Remote Work: Making Efficient Hiring Decisions

Originally intended to be a temporary arrangement, the pandemic has given many the opportunity to discover the benefits of remote work. As the composition of workspaces continues to evolve, options for hybrid or even fully remote work are becoming increasingly desired. For HR, it seems that we will not be saying goodbye to hiring remotely – at least not completely – anytime soon. Since the beginning of last year until now, we’ve had a plethora of conversations with clients, coworkers, and even friends, about the state of remote hiring. Here are some lessons we’ve learned and some tips to help you to make better remote hiring decisions!

Assessments to Virtually Evaluate

Just like any other recruitment, it is imperative to first identify what would make an ideal candidate. Remote or not, we are still looking for the most suitable person for your position. Which begs the question: what makes someone a good fit for your company? For example, do you need someone that is more comfortable with numbers or someone who is good at writing? Would the job require dealing with customers directly or will they be mostly working with people within the company?

One way to find the answers to these questions would be conducting a Top Performer Study. By having your current best employees in the position you are looking to hire more of take a pre-employment assessment, a benchmark can be set up and used to compare applicants with when you give them the same test. Through this process, you will be able to find candidates that are as close to your top performers as possible. Using tools such as assessment tests can help shorten your hiring process and filter out the employees that best suit your needs. Do they fit the criteria you have set out for an ideal employee? Having an objective assessment test can help eliminate any potential bias and allow you to learn more about the applicants remotely.

Remote Workstyles and Strategies

As much as remote work may be desired by many, it is also not always the most suitable arrangement for all jobs and employees. Before deciding on whether to offer remote work options, consider the nature of the position. Have a discussion with your existing employees that would be in the same team as the new hire. Would the role require collaboration? Would alternate forms of communication affect the team’s efficiency and quality of work? If the answer is yes to either question, maybe remote work is not the best option for your team.

Another important aspect to consider is your company culture. Does your company put heavy emphasis on in person interactions between employees? What type of work environment do you want to curate and maintain? In some cases, hybrid work options could meet the best of both worlds – allowing for flexibility but also giving employees the opportunity to socialize and collaborate in person.

Structured Interviews to Eliminate the Physical Distance Barrier

With in person interviews, a recruiter is able to gauge more aspects of an applicant. From their body language to prior preparations for the interview, we get to know more about the candidate than what was submitted in forms online. However, with a screen between, online interviews take away a big portion of the human interaction aspect of an interview. Which is why it is ever more crucial to have a structured interview. Through the results obtained in a job-fit assessment, along with any information obtained during resume screening, you can utilize the help of an interview guide and make the most out of the short meeting.

For example, an important aspect of remote work is the ability to work independently. If the applicant’s score leaned towards the right on the Self-Sufficient vs Group Oriented scale, it may be worthwhile to ask the applicant about how they would perform in a largely independent environment as an extrovert. Such as, how do they plan on staying social when physically apart from their coworkers? Don’t waste time asking questions on matters already explained in the applicant’s resume and cover letter. Instead, ask questions that is most directly related to how they would perform in the position in a remote setting to make the best hiring decision.

Different Locations and Time Zones

One benefit of offering remote work options is opening up the possibility to hire people that may not be in the same city or even same time zone as your company. This gives your company the chance to look for better hires from a wider candidate pool. However, the physical distance could also potentially pose as a problem if remote work is not a permanent plan. Therefore, it is important to have a discussion about how exactly the remote setting is going to pan out. What is their biggest reason for choosing to work remotely and do they plan on staying remote for the foreseeable future? Would the time difference pose as an issue for team work? What kind of work hours would meet the needs of both your employee and your company?

Staying Organized

Remote work options pose both benefits and drawbacks to both the employee and the company. Therefore, it is extremely important to know exactly what kind of remote work set up would work for your company, and address the relevant issues during the hiring process. Let effective tools and organization help you make good hiring decisions!