The term “remote employment” has become a bit of a buzzword in the last year because of the pandemic. But COVID-19 didn’t kickstart remote work, it just expedited its growth.
Even before the pandemic, remote employment offered a ton of benefits to businesses big and small, including:
- Access to talent without geographical limitations
- Often less costly support
- Reduced overheads and expenses
- Higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention
And that’s just to name a few.
But confidently hiring remote talent can also feel daunting, though it doesn’t have to. So, if you’re looking to hire remote talent–whether for a small one-off job or for ongoing employment–here are a few tips to help you do it comfortably and successfully.
1. Pre-Qualify Candidates
When you’re looking to make a remote hire, don’t be afraid to pre-qualify them out of respect for both of your time.
You can ask them to do things like submit a video-recorded cover letter so that you can get a feel for who they are before booking an interview.
2. Get Comfortable with Video Interviews
There’s no two ways about it: video interviews can be tough. For one, they feel less personal than meeting in person. And they also make it harder to read those ever-important physical and verbal cues that you get from speaking face to face.
To ensure you’re well prepared for your video interview, you can:
- Provide your candidates with all the information they need in the interview invitation
- Make sure that there’s a plan B, just in case the connection unexpectedly cuts
- Set up your interview in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted
- Double check all of your tech before starting the call
- Show up early
- Don’t skimp on small talk
This will make the entire process more comfortable for both parties.
3. Don’t Rush
When you’re hiring, especially remotely, remember that you don’t need to rush to make a hire. Given the added layers of complexity when hiring a remote team member, it’s extra important to make sure you’re taking your time to find the right person.
Map out your recruitment and hiring timelines generously in advance. And be sure to share those timelines with your candidates.
4. Be Specific in Your Job Description
It’s vital to be ultra-specific in your job description for a remote role. This should include:
- The fact that the role is remote
- The expectations for the candidate as far as work hours and deliverables
- Your company’s remote story
- Any logistical requirements for the role
The more info you provide about the role, the better qualified your candidates will be.
5. Have a Strong Virtual Onboarding Procedure Planned
Getting onboarded to a new role is one of the most pivotal moments for long-term success when it comes to new hires. It helps them get ingrained in the team and familiarize themselves with the company.
But doing this remotely means lacking those in-person introductions and support. So, it’s vital that you have a strong onboarding procedure, including:
- Scheduled training sessions
- A strong library of onboarding materials that you candidate can reference when they need to
- Planned social time, like Zoom happy hours, that allow your remote (and in-person) team members to get to know each other personally
This step can be make-or-break, so ensure you dedicate adequate time and attention to getting it set up before hiring.
6. Include a Probationary Period
As is the case with most roles, including a probationary period is a good way for you to suss out whether your remote employment scenario will work out with a particular candidate. Generally, this is around three months because it gives them time to get up to speed and it gives you a realistic look at their performance over time.
7. Consider Additional Core Skills
Working remotely comes with the need for a unique skillset which is often above and beyond the traditional ones for an in-person version of the same role.
These skills pertain to the person’s ability to do their job remotely as opposed to in the office and can include written and verbal communication skills, decisiveness, discipline, time management, and more.
You can ask your candidate for examples of times they’ve exercised these skills or how they’d use them in certain situations.
And you can also read between the lines by watching how they handle the interview process, such as how quickly they respond to emails and calls and how well they communicate.
8. Set Parameters
Before you start seeking a remote candidate, it’s wise to get aligned within your team or business about a few parameters for remote employment, including how to deal with time zone differences, how your hire will handle their workday schedule and hours, how you’ll gauge their success, and your specific expectations of the person on a daily, monthly, and annual basis.
9. Consider Tax, Payroll, and Compliance Implications
Finally, think about tax, payroll, and compliance implications of working with a remote hire. Sometimes, this could just be a difference of state tax. But other times, it could be hiring somebody internationally. Make sure to do your research on how exactly that needs to be handled.
Hiring remote staff can be an awesome thing for you and your business. And although it might seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure you’re organized and that you’ve checked all of the above boxes. And if you’re a remote employee who’s looking for a great place to work away from home, or an employer in search of a workspace for your remote employees, get in touch today to learn why coworking is such a perfect fit for your situation.
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