Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

The Do’s and Don’ts of Remote Hiring

For years, the hiring process has essentially remained the same. A job opening would be posted, applicants would apply, and a few interviews would be conducted before selecting a candidate. In 2020, this is no longer the case.

The mass adoption of remote work by thousands of businesses due to the pandemic has changed the way in which hiring will be handled, forever. What used to be a heavily in-person process will now need to go remote as well.

The remote hiring process is going to come with some hiccups, especially when it is first implemented. Here are a few tips to make sure that your remote hiring process is effective and optimized.

Recruiting Efforts

Your hiring process starts at recruiting. The best companies know how to effectively reach, and attract the best candidates for a respective position.

If another company is able to recruit more effectively than yours, you could be losing out on qualified candidates. Here are some ways to ensure that your recruiting stays strong, even remotely.

Don’t Be Tentative To Invest

Adapting to the times can be difficult. As we move to a more remote workforce, your company is likely going to realize there’s a chance the entire hiring process is going to be more expensive. New tools, software offerings, and other equipment will need to be purchased to better integrate a remote workforce.

Depending on your pre-existing staff, your team may even need to consider adding more employees to assist with people operations. Departments such as IT and HR need to be robust and able to handle any new issue thrown their way from the adoption of remote work.

All of these costs are likely to get expensive, but investing in building a strong remote workplace infrastructure is going to be worth it. Many organizations have been applying for business funds from lending companies as a way to help offset the initial costs of going remote. 

Investing in new business initiatives is always a risk, but your business must take risks in order to remain competitive. 

Do Use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is an online platform that allows human resources professionals to document the hiring process from start to finish with each and every candidate. 

Applicant tracking systems save human resources teams countless hours that they would have spent doing remedial tasks, such as job board posting, resumé parsing, candidate tracking, and more. 

For most companies, automatic resumé parsing is the most appealing feature that applicant tracking systems boast. Manually parsing resumés is a time-consuming and inefficient task. Technology allows applicant tracking systems to read and rank resumés, based on parameters your team sets.

When choosing an ATS, consider those that might integrate into your other hiring tech stack. Using an ATS that is compatible with your other HR technology will only help you be more successful when hiring and recruiting remotely.

Don’t Post to Job Boards Without a Strategy

The way people look for a job has changed drastically over the past twenty years. Before, opportunities were found through word of mouth and job fairs. Now, technology has created more channels for candidates to connect with prospective employers.

Online job boards have quickly become the most popular way for candidates to look for a new job. If your organization is not using online job boards, it is time to start.

But job boards are extremely competitive. With thousands of listings posted daily, it can be nearly impossible to stand out amongst your competitors. Before just posting and praying, take the time to think about what you would want to see if you were looking for a job. 

Thinking strategically about when you post your job openings, where you post them, and what you put into the description, will impact how candidates interact with your posting. Also, keep in mind that your job postings should be a direct extension of your hiring brand. If your brand is witty and fun, then so too should the description and feel of your posting. 

With online job boards saturated with remote opportunities, it can be hard to recruit the right people to apply for your job. Posting on job boards with a strategic plan in place will improve the quantity and quality of candidates you get applying for a job.

Interview Process

While your recruitment process may have already incorporated some of these best practices already, it is likely that your interview process will change more dramatically.

The days of conducting a quick phone interview, a more extensive phone interview, and then a few in-person interviews are behind us. To accommodate remote hiring and employees requires more than a few changes.

Do Utilize Video Interviewing Software

If you have made it through 2020 without participating in a video conference of one form or another, you are likely in the minority. Video conferencing has been used for quite some time in the business world, but not until 2020 would businesses large and small use it daily across all industries.

One area of business you will likely need to use video software in is your interview process. The added logistical issues of interviewing a candidate in person due to COVID-19 is just not worth it. Using video interviewing software for your interview needs is the best way to ensure that your interview process remains effective. 

The hardest part of interviewing a candidate out-of-office is that it can be difficult to get a feel of who they are. Phone interviews are not personal enough to get the human connection of an in-person interview. The closest way to emulate the feel of a traditional interview is over video. Being able to see the mannerisms, facial expressions, and vocal tics of the interviewee will be important in being able to pick the right candidate for the job.

Don’t Forget to Have a Backup Plan

You need to have a backup plan in case something goes awry technologically. Nothing will look worse to a candidate than a company that is not prepared.

To guarantee your remote interview goes according to plan, we recommend you have a backup interview plan in place, that is tested and ready to use in case of an emergency. Something as simple as an internet connectivity issue can throw the whole interview off-kilter. 

When you head into the interview, make sure to think about each and every way that technology can malfunction and potentially ruin the interview. Some technology questions to think about are:

  • Do you have alternative WiFi capabilities? 
  • Are your batteries all charged and do you have an extra device on standby?
  • If your webcam or microphone malfunctions, do you have extras on hand?
  • Do you have a plan of action in case of issues on the interviewee’s end?

While all of these issues appear to be extremely niche, they are common issues that can arise. If not handled properly, they can be a real turnoff to a prospective employee.

Onboarding Procedures 

One of the largest issues that human resources departments are faced with as remote work becomes more accepted is that onboarding has become extremely difficult. Simple tasks such as setting a new employee up with their equipment have become more complex.

The onboarding process is important in determining how quickly a new employee becomes acclimated to their role, which will directly impact how successful your company is. 

Do Focus on Corporate Culture

Onboarding is exciting, but also a scary experience for both new employees as well as employers. Onboarding in a remote setting will come with even more uncertainty and challenges.

The onboarding process is so important when building and maintaining a sense of company culture. New employees are always a bit tentative when joining a new organization and the onboarding process is usually when a new employee is able to get a feel for the company. Onboarding out of the office will make it more difficult for both parties to connect on a more human level.

Company culture has become extremely important to the younger workforce. If your company does not focus on building a positive culture within the organization, it can lead to low employee retention rates and issues with recruiting.  

As your company onboards its first few fully remote employees, be sure to have a plan that focuses on showcasing your company culture. Have your new employees meet other employees throughout the company, in a non-work capacity. Promoting a sense of inclusivity helps ease the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can plague remote employees.

Don’t Assume Employees Have Everything They Need

The last word of advice for teams that are adding remote employees for the first time is: make sure each remote employee has the equipment they need to do the job. 

Employees need a variety of tech and home-office furniture to promote a productive work environment. Work with your IT team to come up with a list of all of the technology that a new hire is going to need to have shipped to them. 

Besides computers and business software, your employees will also need office equipment to be more productive. Some less common equipment to consider offering to remote employees are:

  • A Desk – Providing a dedicated computer desk for your remote employees will promote a productive work environment.
  • An Office Chair – Sitting for long periods of time is already uncomfortable, but if seated in a cheap computer chair, it can be unbearable. Invest in an ergonomically designed chair for each of your at-home employees as a way to show you care about their productivity.  
  • Another Monitor – Adding on a second monitor to an employee’s computer set-up can help employees be even more productive. 

While costly, providing each and every remote employee with the equipment they need to do their job is necessary in order to be a successful company. 

Adding remote work capabilities to your organization is going to come with some logistical issues. One area of your business that will undergo some changes is your hiring process.  Every step from recruiting to onboarding must now be thoughtfully reconsidered to accommodate remote workers.

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