Remote teams can be a dream or a nightmare. It all starts with how you hire.
More and more companies are rushing to build their teams of virtual rockstars. Star startups like Slack, Buffer and Automatic have gone completely office-free. And even business behemoths like Cisco have saved $277 million per year thanks to awesome remote talent. 👍
And why not?
Remote workers are more productive, engaged and just plain happier. At least, they are if you hire them right. Here’s how to create an awesome candidate experience that truly transcends time and space.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Chances are, one of the things you love about hiring remotely is that you get to break out of the local talent pool and choose literally the best person in the world for the job.
For the same reason, a clear, compelling job description and ad are of do-or-die importance when hiring remote talent. Remote workers are no stranger to the job boards. They can tell in a blink when a company does or does NOT have their stuff together.
Start by defining exactly what you’re looking for in your remote hire. Then, working on writing up a truly gripping job ad that will cut through the noise and catch the attention of your ideal candidates.
(Pro Tip: Always explain the remote interview process in your job ad to give the candidate every chance of success and sidestep any unpleasant surprises on either end.)
Put Your Values Front and Center
The process of hiring remote workers isn’t all that different from how you’d hire for an in-office role. It’s more about taking a magnifying glass to your current hiring process to make sure every aspect of your culture and performance expectations comes through with crystal clarity. 💎
And you just can’t do that without a list of clear and compelling values.
Values are awesome — not only because they’re the backbone of your brand — but because they shed light on the vast grey area that sits between goals and expectations. Remote workers are self-starters by definition. They need to move quickly and make decisions on the fly. A rock-solid set of values is what gives them the guidance, confidence and creative freedom to make the best possible call, even while the rest of the team is still sleeping.
(Pro Tip: Always let the candidate know which rules are hard vs. soft to make sure you’re aligned on the outcomes that matter most and save yourself some major headaches down the road.)
Always Pay for the Screening Task
Once your remote candidates have seen your awesomely gripping job description and gotten all jazzed up about your game-changing business values, now it’s time to move into the screening phase.
Here’s where a lot of recruiters drop the ball. 🤦🏾
For starters, never EVER ask a remote candidate to complete a task without compensating them for it. You don’t have to break the budget, but you do need to show them you respect their time. You wouldn’t believe how many shadeballs and cheapskates there are out there — a modest set payment is more than enough to set yourself apart.
(Pro Tip: Make sure the task is a real reflection of what the candidate will be asked to do, not a made up project. That way you’ll both get as clear a picture as possible of what it’d be like to work together.)
Connect through Video
Did the candidate pass your screening task with flying colors? Great.
Now, you’re ready to interview.
According to the Harvard Business Review, 87% of remote workers feel more connected when using video conferencing. They also point out that leaders of remote teams are more clear, intentional and authoritative when communicating because they don’t have the luxury of stopping by their team member’s desks after lunch.
So get your game face on. Of course, you can relax and share a laugh, but you also need to set a tone of clear and direct communication from day one. And don’t worry. Your remote team members will thank you for this. After all, ain’t nobody got time for confusing tasks or unclear instructions.
(Pro Tip: For positions with a high volume of candidates try using video assessments to get a deeper understanding of the person behind the resume before you sit down to interview them.)
With the right hiring process, your next remote hire can be the perfect shot in the arm for your business. Just remember, as with any position, you’ve got to make sure you don’t cut the wrong corners.
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