Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
How To Recruit Remote Workers

How to Recruit Remote Workers

Believe it or not, remote work is becoming the norm. In fact, 2017 study published in the Harvard Business Review found that 52 percent of workers telecommute at least part of the time. For recruiters, this poses a new and unique problem: finding talent that can thrive in a remote environment.

If you try to approach hiring for remote work positions the same way you approach traditional ones, it’s unlikely you’ll succeed. This is why we went straight to the source and asked seasoned recruiters how they recruit talent for remote positions.

Here what they had to say:

1. Form real relationships now

Melissa Smith“The biggest challenge is not having personal relationships in place yet. You’re not sourcing a faceless person. Be proactive and build real relationships with people before you need them. Let them know what types of companies you hire for. People want to help friends. It’s about widening your circle and making more friends who can support you as well.”

Melissa Smith, remote work consultant for The PVA

2. Get on the same page

Colleen Drennen Pfaller“There should be a strong understanding by both parties of the definition of ‘remote,’ hours expected, and tools required. I have seen employers label positions ‘remote’ that range from ‘you can work from home when there is a snow storm’ to ‘your only office is your home office.’ Many employees and employers are trying out remote situations for the first time so I suggest setting expectations clearly and tweaking as necessary. After the first few remote hires, further define your process by implementing a company policy.”  

Colleen Drennen Pfaller, founder of A Slice of HR

3. Look for true communication skills

Cristian Rennella“I’m definitely looking for communication skills. Nowadays, when most people communicate by email and instant messages, being able to have a clear and precise form of communication is key. Those people who have the ability to explain difficult issues in a simple way are those who perform best in their remote position.”

Cristian Rennella, VP of HR and co-founder of

4. Curiosity and self-motivation are key

“One of the biggest challenges to sourcing for remote positions are weeding out candidates that cannot flourish remotely. They had a great experience and results in an office atmosphere but this did not translate to a virtual setup. Some people do not have the self-motivation to work alone. If a team member needs external pressure or direction from a boss in the same office, they will never perform well in a virtual environment…

“We’re not satisfied with candidates that just know what, who, or how. We want candidates that thirst to know why. Why challenges the status quo and suggests improvement. We invite our team members to challenge our current processes or overall direction of the company. This has been built into the company culture and we plan to perpetuate the ‘why’ culture with new hires as well.”

Kean Graham, CEO of MonetizeMore

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.