Remote staff hire

Remote staff hire

This article looks at how to hire remote staff, and whether remote staff hire is the right thing for your organisation.

The idea of hiring and managing a remote team can seem a bit daunting to even the most experienced managers.  Suddenly they feel there is a loss of control, that they can’t walk out into the office and see everyone sitting at their desks.  It takes a new way of thinking to operate in this type of environment.  But let’s look first at the type of candidate you should be recruiting.

Remote staff recruitment

So who do you have in mind?  Who will your job advertisement be aimed at?

Working remotely is not for everyone, it will not suit people who need a more hands-on style of management.  Or maybe those just starting out in the workforce who would benefit from working in an office environment where they can shadow other more experienced members of staff.

So start thinking of the skills you would expect to see in a remote staff member.

  • Ability to work on their own initiative
    This role is really only suitable for anyone who does not need handheld.  They can see what needs to be done and are comfortable to deal with it themselves.
  • Ability to prioritise daily workloads.
    Are they able to work out what is important within their daily workload?  If 10 case files land on their desk do they have the understanding to work out what needs completed and by when.
  • Are they flexible
    This really relates to the prioritisation point above– can they spot what needs to be changed within their working day at short notice.  Can they be flexible in their approach?  Having to stop work on a project to urgently work on another one can be quite overwhelming for some staff.
  • Excellent communication skills
    This is actually quite an important point as the staff member will need to communicate with colleagues and customers in a professional but friendly manner.  Most communication will take place through emails, reports, chat platforms, etc. so they need to be able to produce grammatically correct material.  They also need to be able to get across their points in a tone and style that suits the message.
  • Trustworthy
    Do you feel you can trust the person to get on with the work unsupervised – if not then they aren’t the right candidate.  If you are spending more time worrying if they can produce the work, or they will not portray the right image for the organisation, then they are not the right fit.

Remote staff hire – evaluation

Once you have considered the type of staff member you want to recruit the next step is to carry out some evaluations. There are many styles of interviews available including psychometric testing, behavioural testing, competency based, phone interviews, panel testing.

Consider the merits of each one and consider the questions you wish to ask. Why are you asking them? What do you hope the reply to be? Can they expand the answer to include examples?

Write the job description for the remote post

Sounds easier than it is. 

  • First of all write a bit about your company – what is the hook to get them to apply?  What is so special that they want to work for you?
  • Explain what a normal day could look like – include as much as possible as it is better to give them a true picture of what they should expect.
  • Define the roles and responsibilities – main roles and responsibilities obvisouly should be included, but also small things like does the role include responsibility for producing a report every quarter.  Or are they responsible for organising an online monthly competition for all staff.
  • Describe where they fit within the team – lay out the management structure and who they report to.  This allows for a clear understanding of how they fit within the team.
  • Outline employee benefits including training options, career progression, salary, remote working allowances, medical insurance etc. – make them attractive, but also highlight if they are goal driven, stepped increments, etc.
  • Include the company’s values and ethos – what is your mission statement? Do you support ethical working practices? Do you expect your staff to fall in line with your company values?
  • Spend a bit of time thinking what you want to find out about the candidates and try to write the questions to draw out that information.
  • What experience will they bring from their previous employment?
  • Have they examples of specific key skills you are looking for?
  • What examples of their previous work can they share with you?

How to find remote candidates

There are a few suggestions here, some will work better than others depending on how you intend to advertise the position.  The opportunity to reach a global audience will allow you access to a bigger talent pool – so are you ready?

Some of these suggestions will not be relevant to some countries as they may have their own rules in place regarding fair recruitment.

  • Networking – you may already have met experienced and suitable candidates who would consider new job opportunities. Get the word out to your networks and see what comes back.
  • Online Recruitment platforms – there are many online recruitment platforms specialising in ‘remote work’ or ‘work from home’ positions.  There are associated costs with using an online recruitment platform but they will save you time in the long run.
  • Job advertising – slightly different from the online recruitment platforms as you post the advertisement and are responsible for all the follow-up work, reviewing applications, vetting, interviewing, etc.  This can be quite time-consuming for the smaller organisation. Remember to have the job description written in a way that will automatically filter out time-wasters.
  • Company website/blog – if you have a ‘careers’ section on you website this will allow you to advertise the position without additional costs.  Also you can promote your upcoming positions on your blog.  If you have good reader engagement this should reach your audience which is already interested in your company and what you are doing.
  • Social media – most companies are linked to social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  By spreading the word on these platforms you will have a broader reach and also the opportunity for people to easily share the word.

Remember to write the job description in a clear way.  One that will naturally filter out those who like the sound of working remotely but who are not necessarily the best candidate for your organisation.

Conclusion

Remote staff hire requires considerable time and thought when creating job descriptions.  Get it wrong and everyone who wants to work from their kitchen table will apply.  Get it right and you will receive applications from qualified and skilled candidates.