Hiring Top Remote Talent w/Jordan Carroll

Leading Remotely Podcast Episode Two

Hiring Top Remote Talent w/Jordan Carroll

Matt is joined on the show today by The Remote Job Coach - Jordan Carroll to share his insights on how Remote leaders can attract and hire top Remote talent.

In the episode we cover:

[+] The challenges and opportunities remote first companies face

[+] The trends and characteristics that the very best Remote companies are looking for when hiring candidates

[+] How companies can better communicate what Remote means to prospective candidates. And the impact of getting it wrong.

[+] The behaviors and traits that are common among the top Remote talent

[+] Advice on maintaining high productivity when working remotely

Connect with Jordan on LinkedIn

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Transcript

Voiceover (00:03):

Welcome to leading remotely, helping remote first leaders navigate, survive, and thrive in this new world of work. Let's make remote work.

Matt Hayman (00:28):

Hi and welcome to leading remotely. Thanks so much for making the time to listen to the show. I'm your host, Matt Hayman, and I'm thrilled to be joined on the show today by the remote job coach Jordan Carroll, to share his insights on how remote leaders can attract and hire top remote talent. In this episode, we cover the challenges and opportunities. Remote first companies face the trends and characteristics that the very best remote companies are looking for when hiring candidates, how companies can better communicate what remote means to prospective candidates and the impact of getting it wrong. The behaviors and traits that are common among the top remote talent advice on maintaining high productivity when working remotely and more besides a big thank you to Jordan for coming on the show without further ado, let's get straight to the interview. Jordan Carol, welcome to the podcast. How are

Jordan Carroll (01:17):

Hey Matt. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Matt Hayman (01:21):

Fantastic. It's great to have you on the show. Really excited to chat loads to talk about and yeah, keen to keen to get into it. So by way of introduction for everybody watching and listening, Jordan Carroll is the remote job coach. He's a course creator. He is the founder of the remote job club, and soon to be an author with the launch of his upcoming book remote for life later this year. Firstly, why on earth did you decide to write the book? And and secondly, what's it about?

Jordan Carroll (01:45):

Well, isn't that, isn't that cool to be almost an author? I love that , that's kind of a trip, man. I've been a writer for a long time. When I was in seventh and eighth grade, I remember English being my favorite subject and throughout the entire course of my high school and call it collegiate career writing was always the thing I enjoyed doing. I think it was more by way that I hated science and I hated math. So it was just the only thing that was left  and I was like semi good at it. So, so I don't know. I just got really into putting words down on paper. I was a rapper at one point. So when you had to write your, your my, either my slam poetry or my, my rap lyrics, I would just get super into it.

Jordan Carroll (02:31):

And it kind of evolved over time as, as kind of a fun thing that I like to do to something I was good at in school to, oh, I'm doing this every single day. I have a journal that I journal in every day. It's, it's just something that comes very naturally to me. I think everybody has some sort of creative outlet that either they have, or haven't tapped into yet and just writing, is that for me? So the book was a natural byproduct of that talent and then saying, oh, I actually have something here that people are maybe interested in learning about, which is how to find a remote job. And that's what it's

Matt Hayman (03:01):

About. Excellent. We'll come onto that more, more in the podcast as we get through things. So before we go further, I'd love to know a bit more about the remote job club and some of the work that you're doing. So can you just tell us a little bit more about the work you're you're doing day to day with that outside of the book?

Jordan Carroll (03:14):

Sure. Yeah. What I wanted to create was a platform in which job seekers, as well as remote first companies could interact with each other through me. So I found an awesome platform called pallet that allowed me to create a job board as well as what's called a talent collective and really focus on community based hiring, which I think is a new wave of basically creators who have audiences being able to monetize their communities with companies by having a job board. And so that's really what the, what the remote job club is. It's also, I have a course in the remote job club, I've got just a lot of different resources in there and, and I just wanted to make up kind of a platform that was all encompassing for both sides to be able to serve my my audience.

Matt Hayman (03:58):

And I think that's one of the reasons why I was keen to get you on, because I think you bring a, a unique, fairly unique perspective when it comes to both speaking with people who are looking for remote first positions and companies looking to hire into those positions. Mm-Hmm , I think you, that, that places you nicely in between two camps, if you like so ideal for us to, to have a conversation. So when we think about companies in particular who are hiring right now, and I appreciate the macro climate is a ch is changing rapidly, but we think about companies that are hiring remotely right now. What do you think are some of the main challenges and opportunities that exist for those companies right now?

Jordan Carroll (04:33):

Yeah, I think there's this weird inflation in the, in the industry and you're seeing kind of this bubble burst a little bit with layoffs and with the economy downturn. And I think that's been interesting because there was such a big hiring craze at the beginning of the year and at the end of last year, and then companies that made super big bets on hiring and, and on venture capital are now finding that they're not doing as well with the, with the way the economy's structured in the way that the VCs are re-looking at investing in, in companies. So you're seeing a lot of layoffs and you're seeing a lot of companies that are trying to offer good positions, but candidates are like not seeing them as good anymore. The, the expectation of candidates is much higher as well. So I think companies are, are struggling one to kind of figure out their identity, especially if they weren't traditionally remote and they're trying to incorporate some sort of a hybrid structure or they're just, they, they don't stand out.

Jordan Carroll (05:36):

And, and that can be really tough if you're in a market where you're trying to look at, you know, some of the top software engineers in the world and, and get them to come to your company, which is, you know, basically what I'm seeing a lot right now is people trying to hire software engineers. You're not gonna get them on your in, in your company, if you don't have some like really, really enticing benefits, a good compensation a remote first culture, like that is really what people are wanting and they're pushing the boundaries on that. So that companies have to adapt. And I think that that's, that's really interesting to see.

Matt Hayman (06:08):

And are you seeing that there is still an appetite out there for people, an appetite among people looking for remote first roles, because you might expect if, if the economy starts to, to tighten that perhaps there might be more of a flight to safety and maybe feel people feel as though that actually in person is slightly safer, perhaps, or are you seeing that at all or do, is there still an, a hunger and an appetite out there for people wanting remote first roles as a priority?

Jordan Carroll (06:35):

Absolutely people want that.  I don't, I, I think that there's, there's among the top candidates, you know, the best high performers that are out there, they have options and they're gonna choose options with remote first companies now, depending on what your skill level is and what your talent level is, your experience, all those types of things, it might differ as far as what your gonna be able to command, which I think, you know is an individual case by case basis. But I think most of the people that are kind of sitting at the top of each of their industries and, and have commanded a lot of respect and a lot of like higher compensation, things like that, they're gonna lean towards remote first companies. They're gonna lean towards flex flexibility. Although some of them want to be in an office too.

Jordan Carroll (07:16):

I think, I think all this is just about choice, right? It's like they wanna go to a company that's gonna give them the choice that they want or the structure to, to have more autonomy. And I love that because I think that that's, that's forcing companies in general to shift for people of, of all experience levels. You're still gonna have people who wanna go to the office a couple times a week or even full time. But I think the majority of people from the pandemic, especially are, are still gonna want to demand remote first, but not a lot of job seekers know the difference between remote first and just remote. And that's also an issue. So what we're seeing is like this, it's almost like two, you know, the game of telephone where you have one person on, so you basically start one person on one end of the line, whisper something in the ear to the next person.

Jordan Carroll (08:02):

And, and by the time it gets to the last person, it's a completely different thing, right? Like that's how I envision like remote. It's like it's being whispered to the first person. And then by the time it gets to the end, it's like, what the hell are we talking about? So you have the jobs, you are on one side and you have the company on the other end. And it's just this huge confusion of like, what is this actually? And I think the companies that are doing more to define what their actual remote culture is, what their policies are, how remote things are, where they hire, like, they're the ones who are setting the precedence for the standardization that is bound to happen. Like at some point we're gonna have a mass standardization of all these terms, platforms are gonna adopt that, like LinkedIn, like all the job boards and like, they're gonna actually list it out by those things. And it's gonna be the companies that are like either all remote or remote first that are gonna lead the charge in, in that

Matt Hayman (08:49):

Change. Yeah. That brings up a point I wanted to, to focus on for a good, good bit of the episode and that's around how companies can be, be better at being clear on what remote means to them. So what are you seeing as good examples of how people or how companies are, are really presenting what remote first means to them,

Jordan Carroll (09:05):

Have it on your homepage?  have it on your about page. Ha like if this is an important thing to you, it should be in everything that you communicate. I really love like chili Piper. If you look at them, they're on Instagram and they do reels about what it's like to work remotely. I really loved tax jar who eventually was purchased by Stripe, but they had like a whole they had a whole series of what remote work meant to them. And they would go out and send a professional videographer to different employees that they had in capture a day in the life, super high production. And it was all on their, about page and their culture page. Like I think having a, a culture page having on the homepage, like very clearly that remote's important to you and then linking that to an about page or a culture page that talks more about that.

Jordan Carroll (09:52):

Gitlab for instance, has an all remote page where they have their actual policies. They have their salaries, they have everything documented in public buffer has a, a transparent salary calculator as well. Like these are the companies that's like, they're like, Hey, I'm gonna build in public. We're gonna probably screw up. But people who understand like what remote work is and who wanna work for a forward thinking company are gonna come to us because we're the ones that are actually transparent about this. And you find a lot of other companies are like not putting salaries in their listings. They're not putting the level of remote. They're just putting maybe remote. And then you had to dig through all the details to even figure it out. I even have my assistant, sometimes we're, we're checking these and, and he'll go through and he'll check all of 'em. And when we're putting 'em on our job board and just make sure, and he'll have to sometimes go, and if we get a job that someone sends us, we'll have to go. And like, sometimes look at the people at their company as like where they live and even go that far into checking as like, okay, do you have anybody that lives outside the us? Or is this us remote or is this this remote? And we have to like clarify all those things. And it's just really frustrating

Matt Hayman (10:58):

Sometimes. That's fascinating. I mean, I wonder we, we also have a notion, a public notion page and the notion page, has it fully documented what the expectations are? It was one of the things that attracted me to, to the company initially. So yeah, from a per personal perspective, I think it's absolutely brilliant because you get a sense of what the culture's like, but you also get a sense of what the expectations are around remote and, and how that functions in the company. So that's yeah. Super interesting. So, so just following on from that, then, are you seeing any emerging trends right now in the specific characteristics or traits that remote first companies are looking for when they're hiring?

Jordan Carroll (11:31):

Yes. Great written communication. So I think Matt, you and I probably are pretty familiar with asynchronous communication. Give me, give me your definition.

Matt Hayman (11:41):

Anything that's offline, anything that's consumable on, on your terms

Jordan Carroll (11:44):

Consumable on your terms. I love that because asynchronous communication doesn't have that expectation of immediate response, right? It's not a phone call or a podcast like this, where we're talking back and forth. It's something where I maybe received that written piece of communication. I can respond to that in a day, in two days, couple hours, whatever it is. And I think more and more as we look at like the top remote first companies, they are pushing the asynchronous communication because with people all over the world, that's the best way to work. You work on, on your time, you focus on output and you get things done and you give the person what they need to push the ball forward within a written piece of communication. So here here's what I'm saying is that let's assume skills are equal between two candidates going for a position.

Jordan Carroll (12:26):

The one that gives the company the best preview of how good they are at asynchronous communication will have an advantage as far as remote skills are concerned. So you, you make that, you make those impressions through the micro interactions, like the, the emails in between interviews, right? The, the communication upfront in your application, right? Those little things where you're sending along pieces of communication to see what it's like to work with, you can be a big way for job seekers to to stand out in that process. And then for companies, it's a great way to evaluate someone is to look at how it is that they email you back and forth. It is small little things, but just imagine that that person who just sent you that email is also gonna be working with you. How well was that email written? Did it include all the information that it needed to get the point across? Was it something that was easily respond responsible to, was it something that had action items listed on the bottom for you to easily read how, you know, how was it formatted? Like all those little things actually really matter, and you can teach that, but the people that come in with that skill already ready, like they have an advantage

Matt Hayman (13:30):

For new entrants into the workplace right now, people who are coming into their first job in the last year to two years, that this is a whole new skill set that they're gonna need to develop, that they're not gonna get those subtle cues from colleagues and maybe not have somebody in their corner teaching them, you know, these are important skills that you need to have.

Jordan Carroll (13:46):

Exactly. And that, that's why I do what I do is to try to up skill and, and up the awareness of remote job seekers, as far as what, what, what these companies are looking for.

Matt Hayman (13:58):

Do you lead a remote team, but struggle with spontaneous communication and collaboration? If so, I'd like to invite you to check out our platform, wonder.me, a virtual workspace, where teams connect, collaborate, and grow working side by side from anywhere for a limited time only podcast listeners can use the discount code, L R P 30, to get 30% off your first three month subscription or annual plan head on over to wonder.me, start your free trial today and use discount code L R P 30. Now back to the interview, are there specific characteristics or traits that you see in the candidates, perhaps you are speaking to that indicate somebody is really well suited to remote work. What makes a good remote worker these days from your perspective

Jordan Carroll (14:44):

Proactivity? So someone that's not gonna wait for instruction, but they're gonna be of the mindset that there's a job to do. And there's an output that needs to happen. If I don't have everything that I need, I'm still gonna push the ball forward in whatever way possible. I'm gonna be willing to make some mistakes, but I'm gonna be the one who is doing the outreach ahead of time. I'm gonna be the one that's gonna do the extra work that I assume needs to be done and sends that over, you know, without being asked to. And, and a lot of that goes with the self-motivation like the intrinsic motivation of a, of an employee of someone that when they see the, the ecosystem of their company, and they understand that there are certain projects that are going on, certain initiatives they're involved in, they don't need someone micromanaging them to do it.

Jordan Carroll (15:31):

And that's where I see the proactivity can also be in the application process. For instance, it's like, what are they doing to stand out in front of the crowd? And what are they doing to like make the extra connection at the company before they apply? For instance, right? Mm-Hmm  because that shows proactivity of like, Hey, the goal or the initiative for me in this circumstances get the job. So what are the things that I need to do to get the job or help secure that position? Maybe it's get a referral, right? As opposed to just apply online. So I'm gonna do everything I can to be proactive in creating a relationship so that when that job finally does show up on their website, I've already got the relationship I've already met the person I've already connected to somebody at the organization, that sort of thing,

Matt Hayman (16:10):

Remote working, I think in some, some sectors has a bit of a bad rap. It's poor productivity, lack of focus all, all of the stereotypical work,

Jordan Carroll (16:20):

Eating, eating, eating cheese, and pretending to work like Elon Musk says

Matt Hayman (16:26):

I couldn't possibly comment. Yes, absolutely. Those sorts of things. I think what are some of the tips that, that you have in terms of employees in particular, and, and there'd be leaders of remote teams on this, on this, listening to this podcast as well. I think what, what are some of the tips that you have for people in those situations, in terms of maintaining high performance, maintaining that productivity

Jordan Carroll (16:47):

Environment is everything and, and it's different for everybody, right? I know at this point, let just say this I'm in Bulgaria right now. I have free access to this co-working space. There's three locations I can go to work. If I go to a co-working space, I'm not gonna work. I'm gonna talk to people. I'm gonna be distracted. I'm gonna be in a situation where I got a Lu, I have a, a portable tri screen monitor that I'm using right now. I've got a mic, I've got my headphones, I've got a keyboard, I've got a next stand. I've got a mouse. But when I set this up in my apartment that I'm staying at and it's quiet and I have my bathrooms right there, I've got water, I've got everything that I need super productive. Right. And I know for a fact that this is the environment that suits me when I'm traveling, not a coworking space. So people kind of need to go through their own iteration of figuring out themselves. So self-awareness self-actualization and remote work is actually really important. Being able to know who you are, what you do, what you respond well to and what kind of equipment you need to be successful. I realized a while back that having more than one monitor is a necessity. So I literally bought this thing that just attaches to my laptop and gives me two extra screens.

Matt Hayman (17:53):

So from your perspective, then just making sure there's no distractions keeping, keeping it appropriate suitable for, for your needs. I'm similar. I'm, I'm fortunate enough to have my own private office where I work in a coworking space.

Jordan Carroll (18:03):

It looks great.

Matt Hayman (18:04):

Yeah. It's and it's lovely. It's fantastic. And, but, but for me, it's, it's about not being directly in the house, working in the house and I'm lucky. And I'm fortunate in that I have a role that allows me to do that, but not everybody is in that situation. There will be people who are working from home who have no choices to whereabouts they work from home and they are so in those situations, then tips, tips for them. Really it's about making it as comfortable as possible. We're making sure that you're as productive as you can be

Jordan Carroll (18:31):

And separate it, try to separate it from at least the place that you sleep. Right? Like I'm out here in the living room pushed as far as I can in the corner here of this apartment, you know, the bedroom's in the other room over. So I'm taking it completely out of don't don't sleep where I'm working. Because I think that that creates like a psychological dependence, like some sort of weird mix. In addition to that. Yeah. I, I, I, I think leveraging virtual coworking, I love that. So there's an app called focus, mate.com. My favorite productivity tool, you can set up a Pomodoro of either 25 minutes or 50 minutes. If you don't know what Pomodoro is, it's the sprint of time where you allocate one task or only one task at a time, and you can set up the calendar and just click on any time. Every 15 minutes, there are sessions. So you click on it, you set up the time, it pairs you with somebody around the world and you basically get into the, the room. And you're like, Hey, I'm doing this. They're like, Hey, I'm doing this, go on mute. And you work on it. And you have the social accountability of someone else that you have to answer to at the end.

Matt Hayman (19:28):

Now we, we didn't plan this, but this, this brings me on nicely to, to wonder  cause that's actually what we do at wonder, we, we set up our space and we do have co-working spaces where there's no interaction. There's no communication. It's just your there. Yeah. The, the camera's on the camera's on the other person. You're just, you're just present in the space and you both talk about maybe the tasks that you're trying to accomplish. So yeah, we set, we tend to use the platform ourselves for exactly that purpose. It reminds me of work cycles and ultra working, two other concepts that I came across quite quite a long time ago. It's that idea of social accountability, but no, that's super helpful. Great tips. So just, just before we wrap up Jordan, anything else that you want to cover? Anything else that you think we should have covered, but didn't cover in the course of this conversation as it relates to remote working?

Jordan Carroll (20:09):

Yeah. I think look out for community based hiring. I remember we talked a little bit about this on our call before this, and I just think that that's gonna be such a big opportunity for creators as well as for companies to have a new way to tap into candidate pools. And, and basically what it is is using the creator economy. People that maybe are creating on YouTube or Instagram or wherever, and they have a specific niche of, you know, maybe there's a very popular product develop product developer or designer what, whatever it is. And they have a big YouTube following. I think one of the best ways that they can monetize is by creating a job board and then making their community accessible to companies.

Matt Hayman (20:49):

And, and I think from a company perspective or from a leadership perspective as well, it's, it's knowing, knowing that these communities exist. Mm-Hmm . And if you are, you know, if you're working in a product that has a community built around it, WordPress would be a good example there where there's an ecosystem and there's a whole community around that. I think that type of hiring is, is really, really, it's an exciting opportunity for the

Jordan Carroll (21:08):

Future. Yeah. And all the people that are engaged in those like collectives, for instance, you know, they may not be public on LinkedIn about it, right? Yeah. Or they may not be in a place where they wanna talk about their job search, but they can go to this separate platform where no one will see them ever, they can become an anonymous candidate or they can be public in, on that platform, but it won't affect like the other parts of their life, which gives you a really good opportunity to like tap in and, and request an intro there because it may feel more safe for them.

Matt Hayman (21:39):

Well, thank you very much for your time, Jordan. I've really enjoyed talking to you remote for life. When's it actually gonna be out? When can we say that you are a published author?

Jordan Carroll (21:47):

Yeah. Yeah. Great question. Well the Kickstarter, I don't know when this episode's coming out, Kickstarter will end early July on the eighth. And then from July, I basically have a few months to get together all of the, the, the rest of the manuscript, which is about 70,000 words right now, we're trying to get it down to 50,000 creating the, you know, finish, touching up the resource library, making sure that all the extra pages in the book for the sponsors and for the people that back the Kickstarter in there, making sure all the designs are done. There's quite a few things, but my timeline is November, December of 2022, to have it ready and, and shippable on Amazon or wherever else you can find books.

Matt Hayman (22:26):

Awesome. So just before we go, where can people find out more about you in the work that you do, Jordan?

Jordan Carroll (22:30):

Yeah, I think LinkedIn is, is a great place. I'm most active there. Jordan Carroll on LinkedIn. You should be able to find me

Matt Hayman (22:38):

Brilliant. Really appreciate your time. Thanks for chatting. Speak to you soon.

Jordan Carroll (22:41):

Thanks Matt.

Voiceover (22:44):

Let's go.

Voiceover (22:45):

Thanks for listening to leading remotely for show notes, resources, or to discover how you can make remote work for your team. Head over to wonder.me. That's wonder.me

Voiceover (23:07):

Let's go.