More people are working remotely than ever before, studies show. This makes sense. Due to technological advancements, it’s possible for many people to work outside of the office.
This can offer major benefits to an organization. For instance, your company may save money on office space if many of your employees work from home. More importantly, the ability to hire remote employees means being able to find the ideal fit for the job. Your candidate pool is no longer limited by geography.
That said, from a human resources perspective, hiring remote employees is a very different process from hiring traditional employees. Since it’s unlikely that a supervisor will have an opportunity to consistently monitor these employees during the workday, human resources professionals need to be particularly diligent about finding the best candidate for each role. The following tips will help.
Understand Their Work Habits
Remote workers may not conform to the traditional schedule of an employee. They aren’t showing up at the office at the same time each morning and clocking out at the same time each afternoon. Again, you’re going to have limited opportunities to monitor their day-to-day habits.
That’s why you should focus on gaining a sense of their work habits now. Ask them where they work. Perhaps they stay home, or maybe they go to a coffee shop. They might also rent out space at a coworking office.
You should also learn about how they schedule their time. Some remote employees may establish set hours during which they work. Others may feel that they can work according to their own schedule as long as they complete their tasks for the day. By discussing these topics, you can better understand whether a candidate is the right fit for your needs.
When an employee works in the office, it’s relatively easy to identify areas where their skills may be lacking. You can address these gaps through proper training and supervision.
When hiring remote employees, you don’t always have these opportunities. Thus, it’s important not to rely solely on a resume when evaluating their ability to succeed in a given role. Instead, consider designing some form of assessment for them to complete during the hiring process. It’s smart to design an assessment that mirrors the type of work they will be doing on a regular basis. This will give you a sense of how they would actually perform if you were to hire them.
Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings
It can be difficult to truly determine how motivated and enthusiastic a potential job candidate is if you only contact them by phone and/or email. Even though they may not be working at the office, it’s still important to meet with candidates face-to-face before deciding whether to hire them.
This may not be possible if they live too far away to make the trip. However, you should still schedule a video conference at the very least. Assessing a candidate’s body language and overall demeanor can help you to truly understand if they possess the traits you’re seeking.
Pay Attention to Their Questions
Since remote employees aren’t in the office on a regular basis, it can be difficult for them to understand how their performance is evaluated. While working from home has its perks, working near your direct supervisor gives you the opportunity to seek guidance and support when you need it. In addition, it offers employees the opportunity to ask basic questions about everything from how to bill for overtime to how to address IT issues.
Candidate who truly want to succeed in their roles will ask questions about the business. They’ll want to address these issues early, knowing that working remotely will limit their ability to obtain quick answers and guidance in the future. While you understandably can’t expect them to learn everything they need to know about the company during the interview process, it does help to find candidates who express curiosity at an early stage.
Create a Thorough Job Listing
Once more, you can’t easily supervise remote employees throughout the day. If they lack certain skills necessary for the job, you won’t have a lot of opportunities to identify these problems and address them accordingly.
This is why it’s very important to be as thorough as possible when writing and posting your job listing. Make it clear exactly what the candidates’ duties would be if they were hired. While getting too specific could scare some candidates away, it will also help you attract those who are genuinely qualified for the role.
As remote work becomes more common, the hiring process will change. HR professionals will need to change with it.