Nearly three years ago, the “typical” workplace setting that we had known for decades became quite “atypical” rapidly and without time to prepare. As employees and leaders, we became accustomed to remote work, and eventually hybrid in-office/remote options – and during this time, we had to collectively shift our traditional workplace mindset to become more flexible and open to new ideas for collaboration.
The workforce continues to evolve as leaders across the country strive to attract new talent to their organizations – both in the office and remotely. We’re here with some helpful tips to keep you on track to finding the right remote talent to enhance your organization.
What to do before the interview
Identify what you’re looking for in a candidate – remote work can provide flexibility for both the employee and the manager, so it’s vital to ensure everyone is on the same page from the start. Compile a list of what you’re looking for – and it can be a mix of hard and soft skills – to help candidates rise to the top. For example, you might be looking for a genuine self-starter that can work independently and take initiative on projects without much oversight. Spelling out these needs for yourself, those involved in the hiring process, and the candidates themselves can save time and set everyone up for future success.
Create “homework” in advance – when hiring remote talent, leaders don’t always get the benefit of an in-person interview to gauge a candidate’s personality, interpersonal skills, or overall “vibe.” Some organizations are opting to have candidates take surveys or assessments to evaluate how they may fit into a particular team or the company culture. While this certainly isn’t a requirement and might not be a good fit for all organizations, it is a fun exercise and a potential ice-breaker when you get to the interviews.
What to do during the interview
Consider multiple interviews to paint the full picture – the days of hours-long interview sessions in an office are long gone and virtual interviews are in! Many organizations find that multiple interviews, each with a slightly different lens, can be helpful in not only learning everything about a candidate but also using the opportunity to showcase the company. Splitting up interviews to cover the basics with human resources, another to dig into the role with the hiring manager, and yet another culture-focused interview with potential teammates are all great ways to represent aspects of the company and determine how a candidate may fit in.
Set clear expectations and guidelines around the role – when you’re interviewing candidates for remote work, it is incredibly important to be candid, yet professional. Be truthful when answering questions and do your best to represent the full scope of the role. Talking through job specifics, goals, and metrics with candidates is a great way to determine if the candidate is up for any challenges and ready to tackle the role head-on!
What to do after you make the hire
Develop a relationship quickly and foster its growth – as a leader with remote employees, it is imperative to find a way to connect with them to become part of the team quickly. Understanding your working styles and how to effectively collaborate will be key to building trust. Establish a cadence of check-ins and figure out what works best for you – instant messaging, video calls, or good old-fashioned phone calls – no matter the method, the connection is what matters most.
While each organization has its own set of guidelines for approaching hiring remote workers, hopefully, these tips help to spur innovative ideas for your next talent search!