Recruiting remote workers has shifted to become a main focus for many businesses. Prior to the pandemic, many companies had little to no best practices in place for recruiting, hiring and onboarding remote workers and had to do their best to adapt on short notice.
Generating ideas for recruiting, hiring and onboarding remote workers can be a daunting task, especially if your business is not used to dealing with the unique challenges remote workers present. However, with the right approach and effective tools, your company will benefit from quality remote workers.
Recruiting & Hiring Remote Workers
Finding Top Candidates
The first challenge is finding and recruiting the best remote workers. Ideas for this task include some of the same strategies used for finding on-site workers and some that are unique to recruiting remote workers.
- Job boards are invaluable for increasing your pool of candidates when recruiting remotely. Just make sure the job description and, especially, the qualifications for the position are clearly stated and outlined. This best practice will narrow down the candidates before the application process even begins.
- Social media platforms are another great resource. But don’t rely just on professional sites such as Linkedin. Use Facebook, Instagram or your business website to promote the remote work – and don’t forget to make it shareable!
- Word of mouth is an important and often overlooked tool because it is so simple. All you have to do is tell everyone you come in contact with what you are looking for.
- Professional associations can be especially helpful if the remote position is for a freelancer or contract worker. These associations often have their own job postings that the remote freelancer or contract worker looks to for legitimate work-from-home positions.
Remember, you are looking for the most qualified remote workers to recruit. Let your company’s core values be clear to the applicant while making sure the expectations and qualifications for the job are outlined with care. The goal should be to have a remote worker who can connect with the business’ ideals so that they will feel connected to the company and be able to become invested in its unique culture and its ultimate success.
The most important aspect of the interviewing process is the interviewer’s preparation. You want to be clear from the start about your expectations. Don’t just consider the candidate’s on-paper qualifications. Ask questions that delve deeper than the resume. Consider unique strategies and use applicant tracking software to keep the process organized and seamless.
After you have narrowed down your candidates, you may want to have them do a test project to see how they would handle things in a remote work environment. This is especially helpful if the prospective employee is new to working remotely. They, and you, may find that remote work just isn’t right for them. Remote workers need unique characteristics in order to be successful.
- A proactive attitude
- An ability to prioritize tasks
- Excellent writing and communicating skills
- A personality that thrives on being self-motivated
- An ability to be open and honest
Consider these qualities when constructing your test project. You can save a lot of time and money by narrowing down your search with job-specific tasks. You will also see how the candidates get along and interact with current employees.
Onboarding Remote Workers
Once you have your new hires, the first step of onboarding remote workers is to have an orientation. Most likely, this will be virtual and can include welcoming, introducing and any paperwork that was not already completed. Orientation ideally gives the remote worker a sense of belonging and lets them know the hierarchy of the company. They need to know who they are reporting to and working with regularly. Questions from the new employees should be encouraged during this phase.
The transition from orientation to full onboarding can take days to months, depending on the type of position. Best practices when onboarding remote workers include using training videos, keeping them engaged throughout the process and paving the way toward working on their first assignments.
When the team member has the necessary resources, they can begin on their first assignments. Depending on the task, these can be done alone with the understanding that questions to the person they are reporting to are encouraged or, these assignments can be done as a group through video, emails or other shared sources. The important thing to remember is that the employee may be remote, but they should not feel alone or disconnected from the company culture and other team members.
A good way to offer continued support is to have clear objectives for a certain time period. For example, work with your remote workers to set 30-, 60- and 90-day goals. These goals will help keep the remote worker engaged and on-task. It will also give you the tools you need to assess the work done and to improve your onboarding process in the future.