Five top tips to avoid mistakes in remote recruiting

HR ADVICE: Although many employees are now making that long-awaited office comeback, several businesses have chosen to stick to the flexibility of remote work for their employees.

Because of this, every hiring team faces a different recruitment environment, with the need to boost remote and hybrid work arrangements varying across industries and roles.


Recent research by freelance work platform Flexjobs indicates that almost 60% of workers want to continue with remote work all the time, while only about 35% are prepared to favour a hybrid workplace.


Recruitment and HR professionals can be tempted to conduct their hiring activities using the same strategies that were perhaps used before the pandemic. However, this new normal requires more than a tweak of operations. So, below are five top tips on how to avoid mistakes in this new world of remote hiring:


1. Market your company’s branding


Specify the company’s culture when hiring remote employees because those job seekers will have a big decision to make. If you can identify the key advantages of being an employee within the company, it will certainly help to bring in the most qualified and enthusiastic new staff.


Use all the selling tactics applied to on-site candidates: Promote the company’s image by giving a virtual tour, explain professional and career growth opportunities, share the company mission and its social impact, and show how teams and colleagues collaborate.


2. Screen the candidate’s remote skills


Remote staff must have the discipline and skills to stay focused and get their work done. This should be checked carefully. The recruiter must double down on efforts to know the candidate’s communication style, self-motivation, and accountability. Fully and partially remote employees should amplify remote-specific skills, such as experience with cloud technology tools and having effective digital communication.


3. Do not ghost applicants


HR hirers frown at candidates ghosting them, and it goes the same for applicants — they deserve responses. HR leaders should consider an effective Applicant Tracking System to stay in touch with applicants regularly – up to and including the decision to hire or not. Be clear and straightforward about the hiring process, communicating clear instructions for each step.


4. Set clear expectations


Having clear expectations about specific hours and days, anticipated goals, and collaboration, at the onset of the hiring process is crucial in recruiting remote employees. This helps to avoid problems, say, in dealing with some candidates that seek remote work because they want to work on their terms. They may be disappointed or — worse — frustrated to the point of quitting if they are then expected to work specific, regular hours. Clarify those throughout the hiring process and include them in your contract.


5. Do not narrow the requirements


It's always best to think broadly about the experience and hands-on skill sets of each candidate. Try not to immediately disqualify a candidate who does not have your listed skill, but instead look for evidence of transferrable skills and cultural fit. Through the company’s present problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening skills, the hiring officer can determine if candidates have those transferable skills.


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