A recent survey from Regus Canada stated that almost half (47%) of all Canadian employees work remotely in some form or another.
With the recent COVID-19 pandemic and push for Canadians to work from home, this number has likely increased significantly over the last month or so.
As businesses adapt to the “new normal” and make changes to their operations, more and more companies are looking for innovative ways to recruit staff during this unprecedented time. The solution for many businesses is recruiting remote employees.
How do you hire remote employees? And what qualities should remote workers have? Keep reading for some helpful tips to navigate this recruitment style.
1. Define the Skills Required
First and foremost, consider what unique skills your candidates will need in order to meet the job requirements.
Not only should they be a good cultural fit for your company, but now more than ever, adaptability, strong communication skills, independence, and a dedicated work ethic are needed.
Hiring virtual employees means that you won’t have any face-to-face communication with them and you won’t be able to oversee their workflow. Because of this, remote workers should be disciplined and able to problem-solve on their own with minimal assistance. In addition, finding candidates who are both creative and tech-savvy is also a huge asset when it comes recruiting remote employees.
2. Customize Your Interview Questions
Working remotely isn’t for everyone. That’s why it’s important to screen your candidates accordingly by asking the right questions during the interview process to find out if the remote workers possess the qualities you are looking for.
Ask if your candidates have ever worked remotely before. If so, ask how they managed their time and what hours they kept. How did they deal with distractions or interruptions?
Also ask them to give you specific examples of scenarios where they had to be resourceful or make an important decision on their own.
By asking open-ended questions, you can get a better understanding of their work ethic and behavioural habits.
3. Ask about Their Equipment/Technology
Modern technology has made it easy when recruiting remote employees, because it allows your staff to work anywhere in the world. That being said, one of the most important aspects of working remotely is having the right technology and equipment to get the job done.
It may seem like a given, but make sure to ask your candidates whether they have a reliable Internet connection and a computer with the necessary software, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, or Salesforce, depending on your business’ needs.
Clearly outline whether your company will be providing any tools or equipment for your candidates to take home (e.g. a company laptop) or whether the equipment—including setup and maintenance—is the responsibility of the employees. This brings us to our next point.
4. Clearly State the Job Requirements
Hiring virtual employees might mean that the job requirements differ slightly from those of an in-office job. In your job posting, make sure you thoroughly outline all the requirements and expectations for the job you’re recruiting for.
This includes your remote policy. Each remote situation is unique. Some employees will be required to be available during the typical 9 to 5 business hours, while others might have the flexibility to make their own work schedule. Whatever the case, make sure to clearly specify your policy when recruiting remote employees.
Also make sure to outline your communication preferences. Are employees required to collaborate via email only or do you use any third-party software to share information daily?
It’s important that your prospective employees know what to expect when it comes to communication and collaboration. Plus, providing key information about your remote policies will help you attract the right kind of candidates.
5. Conduct Remote Interviews
Did you know that many of the world’s leading companies, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google, are now conducting virtual job interviews due to COVID-19?
With so many varieties of video conferencing software available today, like Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime, conducting a video interview to recruit remote employees has never been easier.
That said, video interviews require a little bit of prep work on your part. Organize the questions you plan to ask ahead of time and set up your workspace in a quiet, uncluttered area.
Make sure you have the latest technology on your computer. Most importantly, ensure that you’ve tested the software and hardware (e.g. headsets and microphones, as well as your Internet connection) in advance.
The last thing you want during your interview is to have technical difficulties or to come across like you don’t know how to use the software. An awkward or tedious interview when hiring virtual employees can reflect poorly on your business’ professionalism.
Before the interview, provide your candidates with all the information they need to prepare for the interview, including login details and instructions on how to follow up afterwards.
6. Focus on the Employee Experience
When recruiting remote employees, it’s easy to focus solely on the qualities remote workers should have and forget about the unique qualities your company should be showcasing.
Consider this: the virtual interview is the only face-to-face communication you and your candidates will have. It’s a vastly different experience compared to an in-person meeting, and your candidates might feel nervous about it or uncomfortable with the process.
First off, you should always be the first one to show up in the virtual room for the interview.
As the employer, you should strive to create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for your candidates. Pay close attention to your candidates’ body language and non-verbal cues. The more at ease they feel, the more you’ll be able to see their personality.
Utilize creative ways to make the interview process more rewarding for them. For example, you can offer virtual tours of your office space to show off your company culture and make your candidates feel more connected to your business.
Hire Resolve Recruit to Help You Find Eligible Candidates
Resolve Recruit Inc. is one of Canada’s leading job staffing agencies. Based out of Mississauga, Ontario, we have over 20 years of experience matching top-quality candidates to their dream jobs. We’ve also helped numerous small- and medium-sized businesses expand their portfolios and employee databases. To learn more about our services and to see how we can help you hire remote employees, please feel free to contact us today!