These are uncertain times, but one thing is certain, work has to go on. With this comes the process of hiring remote employees. Hiring the “wrong” remote employee will cause consequences such as drop-in productivity, major interruption in the team’s workflow, not to mention the thousands of naira that will have to be spent to restart the hiring process.
So if you are looking at remote hiring, here are five tips to equip you for making great remote hires!
In this lockdown, hiring for a remote team essentially means hiring for a certain set of skills needed to excel at remote working.
A few of these remote working skills are good communication skills, great collaboration skills, strong organizational skills, good time management skills, self-discipline, and accountability. You have to ensure a candidate has these set of skills, else, the candidate is not a good fit and there is no use taking the hiring process any further. Assessing your candidates for these skills is even more important because these are soft skills that you cannot just train your candidates on. These are skills they should already possess.
One of the ways to test for these skills is the pre-employment test, which is a great evaluation method for hiring. These pre-interview assessment tests would help you make shortlisting decisions.
When hiring remote employees, another thing you should look out for is their comfort level with video calls because all meetings and collaboration in remote teams happen via video calls. So, checking for this sort of “video compatibility” is a crucial part of the remote hiring process.
When hiring remote work employees, you want your questions to give you an insight into their independent working habits and to know if they can meet tight deadlines. You can ask questions like: What is your remote work experience? What tools have you used to complete and manage remote projects?
While outcomes are far more important than how people get work done, you can learn a great deal by asking how people work.
This is one challenging task for any HR manager and company. Ensuring that the people you hire are culture fit is tougher when you can’t meet the person face to face. The question is how do you know if someone is culture fit? The first step is to define your culture and values, then translating these ideas into assessment tests, surveys, or interview questions that you can actually score your candidates on. For instance, for the remote startup Hotjar, one of their eight cultural values is “always be learning”. In order to evaluate candidates on that, they ask this specific question: “What have you learned in the last year?”.
Start by clearly identifying and defining your culture and values. It is only after you do this that you will be able to evaluate your candidates effectively.
Writing about who would make an “ideal candidate” is important for any job listing, whether it is for an in-office position or a remote one. But it plays a bigger role in remote hiring because it specifies the key remote working traits that candidates must have. When you do this, you’re aiming for the right quality of applicants and not quantity. This helps you sieve out people who are not good fits for specific qualities or personalities you are looking for. Whether it is a personality test or some trait you have particularly identified for success in a role, write it out in your ideal candidate description.
Once you have found your top candidate, it is time — not to extend an offer letter but — to extend a contract for the probation period. This is to double-check that you are making an offer to the right candidate. It lets you see how skilled a candidate is for a job, how well they can learn, and how seamlessly they fit into your “remote work” structure.
During this period, you should assign the candidate a project and see how well they settle in, for example, If they applied to work in customer support, they should answer tickets; If they applied for an engineering role, they should work on engineering problems. If they applied for a design role, they should start designing ASAP.
Regardless of how skilled a person is for a role, you should make sure that the candidate can thrive while working remotely. This is why during the hiring process, at every step, use messaging that helps candidates self-decide if they are considering or pursuing a job opportunity where they can shine. Hiring for remote work is different from hiring on-site employees. But following the above remote hiring tips will help you hire the perfect remote employees, no matter what role you are hiring for!