An employment expert’s secret to successful remote recruiting
The pandemic has made us all perform acrobatic feats. The rapid leap to remote work for most of us meant working from home. The common assumption was that we’d be back in the office soon when “the pandemic was over”, but the Delta and Omicron COVID-19 variants put an end to that. Remote work has since established itself as our new work norm – but with a twist. That could mean working from home 12,000 miles away, anywhere and, for some, like those people in the gig economy, anytime.
If you’re still relying on the concept of remote work, consider the statistics: after just one year, there was an 87% increase in the number of people working remotely compared to the pre-pandemic period. And 56% of companies globally now offer some form of remote work flexibility.
So how do you hire for these remote positions? Pre-pandemic practices will no longer suffice – this is a throwback to reprobate recruitment strategies. Remote recruitment must therefore be innovative, entrepreneurial, fast and above all a loyalty factor.
Reality of remote recruitment
Remote recruiting is a seismic opportunity to find talent further afield, including in emerging markets. However, it remains competitive and regardless of the international supply pool, you cannot expect the world…
Review job descriptions
Business models have changed in the way they operate, and so have job descriptions if they are to align with business goals. Ditch the boring job descriptions, bulleted lists, and to-do lists and amplify and concisely talk about the requirements, clearly communicating what success now looks like for remote workers.
New hires may come from different cultures and English may not be their first language, so you will need to be creative in conveying the job description so that it can be fully understood. A video job description as well as a written description can achieve this and help with retention.
Depending on recruitment volume, you may need a recruitment-specific customer relationship management (CRM) system to track communication and traction. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is valuable for effectively screening and identifying talent and reducing the impact of human bias. But because AI uses algorithms, it can also unwittingly compound the problem by integrating and deploying biases at scale in sensitive application areas. Also use tools like LinkedIn to check resume details and common networks.
The ideal job posting is attractive, enticing and not necessarily too specific. It is not a job description and should be open enough to encourage applications rather than screen out candidates. Search suitable job sites based on the industry and country you are in. In today’s market, there is no guarantee that a job posting will find suitable candidates, so simultaneously seek out or use a recruitment agency with knowledge and reach.
The virtual interview
Informed virtual interviewers take culture and language into account. For example, direct eye contact for some cultures is frowned upon, but in Western culture it is normal. Sensitivity, understanding, reserve of judgment and listening to your own cultural frame of reference will help you avoid misinterpretations and missed employment opportunities.
Understanding people’s living conditions and family situations will contribute to strong engagement and future retention. It is therefore necessary to know people’s stories better than ever. Design interview questions specific to job descriptions and achievement markers. Assume that accountability and responsibility are now higher requirements and ask questions to discover these attributes. Use different scenarios to test critical attributes and if flexibility of hours is a criteria, book interviews that require flexibility from the interviewee.
Panel and multiple interviews provide a broader scope for accurate assessment. The advantage of our remote world is convenience, which you can use to conduct interviews succinctly and efficiently. Involve colleagues for different perspectives, such as a designated observer, to take note of all areas, including body language. Introducing multiple people helps engage your potential new recruit — and remember, it’s a two-way street.
In 1969, before it became our reality, the idea of remote working was predicted by Alan Kiron and his “dominetics”. He investigated how computers and new communication tools could change life and work and now, here we are. What if we had understood what Kiron advocated 50 years ago? Maybe we would have been way ahead of the curve by now if we had.
Don’t let the attachment to habitual norms and pre-pandemic/prehistoric thinking and recruiting methods hold back your company’s future potential.
Roxanne Calder, author of ‘Employable: 7 Attributes to Secure Your Professional Future’, is the Founder and Managing Director of EST10, one of Sydney’s most successful administrative recruitment agencies. Calder is passionate about uncovering people’s potential and seeing their careers soar.