Human resources guide: remote hiring best practices

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Woman doing a remote interview - Remote Recruitment Guide
Ruth AlbertsonRuth Albertson
March 24, 2021
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As it becomes increasingly obvious that remote work is here to stay, remote recruitment techniques must be honed to allow businesses to choose the ideal candidates even when face-to-face interviews cannot be held. By now, you have probably become accustomed to video conference meetings and virtual events with your colleagues. However, you will need a different set of practices for remote recruiting and hiring. These remote hiring best practices will help make the entire process as seamless and effective as possible for all members of your hiring team.

Tips for the Remote Recruitment Process

Hand adding a missing piece of puzzle with a red person icon in it.

Before you start the hiring process, it is important to develop an efficient recruitment plan designed to find only individuals who would be good fits for your small business. Digital job postings are definitely the way to go these days as remote candidates turn to multiple online job boards to see all that is available that meets their qualifications. Of course, excited current employees can also be great recruiters as they share via word-of-mouth for your SMB or even via social media.

However, you should also go beyond these job descriptions to let candidates know as much as possible about your company. It is important that you share enough with your candidates so that they can understand your company culture along with any requirements you have for a work-from-home position. These extra details can help you narrow the field before phone screenings and video interviews begin.

The Right Technology for the Job

Man during a remote interview

Before you get interview times set up, you will also want to ensure that your technology is up for the challenge. Get software specially designed for job application forms and questionnaires to streamline the communication process. You will also want video conferencing software, online document signing tools, and even assessment test software depending on the type of position you are looking to fill. Some platforms actually combine several of these functions to create a simple recruiting and hiring process.

Tips for Remote Interviews

Your recruiters and hiring managers certainly know that a remote interview is far different than an in-person meeting even if the goals are the same. It can be difficult to read body language through a computer screen, and poor Internet connections or distracting backgrounds can make even the best candidates seem unqualified. Use the following tips to make things simple for your own team, and consider making similar recommendations to job candidates to ease the remote interview process.

  1. Keep time differences in mind if the candidate is not local.
  2. Test out video conferencing software ahead of time to ensure it works smoothly.
  3. Choose a quiet, non-distracting room for the interview.
  4. Reduce background noise, and clean up your space to project professionalism.
  5. Assess tone of voice more carefully than usual because you will not be able to assess body language.
  6. Look directly into the camera during the interview to improve eye contact.
  7. Do not interrupt or speak quickly.
  8. Keep in mind that Internet speeds could cause a lag in conversation.
  9. Reduce other Internet tasks in your home or office to free up necessary bandwidth.
  10. Log on punctually for the video interview.

No matter how prepared you are for candidate interviews, it is almost inevitable that something will go wrong. If something goes wrong on your candidate’s end, such as software or hardware malfunctions or spotty Internet speeds, project compassion and understanding, offering solutions, such as postponing the interview or switching from a video interview to a telephone interview.

Qualifications and Skills Needed by Remote Employees

List of skills: Training, experience, knowledge, learning, competence

Besides the changes in how the overall interview will be run when hiring remote workers, there are also sure to be changes to the qualifications you are looking for in your candidates. Remote hiring best practices must include stipulations of skills and experience that these individuals must have in key areas to ensure their ultimate success on your remote team.

Some of the best in-person workers for a particular spot in your small business may not actually be amazing remote workers if they are lacking certain technological skills or do not have the personal characteristics needed to stay motivated when away from the team. These individuals must be self-starters who are creative and able to stay on task. In addition, they must also be excellent communicators as all members of the team will need to share progress regularly via telephone, email, or video conferences.

Of course, if one of your candidates has prior remote work experience, this is a great sign that he or she could be successful on your team. However, do not cross candidates off your list if they have no remote work experience. Instead, look for these character traits that point to strong possibilities of success.

  1. Self-disciplined
  2. Personally motivated
  3. Self-starter
  4. Adaptable
  5. Highly organized
  6. Self-confident
  7. Independent worker
  8. Great communicator
  9. Tech-savvy

The Good and the Bad of Remote Interviews

Woman being interviewed remotely

There are both pros and cons of using remote recruiting and interview processes to add to your team. For example, looking for remote workers means that you can expand your pool of candidates outside your local area. This can help you find the ideal candidate rather than merely settling for someone close to the office. In addition, online applications can help you quickly narrow the search down to only the best. Finally, you may actually get a better impression of your potential candidates when you can view them via video in their natural settings. Do they appear relaxed, put-together, and organized? Are they able to handle the technology needed for a video interview?

Despite these positives, you must also keep in mind the negatives that go hand-in-hand with remote interviews. Technological glitches can cause frustration and significantly hamper an otherwise productive meeting. Not being able to interact in person keeps you from forming a full impression of the candidate as nonverbal cues and body language are hampered. By approaching the remote interview and hiring process as something that will feel awkward but that can yield great results, you will be free to react with compassion both to yourself and to your job candidates when problems do arise.

Interview processes and hiring are happening remotely with increasing frequency these days. As long as you know how to handle this process with understanding, it can be a smooth and productive one. These tips will help you avoid the common pitfalls of hiring remotely while helping you hone in on the ideal remote candidate. Let our team of small business experts at e-marketing associates help you further improve your business with software tools and website design products created around the unique needs of small businesses. Contact E-Marketing Associates today to learn more.

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