Remote jobs in 2022 are more common than ever. However, the trend did not begin with the Covid-19 pandemic as most of us might think. Work from home (WFH) jobs have increased by 159% since 2009. Going by the trends and stats, the number of people working remotely will only go up from this point.
There are many benefits to remote jobs. 77% of remote employees claim to be more productive when working from home. From better mental health to increased efficiency, the benefits go a long way.
For all its merits, remote work poses a unique challenge for recruiters: remote hiring. Our present interview model is heavily dependent on in-person interviews.
Remote interviews demand a change at the very core of the hiring process. For many hiring managers, narrowing down the candidate selection process is one of the toughest tasks.
How to narrow the candidate selection process for remote positions in 2022
Remote hiring works differently from in-person hiring. You do not get to assess the candidate’s body language, and the candidates do not understand the office culture of the company or business.
However, there are still workarounds to narrow down the candidate selection process and hire the best remote employees for your company. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Clearly define your job description
The first step towards hiring the best candidates is to make sure that you don’t get bogged down by thousands of irrelevant applications.
You do not want to screen thousands of CVs and portfolios only to realize that more than half of them are not even relevant to the skills you are looking for. It begins with a clear and detailed job description.
When writing your job description, it is best to do away with loaded words and phrases that have a very little real-life bearing.
Everyone can claim to be a good team worker and possess leadership skills. Instead, make it clear what you are looking for.
If you are looking for a graphic designer, make it clear that you want someone who has at least some proven experience in the field. In case you’re hiring a programmer, state that you do not want anyone who has no hands-on experience in coding.
Once you make your requirements evident, the chances of getting irrelevant applications go down.
2. Structure your hiring process
As the old saying goes, you cannot reach anywhere unless you know where you want to go. Similarly, your hiring process will not get you anywhere unless you know exactly what you want from it.
A clear and structured hiring process also promotes transparency and gives your company a good rep. More and more competent candidates would want to sit for an interview that is known for its transparency and absence of any bias.
Once you come up with a sequential structure for the hiring process, convey the same to the candidates. It will make the task of narrowing down the candidate selection process much easier.
Once you have your hiring process and job description finalized, mention it in detail on your company website’s careers page. A detailed and informative careers page makes it easier for the candidates to determine whether the position is right for them. On top of that, you are much more likely to receive applications only from people who are genuinely interested in the position.
3. Make fundamental changes in your hiring process
Remote hiring is very different from physical interviews and assessments.
First, you do not get to know who the candidate is until a very late stage of the hiring process.
Second, your candidates do not know anything about the work culture, how they are expected to respond, and so on.
Simply taking the ideas of traditional hiring processes and imposing them on a digital mode will not make the cut. Companies are already putting an effort to improve employee engagement for remote workers. The same should happen with remote candidates.
Successful remote hiring begins with a fundamental change in the hiring process.
All individuals involved in the hiring process, including the candidates, need to understand that this is a new way of recruiting. Both sides have to adapt to changing requirements and demands.
Without making a change at the core, it will be very difficult to find the right remote candidates.
4. Have a proper setup for remote interviews
Not all hiring managers are comfortable with remote interviews. The same goes for candidates. While more and more people are now comfortable with video conference interviews, it still poses some unique challenges.
External interference, disturbance in connectivity, mismatching time zones, and the list goes on. To make remote hiring effective, ensure you have the right setup first.
Investing in the proper tools for video interviews is the least a company can do. However, that is only the beginning.
Recruiters should also know how to deal with lags, unexpected interferences, connectivity issues, and a host of other issues. It is important to be considerate of unavoidable glitches. At the same time, not taking any measures will lead to a lot of loss in time and money and further stretch the hiring process.
If you make the candidate comfortable with the video interview process, it will help them give their best. It can be a huge factor, especially if you are dealing with freshers or international candidates. Do everything in your capacity to not intimidate the candidate and make them feel comfortable before proceeding with the actual interview.
5. Take your time with the hiring process
It might seem counterintuitive to take your time during the remote hiring process, but it can save you from potentially expensive mistakes.
Remote interviews, as we all know, are not the best way to know a candidate inside out. It is very easy to only present a persona from behind the screen.
However, people usually cannot play a character for a long stretch of time. That makes it very important to not rush the remote hiring process.
As you go through multiple rounds of interviews and assignments, you will know much more about the candidates.
6. Take the hands-on approach
Modern recruitment is not about degrees and accolades. It is much more about what a person can actually do when faced with a difficult scenario. It is a core principle that you also need to implement in remote hiring processes.
Instead of asking traditional interview questions that help in understanding the candidate’s temperament, ask questions that pertain to remote interviews.
Give them projects or assignments where they get a chance to showcase their ability. Give your candidates the space to speak about what skills they have that can bring a positive change to your company.
Taking the hands-on approach at the early stages of the hiring process also cuts down the number of irrelevant applicants.
If people cannot pass the basic eliminatory test, they are probably not what you are looking for. It is a simple yet powerful approach that can help you greatly with narrowing down the hiring process.
7. Keep the hiring team in the loop
The number one challenge to remote office models is the lack of communication between team members.
If the hiring team is not on the same page, it will cause further delays in the hiring process. A well-connected team will always make better decisions about which candidates to go forward with and whom to reject.
Having a centralized hiring database makes it easy for anyone to be updated about the hiring process. It also helps them assess candidates on a personal level and come to a consensus. It does not take a lot of work to keep the team in the loop, but the benefits go a long way.
8. Make the most of the opportunity
Remote hiring, without a doubt, is a big challenge for companies. However, it is not without its perks.
The biggest advantage of remote hiring is access to a wide talent pool from all corners of the world. Today it is easy for a company in the USA to hire an employee from Taiwan, all without any physical movement. It is one of the boons of remote hiring that every company should make the best of.
Highlight the fact that you are open to candidates from around the world in your job description. Make the hiring process more inclusive and encourage people from different cultural backgrounds to apply for the position.
The more exposure you have, the higher the chances of finding the right candidate.
Another advantage of a wide talent pool is the availability of potential candidates.
There might be applicants who did not make it through in their first attempt but might come back better.
When you maintain and manage a talent pool, you do not have to start from scratch the next time you are hiring. If your company is constantly hiring new people, it becomes even more important to have an extensive talent pool.
Remote hiring has changed the way companies and candidates interact with each other. It comes with both benefits and challenges. Understanding the basics and making key changes in the hiring process can make it very easy to narrow down the candidate selection process.