By Kailynn Bowling, co-founder of ChicExecs PR & Retail Strategy Firm.
While the pandemic certainly threw your business a curveball, you’ve made the best of remote work over the past year. Your business is doing so well that it’s time to hire a remote employee!
You need someone who’s an expert in their field, but employee retention comes down to more than raw expertise: you need an employee who’s a fit for your culture. Otherwise, you risk wasting up to $240,000 on a bad hire.
Remote recruiting is a great way to connect with applicants from across the world, but it’s different than face-to-face hiring. How can you hire for culture fit from behind a screen?
If you’re ready to hire a remote employee, follow these four tips to make the most of your next hire.
1. Set up an applicant tracking system.
With in-person recruiting, you can track the entire process with a stack of resumes on your desk but you don’t want an applicant’s email to get lost in your inbox. That’s why every remote organization should use some kind of applicant tracking system. This will reduce the chaos of the recruiting process, keeping everything organized in one place.
2. List your ideal skills and qualities.
Does your ideal employee need to know certain skills, tools or software? For example, if you’re hiring a PR professional, they might need to know Cision, PRNewswire, CoverageBook and other PR tools. Be sure to include these skills on your remote job listing so you find the right applicants.
Aside from the typical skills you would need from an employee in a particular position, every remote worker should exhibit these soft skills, too:
• Self-starter: The employee can always find something useful to work on without constant direction or micromanagement.
• Communication: Remote work means you’re communicating over email, chat and video. Make sure your new employee over-communicates to make sure everyone is on the same page.
• Teamwork: Even if your employee works as a team of one, they’ll have to work with others at some point. Look for a candidate who knows how to collaborate, delegate and manage in a remote setting.
3. Write a better job posting.
A typical job posting might not appeal to today’s remote workers. You can choose the right hire for the job by creating a useful, relevant job posting that attracts top performers.
Your job listing should include:
• Remote work details: Emphasize that this is a remote job! This will open up your candidate pool. You should also include any work-from-home requirements, such as Wi-Fi, a laptop, cell phone, etc.
• A day in the life of the job: What can a candidate expect to do every day? The job posting should detail who they’ll work with, what they’ll do and what they should accomplish every day.
• A video: A 2- to 5-minute video can quickly communicate your culture and what you’re looking for.
4. Host phone and video interviews.
It probably isn’t safe or doable to meet in person for remote positions. You’ll have to make the most of phone calls and video chats to learn more about each candidate.
I recommend you don’t start with a video call and first screen candidates with a short 10- to 15-minute phone call asking about their skills, salary expectations and experience. From there, select 5-10 candidates for video interviews.
While “fun” interview questions are all the rage, keep your questions tailored to the job or your company culture. Tie everything back to the skills and qualities you defined at the start of this process. For example, if pitching is an essential skill for the job, ask the candidates, “Can you tell me about a successful pitch you wrote that landed press?”
It’s important to see how a candidate will react to each question, but you should also look for things like:
• Body language: Do they look comfortable and relaxed?
• Communication: Were they friendly and communicative when you were scheduling this meeting over email?
• Camera presence: Are they dressed professionally? Do they have a reasonably high-quality video setup?
The bottom line
In today’s work-from-home culture, you can hire anyone from across the globe. With such a wide talent pool, it’s important for you to carefully consider candidates so you can hire the best person for the job.
Focus on each candidates’ skills, personality and company culture fit. With due diligence, you can hire the best employees who will stay with you for the long-term — even in a 100% remote environment. Use these four best practices to find a self-starter who will care for your business as much as you do.