Better hiring is one of the biggest opportunities that going remote-first creates. It literally opens up the world to you. The talent pool has never been larger. Geography is no longer a barrier to you hiring the best people for the job.
Even if you’re not hiring worldwide, perhaps due to complex employment laws, you can still access talent from around your home country, not just from near where your office used to be.
However, with this opportunity comes challenges. To get the best, you have to position your company as the best place to work – and what you think is appealing might be the same as what candidates want. Getting the best talent to grow your business in this new environment requires an entirely different approach to hiring.
Here are five things to consider when hiring remotely.
1 – Be remote-first, and mean it
In many industries - including software development – the majority of candidates will only work for remote-first companies. The appetite for remote-first is still strong, even in an uncertain economic environment.
So, you need to be remote-first, not simply ‘remote tolerant’. Define your remote-first policies and stick to them.
But that’s not all. You need to promote yourself as a remote-first company, so the best candidates in the market know what you’re all about. Shout about remote work on your Homepage, About page, Culture page and social media. Transparency is a great way to attract top jobseekers.
The Remote Job Coach, Jordan Carroll, sat down with us for the Leading Remotely Podcast. Here’s what he said:
‘Among the top candidates, the best high performers that are out there, they have options - and they will choose options with remote-first companies now. Most of the people that are kind of sitting at the top of each of their industries and have commanded a lot of respect and higher compensation, they're going to lean towards remote-first companies. They'll lean towards flexibility.’
2 – Know what to look for in a hire
A strong track record in an industry is important, but it’s not everything. There are certain soft skills that are more likely to make you a success in a remote-first business.
Being a good communicator is essential when you work in a remote-first organisation. Written communication is especially vital in remote teams. During the back-and-forth emails that happen during hiring, look for someone whose emails are well-written, contain all the information you need and are easy to respond to.
If a candidate can get this right, it’s a sign that they will perform well in an asynchronous working environment.
3 – Look for proactivity
Micromanagement is impossible in a remote-first business, so ensure your new hires do not need you to hold their hand.
The best employees in a remote-first environment are proactive. They don’t wait for instructions and are happy to get started even if they don’t have everything they need. They’re willing to make mistakes and learn from them.
During your hiring process, look for ways to ascertain whether your candidates are proactive and comfortable with ambiguity.
4 – Treat candidates well
Always remember that you’re fighting in a worldwide war for talent. While you are blessed to be able to choose from candidates across the world, know that talented candidates have the same luxury. They’re evaluating you and your company from the first moment they see your job advertisement, if not before.
When you’re hiring, treat your candidates well. Move fast with your hiring process. Candidates prefer this, but it also means you’re less likely to lose them to someone else.
You also need to be fast and thorough with your communication. Give feedback to all your candidates, even if they don’t get the job. The days of ‘ghosting’ unsuccessful candidates are long gone.
5 – Look for ‘remote fit’
You know the importance of hiring someone who fits in your organisation and is likely to work well with the rest of your people. However, in remote-first, fit is slightly different. When a company works remotely, your people will value someone who is reliable, a good communicator and proactive higher than someone who makes them laugh in meetings.
When you get ‘remote fit’ right, however, you:
● Make your team more than the sum of its parts
● Augment your company culture
● Boost retention
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