. Make sure you update your candidates several times throughout the hiring process, letting them know where they stand and what to expect regarding next steps. Most importantly, after each interview let them know when they can expect to hear back from you and be timely about contacting them—even if it is to tell them you need a little more time.

There are several things your candidate will be wondering about that you should consider during your touch-points:

  • How many interviews are involved in the process? Will any of them be in person?
  • How long does the process take from initial interview to offer letter?
  • How will they complete any required testing or assessments?
  • What do the facilities look like? What workplace culture can they expect in the office?
  • If hired, will the candidate go through remote onboarding?

Virtual Onboarding

When it comes to virtual onboarding, every organization will have to look at their unique onboarding steps to figure out how to adapt their processes. However, two universal goals of onboarding programs are 1) ensuring the new hire has all the knowledge necessary to complete their goals and 2) helping them feel welcomed onto the team and company.

How can organizations accomplish these two goals when onboarding a new hire virtually?

  • Frequent phone calls or video conferencing. When you welcome a new hire into an office, they have plenty of opportunities to approach you with questions. In a virtual setting, you want to provide these opportunities by initiating frequent conversations via phone or video conferencing.
  • Ensure they understand their responsibilities. New hires are often eager to show they are responsible, capable employees. Give them concrete action tasks to complete and let them know how their progress will be tracked. If possible, create a week-one (or day-one) to do list for them.
  • Encourage other team members to reach out. It’s difficult to welcome someone to a team when you can’t take them out to a lunch or make casual small talk with them in the break room. Instead, encourage team members to reach out to your new hire in order to start building those team connections.
  • Host a virtual get-together. Depending on your company’s culture, you might want to consider hosting a virtual get-together where team members can talk to the new hire in a more casual atmosphere. It will be the perfect opportunity to talk about topics not related to work and get to know your new employee better.

Taking steps to make your new hire feel comfortable and welcome is key to having engaged remote workers.