Have you ever wondered how your company could improve productivity, employee satisfaction, and savings?
Remote Hiring is the key.
Remote hiring can be a win-win for companies and employees, as you will discover in this guide.
This manual covers everything you need to know about the remote hiring process, from strategies that help recruitment teams secure the best global candidates to best practices organisations could use to create an inclusive hiring environment.
Specifically, our Remote Hiring guide will cover:
- What is remote hiring?
- Why should you hire remotely?
- Which companies are hiring remote workers?
- How can you effectively qualify candidates from abroad?
- What are the benefits of remote hiring?
- How does remote hiring make a company more diverse?
- How can you create an inclusive remote hiring process?
- Which remote hiring tools should you use in your recruitment process?
Let's get to it.
What is remote hiring?
Before we explore the nuances of how to hire remote employees, let us tackle the basics of remote hiring so you can better plan your digital hiring process.
Hiring teams bring companies their most valuable assets, their employees. They need to find suitable candidates for open positions for their company to achieve its hiring goals.
Before COVID-19 struck, most companies looked for candidates within defined geographical boundaries. However, the hiring process has changed tremendously in the past two years, and remote recruiting is slowly but surely becoming the new trend in recruiting.
Remote hiring, also known as virtual hiring, is when all the stages of the recruitment process, including the job posting, candidate shortlisting and screening, interviewing, and employee onboarding, are done virtually without any physical interaction.
Global hiring, which helps employers increase their talent pool by employing qualified professionals from overseas and emerging markets, can be made easier using such methods.
The Future of Work survey conducted by Cielo found that remote recruitment methods are now getting greater acceptance, with 59% of recruiters conducting video interviews for candidates, 65% rolling out offers without in-person meetings, and 67% inducting new employees virtually.
Why should you hire remotely?
Initially, companies were sceptical about hiring remote talent. However, increased competition for skilled experts and the demand for competencies unavailable locally has led to this paradigm shift in the approach to hiring.
Over time, recruitment and HR teams understood the benefits of global hiring outweigh its drawbacks.
Here are some ways remote hiring can accelerate your company's growth and success:
- Convenience. Remote recruiting makes it easier for working professionals to join interviews without affecting their work schedules.
- Reduced time to fill. Participating in virtual interviews is convenient for top-level recruitment managers, avoiding hiring delays.
- Access to a vast candidate pool. With no geographical boundary limitations, recruiters can interview talented people from different cities and even other countries.
- Cost savings. Companies with a 100% remote workforce save on overhead costs such as rent and office furniture. Additionally, hiring candidates that live in places with a lower cost of living increases a company's bottom line significantly.
- Increased customer satisfaction. If you hire remote employees, your company could have 24/7 production and availability for: customer interactions, monitoring of social media activity, resolving customer issues, and other periodic tasks at all hours of the day.
Of course, like other approaches and mostly everything around us, the digital hiring process also has its fair share of challenges.
With the world becoming your oyster, receiving thousands of applications could overwhelm you, and screening all the prospects would be tedious.
Thankfully, with platforms like College Life Work, whose matching algorithm filters candidates, only those that meet your requirements will be eligible to apply for your positions. So, recruiters no longer have to go through hundreds of unqualified applications as they do with many popular recruitment platforms.
As the hiring process has a few rounds of interviews, scheduling and arranging the interviews across time zones in mutually agreeable time slots may take time and slow the hiring process.
Some job roles require testing hands-on skills that are tough to assess through written tests.
Luckily, several remote hiring tools are now available to help you manage remote hiring efficiently and overcome these obstacles. We will look at a few of these resources in Chapter 8 of this guide.
Which companies are hiring remote workers?
The future of work is flexible, with many multinationals offering full-time remote and hybrid jobs. Few companies have embraced a remote-first work culture, while most others can be called remote-friendly companies.
Remote-first companies create processes, communication strategies, and tools so that team members across geographical locations can receive important information and contribute just like the employees who work out of the office.
Remote-friendly companies, on the other hand, offer flexible work options like working from home a few times a week. However, most of the important work happens in their physical offices.
Here are three large companies moving towards work-from-anywhere models and hiring remote workers for various roles:
- Airbnb. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, the online marketplace for lodging, announced in early 2022 that employees can now live and work from anywhere.
- Dropbox. Dropbox's file hosting service that helps keep files in sync so people can share and collaborate on projects anytime and anywhere, officially transitioned into a Virtual First company, allowing all employees to work from home permanently.
- HubSpot. HubSpot, which helps corporations manage inbound marketing, sales, and customer service, has also become a hybrid company. In this model, employees can work from the office two or more days per week, or they can mostly work from home, for which the company will provide a work-from-home (WFH) setup.
How can you effectively qualify candidates from abroad?
It is vital to assess whether remote hires possess the fundamental skills needed to succeed in a remote work environment other than the skills and traits required for the specific position. Through this check, you can ensure that they will be an asset to the organisation while also making them feel valued.
Here are five qualities you should look for in employees when you opt for global hiring.
- Good Communication skills. While good written and verbal communication is necessary to optimise work efficiency and maintain good team relationships in traditional offices, it is imperative for remote work. New hires should be confident to communicate when they need help with an urgent task or want to clarify a doubt and share their daily reports to ensure they are on the same page as their teammates.
- Strong Collaborative skills. Strong collaborative skills such as self-accountability, adaptability, open-mindedness, and active listening are also essential for employees to thrive in remote working environments. Assess the candidate's ability to build trust and camaraderie with their coworkers while working remotely.
- Self-starters. People with self-discipline, assertiveness, attention to detail, and strong decision-making abilities are ideal candidates for remote work. Remote employees who proactively take responsibility and can be trusted to make crucial decisions independently by carefully analysing the situation can help your company build a strong remote work culture.
- Computer Proficiency. You may find candidates with prior experience and all the skills required for the position. However, if their technical skills are not up to the mark, they may not be a good fit for a remote job within your business. They should know how to use basic applications such as email, chat, video, and other platforms, commonly used in offices.
- Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Remote workers need to have a certain level of emotional intelligence to gauge which mode of communication (phone, video chat, Slack, or email) is the best approach in certain situations. So, when interviewing remote candidates, you should present them with challenging, job-related scenarios and evaluate their responses.
Honestly, there is no definite checklist you can refer to while qualifying candidates for a job role. Various factors, such as location, job skills, compensation and experience, are considered. It's best to create your own hiring rules following your organisational needs.
What are the benefits of remote hiring?
Everyone knows employees prefer working with remote-friendly and remote-first companies rather than in elegantly designed office buildings. However, surprisingly, many employers now also favour remote hiring after experiencing many tangible and intangible benefits of global hiring first-hand.
We have listed some ways a company can benefit by hiring remote employees.
- Increased Employee Productivity. Traditionally, companies and managers believed remote workers wouldn't work diligently, but surveys and studies have proved them wrong. In a Mercer survey of 800 employers, 94% said that productivity was the same or even higher than before the pandemic.
A flexible work schedule allows them to work during the hours of the day they are more productive. Additionally, working in remote locations limits distractions from colleagues and other events happening in the office so employees can get more work done.
- Healthier employees. The flexibility that remote working arrangements allow results in happy and engaged employees.
As employees spend more time with their family, avoid long commutes, organise work according to their preference, and work at times of the day they are most efficient, it is likely to improve their physical and mental well-being. This better work-life balance means they undergo less stress, reducing absenteeism and fewer sick leaves.
- Positive Environmental Impact. As companies become increasingly environmentally conscious, hiring remote employees is one way to boost their efforts to go green. Lesser commuter travel reduces a company's carbon footprint.
According to a survey by Global Workplace Analytics, if remote employees work virtually even half of the week, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tonnes.
- Increased Business Profits. Virtual hiring reduces operating costs and capital expenditures, translating into increased business profits. Companies that operate with a remote workforce save through greater employee productivity, lower real estate expenses, lesser absenteeism, employee turnover, and employing candidates that live in places with a lower cost of living.
How does remote hiring make a company more diverse?
Virtual hiring benefits companies that wish to promote a diverse, healthy, equitable, and inclusive work culture. A remote work culture allows companies to embrace diversity and inclusion as managers and employees in different time zones learn to work seamlessly together.
Studies show that employees who feel valued and fairly treated stay longer with a company. Companies that build more inclusive and equitable remote-friendly work policies to include and value employees regardless of their location, background, experience, and identities will have happier employees who work better, thus improving the company's ROI.
Flexible remote work options enable people with family care responsibilities (single caretakers and women who have to look after children or sick loved ones), people with mobility limitations, and people from marginalised and diverse groups to join the workforce. As remote work saves daily commute time and time away from home, it is easier for people to balance family and work.
A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace environment gives all employees a sense of belonging so they can contribute wholeheartedly to the organisation with fresh perspectives and ideas.
Remote work environments also enhance organisational culture. Employees from different racial ethnicities or gender identities feel a sense of psychological safety when they communicate through remote collaboration technologies and tools and in virtual meetings.
According to a McKinsey study, companies with diverse workforces were 25% more profitable than less diverse ones. Increasing access to flexible work can help reduce gender disparities as employees can set their hours and balance work and other obligations. Thus, remote work models can considerably narrow the gender gap at workplaces, enabling more inclusive and diverse organisations.
Healthy remote work cultures measure the value of people based on their contributions to improving the company's performance instead of their location or work hours.
How can you create an inclusive remote hiring process?
An inclusive hiring process does not include any recruitment bias or discrimination.
Hiring decisions driven by the job-related skills of candidates without an unconscious bias towards certain people are inclusive.
Here are ten inclusive hiring practices for organisations to improve their diversity hiring strategy:
- Write inclusive job descriptions. The job posting should not include gender-based language and industry jargon. Draft the job posting carefully in the right tone and stress the job responsibilities rather than the requirements.
- Design an inclusive website. Use inclusive language on your company's website to showcase the company's diverse culture. Display images of your team members instead of stock photos; use dyslexia-friendly fonts, transcripts, closed captions for video/audio files, alternative texts for images and colour contrast standards to reach a wider group of job seekers.
- State your Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) compliance. In your job advertisements, indicate that your company complies with the EEOC guidelines for diversity and hiring. People broadly define diversity as gender and race but note that generational, neurodiversity, ability, and veteran status are different types of diversity.
- Acquire talent from different channels. Do not limit your job postings to only one channel. Use print ads, virtual job fairs, hiring events, boot camps, social media platforms, etc., to look for employees from diverse populations.
- Standardise the job interview process. Create an interview guide and a script with specific questions about the job. Design scorecards to evaluate candidates in job-relevant categories during the interviews.
- Form a diverse interview panel. People from different backgrounds on the interview panel can reduce bias and bring multiple viewpoints to the hiring process. It also showcases the company's commitment to a culture of diversity and inclusion for potential job seekers.
- Implement recruitment technology. Recruitment technology such as an applicant tracking system (ATS) with built-in functionality aids in diverse hiring, helping you make objective decisions. Job description analysis tools help remove inappropriate, biased language from job ads.
- Deliver DEI training programs to recruiters. Educational programs will help your recruiters know the best practices for inclusive hiring. DEI experts explain various topics to recruiters, including how to mitigate bias and hire talent from diverse backgrounds.
- Maintain transparency in your job listing. State clearly whether the position is remote or hybrid or if your company follows any other work model. Always mention your budget: salary, a fixed fee, or an hourly rate. Include any time zone preferences in the description, especially if you need hours to overlap with your timezone. Include the fundamental technologies the job role needs, such as languages or frameworks.
- Create an inclusive interview process. Inform the candidates about company policies regarding PTO days, maternity/paternity leave, working from home, etc., in the initial interview. This way, they will know what to expect if they join the organisation.
Inclusivity creates the foundation for a diverse and inclusive workforce and positively impacts a company's bottom line in the long run. Ensure you review your hiring process and implement small changes to make inclusivity a part of your culture.
Which remote hiring tools should you use in your recruitment process?
Recruiters may find the digital hiring process challenging, but thanks to technology, they can employ various remote hiring tools to run the remote hiring process more smoothly.
In this section, we take you through some of the hiring tools that can help you at each stage of your hiring process: from sourcing, screening, and interviewing to the final offer and the retention of your employees.
- Remote Sourcing Stage Tools. You can use remote job boards that are becoming increasingly popular to advertise your organisation's work-from-home job opportunities and source talent across geographical areas. The College Life Work remote job portal, specifically for international students and graduates, helps them choose from multiple part-time, internship & graduate opportunities. Flexjobs, Remote.co, We Work Remotely, and JustRemote is some other well-trafficked virtual job boards that are helpful for employers and remote job seekers.
Streamline the hiring process with applicant tracking systems (ATS). Zoho, JazzHR, Freshteam are some of the advanced ATS software used by leading companies worldwide. You can also go for the LinkedIn sourcing package that connects with your ATS, helping you find remote talent faster. Once the candidate clears all the interview rounds, email the offer letter in which you ask candidates to confirm the contract through a legal, secure digital signature. Use document-sharing apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack and others to share training handbooks and other official documentation with new hires.
- Remote Screening Stage Tools. Instead of the traditional screening of resumes, companies are now integrating soft skills and technical assessments into the remote hiring process screening stage. TestGorilla, HackerRank, Harver and iMocha are some pre-employment online assessment tools that you could use to evaluate the skills and behaviours of candidates applying for different jobs quickly and easily.
Assessing new hires with an on-the-job simulation that mimics the tasks of the job’s role description will allow candidates to showcase their abilities. Also, such assessments have an automated ranking tool that ranks candidates relative to their performance during the interview stage. After all the candidates are ranked, the assessment tool shares the list of the top candidates with the recruiters.
- Remote Hiring Stage Tools. Recruiters can utilise remote hiring tools to smoothen the transition process from candidate to employee. Hiring tools powered by machine learning empower recruitment teams to gather and study employee data.
You can take advantage of the above-mentioned sourcing and screening tools along with other virtual hiring tools such as Slack, Zoom or Skype for communication with candidates, Calendly or Jotform for scheduling interviews and SignRequest for virtually signing offer letters to create a positive candidate experience and also make it easier for your HR team to manage the hectic digital hiring process.
Companies can make informed changes in their recruitment process using data and analytics from employee feedback surveys, exit surveys, and demographic dashboards. These tools also help you monitor and manage performance reviews and measure organisational efficiency against industry standards.
As we wrap up our comprehensive Remote Hiring guide, you have seen how remote hiring is a great way to build a competent team and stay competitive in the market over time.
We explained remote hiring, the importance of remote hiring, and which companies are currently hiring remote workers. We also understood how to qualify remote candidates, the benefits of remote hiring, and how companies can diversify their workforce through remote hiring. Lastly, we explored how to create an inclusive remote hiring process and how remote hiring tools can aid in the different stages of the virtual recruitment process.
What have been your experiences with remote hiring? Have we missed any critical strategies for remote hiring? Do share your thoughts and insightful comments below!