All over the world, remote work is rapidly on the rise. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Gallup concluded that around 43% of American employees conduct at least some of their work duties away from the office. If your business is looking to hire remote workers, this guide will inform your successful hiring strategy.
The rise in remote work is hardly surprising. Having the ability to work from home or a co-working space is significantly more alluring than commuting to the same building at the same time, every day. It also means that workers no longer have to contend with daily traffic jams.
Employees aren’t the only group taking advantage of remote work. Businesses are also benefiting from the increase in remote work opportunities across the globe. In days gone by, businesses were restricted to hiring employees that could physically get to the office each day. When hiring remote workers, this is no longer a limitation. Businesses are able to select the best person for the job, no matter where they live!
Granted, the process of hiring remote workers differs from hiring office-based employees. Whether or not your business currently hires remote workers, it’s important that you begin adapting now. In the future, it’s likely that large sections of your workforce will be hired remotely.
By following the steps outlined below, you can hire the best remote workers and take your business forward.
Make sure you set clear expectations when hiring remote workers
Interacting with remote workers isn’t as simple as strolling over to their office cubicle. Whilst mobile devices, email, and apps like Zoom and Slack have made it easier to manage a remote team, there are still fewer opportunities for one-on-one communication – or face-time – with remote workers.
When it comes to managing a remote workforce, it’s essential that you set clear expectations before any work is undertaken. Make sure that job summaries are complete and that they specify all responsibilities a prospective worker will have, along with the experience you’re looking for. Restate these factors throughout any interviews with candidates and during all employee onboarding processes.
The more that you can clearly define your expectations, the greater the likelihood you attract candidates who are suitably qualified for the role. This does not imply that you can stop managing remote workers after they have been employed. However, by establishing clear expectations from the start, you encourage a cohesive, high-performing team.
Prepare test projects for the best candidates
Compared to traditional hires, there are not as many chances for businesses to check in on newly hired remote workers. Your task will be much less demanding if you can be assured that the person you have hired is qualified to perform their role.
By offering the strongest candidates one or two test projects, you’re better positioned to establish trust. When developing test projects, the most important factor is that a project assesses multiple skills that an employee must possess.
As an example, you might need to know that a prospect has specific writing and research skills. Additionally, a prospect may also need the ability to manage their time and follow precise instructions. If this were the case, you would designate a project that requires specialist writing and research skills, has clearly defined directions, and needs to be submitted by a certain deadline.
Always make sure that you discuss due dates with prospects prior to setting them. Whilst you need to evaluate a prospect’s time management skills, keep in mind that people may have their own jobs to finish for another employer. Be empathetic and recognize that most people have commitments other than your test project.
Ensure that you offer a professional grading system for these projects. Ultimately, the aim of a test project is to highlight whether a prospective employee is qualified for the job. If you are only qualifying a prospect based on your general feelings about their performance, you’re not utilizing a test project correctly. By adopting a professional grading system, you’re able to appoint scores to candidates based on a clear set of guidelines.
This does not mean that you have to depend solely on the test project when hiring a remote worker. It’s equally important to assess whether a candidate will be a suitable fit within your company culture.
Conduct interviews via video
Recognizing if somebody is a good fit for a job may not be all that hard. According to a CareerBuilder study, 87% of companies know if a person is right for the job within 15 minutes of a face-to-face meeting.
It’s significantly more challenging to make that kind of judgment during a phone interview. Body language experts tell us that more than 90% of human interaction is nonverbal. Everything from the way in which a person dresses to small variances in their body language can say a great deal about a person.
When hiring remote workers, many of your interactions will occur through phone, email, and video. However, for senior positions and management roles, it is preferable to meet with a person directly before hiring. In order to accurately assess someone’s personality, you ideally need to meet with them face-to-face.
Whilst there are many candidates with similar experience, they may not be the right choice if you think they wouldn’t fit in with your company. Additionally, if a candidate appears indifferent during an in-person interview, it often means they aren’t as enthusiastic about the role – and your company’s mission – as they ought to be.
Something as basic as the way a candidate sits can offer you a major insight into their character. Candidates who lean forward or sit at the edge of their chairs are typically showing signs of intent. Alternatively, candidates who slouch or lean back in their chairs are often lacking interest. Most people will pick up on these cues throughout meetings, even if they’re unaware of doing so. If you only have a conversation with someone over the phone, you won’t have the same opportunity to pick up on these nonverbal cues.
Any opportunity you have to engage a prospective employee with your brand and company mission should not be squandered. Businesses that take steps to enhance brand engagement among their employees often tend to enjoy financial gains in the long run.
Employers need to ensure that remote workers are exposed to your company’s brand as frequently as possible. Staff members who report to a traditional workplace spend an enormous amount of their time in a branded environment. These employees are surrounded by signs of your company’s mission and values. In a remote work environment, it is much more challenging to convey such messages to employees.
For this reason, when conducting video interviews, it’s often an excellent strategy to start or finish with a brief video tour of the workplace. During this time, a prospective employee can ask any questions and get a feel for the business environment.
Granted, it can be awkward walking around a workplace with your phone or laptop, speaking to a candidate and attempting to showcase the best shots of your office. Ultimately though, this is worth it if it allows you to engage prospective employees with the best aspects of your brand. Keep in mind, you’re not the only one who might have an opinion on whether someone is the right fit for your business. Once a remote worker can see your office and learn more about your brand’s values, they’ll have a clearer understanding of whether your business is suitable for somebody like them.
Ask interviewees the right questions
There’s going to be many similarities between the questions you ask remote work candidates and those you ask office-based candidates. However, this does not indicate that every question will be the same. Remote workers need to have specific skills in order to perform their roles successfully. It is incumbent on you to ask questions that are customized to a candidate’s experience. This allows you to determine if a candidate has the skills you need in an employee.
As an example, you should find out if a candidate has previously worked remotely. A person who has been successful in other remote work environments is a better choice than someone who has only ever worked in an office.
Employers should also be prepared to ask practical questions. This could entail asking a candidate to describe their home office or workspace. In traditional forms of employment, you can offer staff members appropriate workspaces to remain productive. Whilst you can provide remote employees with equipment, you can’t handle the ways in which they organize their work environment. The right candidate should be someone who takes steps to create a work-friendly environment.
How a Global PEO can make hiring remote workers easier
A Global Professional Employer Organization (PEO) allows expanding companies to provide their global workforce with the most competitive benefits. By supporting businesses to distribute global payroll and benefits to their staff, working with a PEO ensures that a business can attract and retain top talent.
If your business is expanding into an international market and seeking to build a remote workforce, a Global PEO – like New Horizons – enables you to quickly and compliantly hire, onboard, and pay employees. This ensures that all employees – including remote workers – are paid accurately, on-time, and in accordance with local labor guidelines.
From managing payroll across multiple countries to maintaining compliance with local labor laws, trying to manage everything in-house often diverts resources away from your most important day-to-day functions. A Global PEO like New Horizons provides specialist support for your employment-related compliance needs – no matter how many countries in which your remote workers are located. We oversee payroll taxes, federal withholding, insurance, workers’ compensation, and immigration support. And as the only Global PEO with an in-house talent acquisition team, we also recruit and onboard new employees seamlessly into your organization.
To discover more about New Horizons’ Global PEO, or any of our customized expansion solutions, reach out to our team today.