We’ve probably all felt them – the butterflies in our stomach before a job interview. You may have wondered what the people are like or what the office may look like. Once you’re at the office, you get a good first impression of how the company is.
When you’re recruiting remotely, applicants don’t get the same first-hand impression. There is no tour around the office or small talk before going into the interview room.
All the things that happen before the job interview itself are not just important for the applicant, but are equally important for you who are hiring. It’s a good opportunity to get to know the applicants better – and make sure they get an idea of what the company is like.
So, how do you actually replicate some of those features and make remote recruiting as successful as possible? Our VP of People and Talent, Jessica Hayes, works with remote recruiting every day and is ready to give her tips on how to have the most success when hiring remote workers.
The remote recruiting process
One thing that is especially important with remote recruiting is stepping into the applicant’s shoes, figuratively speaking, of course.
“If you think about an interview in person, so much happens before you sit down. It’s a thorough experience where they get a lot more information than we can give remotely. So, you have to think about ‘what is the person feeling in this situation?’,” Jessica says.
Taking this into consideration is one of the first steps in the remote recruiting process at Whereby. Here are some of the other important elements.
Show company culture
Be forthcoming with the company culture, so applicants can get an impression of how it is to work at your company. You can do this by sharing handbooks or having blog posts you can send to candidates. “The format isn’t that important,” Jessica states, “as long as you share as much about the culture as you can”.
If a candidate gets further in the application process at Whereby, they will also have coffee chats with team members.
“Candidates like these open conversations. It is usually those that tip them over the edge, and they decide they want to work here,” Jessica explains.
Be meticulous when you recruit remotely
“People care if you’re two minutes late to an online meeting,” Jessica says.
When people are waiting in front of their computers for you to join the meeting, it’s very noticeable if you’re running two minutes late. So, being meticulous and keeping track of time leaves the best impression.
You will often mention details and information about a company when meeting applicants before the job interview, but when you recruit remotely, the flow of natural small talk is limited. That’s why it’s important to make sure there is lots of room for the candidates to ask questions.
Have a written component
Often, candidates don’t realize how much written communication and documentation means in a remote workplace. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure there is a written component in the hiring process.
“If candidates don’t like a lot of writing, they will most likely end up struggling with the job,” Jessica states.
All the steps we have just gone through are important in the remote recruiting process, but those aren’t the only things you should keep an eye out for. Certain character traits can help you find the right hire for your company.
Traits to look for when hiring remotely
All candidates and employees are different, but when you’re recruiting remotely, there are some common traits you should consider looking for in your next remote employee.
Ambiguity in remote companies
When you work from home, you spend a lot of time in your own company. That also means that you can’t get all the information by asking teammates at the office.
“Candidates have to be able to deal with ambiguity and search for information themselves. So, it’s good if they like ambiguity and working alone,” Jessica says.
Just as writing should be a part of the remote recruiting process, you should look for candidates that have the skills and desire to communicate through writing.
Sense of reality
It is important that applicants have a sense of what it means to be working from home. That’s not always the case, in Jessica’s experience:
“Some candidates say that they will travel to Bali every month and go surfing. That might happen, but it’s most likely going to be you sitting by your desk at home”.
The different work-setting also means that the candidates should be able to motivate themselves to work and not rely on other people to feel motivated.
Having success with your remote recruiting can be difficult. However, there are ways to overcome some of the ingrained barriers in remote hiring and make the recruitment process as successful as possible. Although you might have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.