With more and more companies moving to virtual offices, it becomes increasingly important to find the right remote talent. This means overcoming a few challenges that may be new for hiring managers and even the HR department, including where to publish the remote positions you have available or how to even build your brand online as an employer. Good news, we’ve sat down with experts in the field to compile the top tips on how to attract, recruit and retain remote employees.
Why Hire Remote Employees?
No matter where your company is located, if you only hire people who are willing to make the drive into the office, you’re limiting your hiring pool. Conversely, your hiring pool is limiting themselves too. You want employees who want to work for your business, not employees who have to apply for your jobs because you’re one of the few companies hiring within their 45-minute commute window. By hiring remote employees, you’re opening your business to a diverse talent pool that came to you because they believe in your company.
So how do you get them in the door?
Tip 1: Build an employer brand online that they can believe in.
Your reputation can make a huge difference when it comes to hiring talented people. While talent in your area may have heard you through various people in their network or even seen your business in the newspaper, remote talent are going to need to do their research. This means your website and social media need to be prepped and ready for them. Like anyone, they want to be able to come to your website, learn about what you do, and see how you do (or don’t) value your employees.
On your website: Make sure you talk about how you work, the diversity of your team, your culture and any perks you offer, like flexible work schedules (important for remote employees outside of your time zone), company get-togethers, and more. Add employee testimonials that share the positives (and even some negatives) about working with your company. Bonus points if these employees are remote, so other prospective remote employees can read the feedback they can relate to.
Check out how Doist is doing it right on their website to ensure prospective employees (and the world) know just what they’re about.
Off your website: Don’t be surprised if they look up reviews about you on Glassdoor and other job review sites. Everyone has a disgruntled employee or two, but your reputation should be cultivated in such a way that when people leave, regardless of why they leave, they post a good review on a job site. And when they do, you should respond. Plenty of employers forget this step, argue with bad reviews, or just ignore job review boards altogether. A strong brand dives in headfirst with a thoughtful reply whether a review is good or bad. Doing so ensures that when you do have a bad review, prospective remote employees can see how you respond and get a better understanding of how you handle yourself under pressure.
In addition to job review boards, make sure your social media doesn’t shy away from talking to prospective employees too. While 90% of your marketing may be to gain customers through social channels, you still want to represent who you are through that marketing, so your talent pool knows you’re serious about your culture, your beliefs, and who you are as a company.
Tip 2: Find and Utilize Remote Work Job Boards
Job boards like Indeed and Monster, and platforms like Tallo with its 3.5 million jobs, are great ways to advertise your remote positions. But here’s a common mistake a lot of companies make: They forget to say the job is open to remote work. Whether it’s in the title (Remote Opportunity) or listed in the job description, it should be in there that you’re willing to hire remotely. This allows people to find your job when they type in “remote” in the job search field.
In addition to these boards, you can also leverage remote work-only job boards. Companies like FlexJobs, We Work Remotely, and RemoteOK are all excellent places to post your jobs where remote talent are constantly searching for new opportunities. There are also remote work social networks you can leverage like Work From on Slack and Remote & Travel Jobs on Facebook.
Tip 3: Use Remote Communication Techniques To Interview Candidates
A lot of companies opt for in-person interviews, flying candidates out, putting them up in a hotel, and sending them through a rigorous interview process, despite the fact that they’re hiring a remote employee. Don’t do this. First of all, it’s a lot of money to spend on someone that might not be right, and second, your remote employee will be…remote. If they can’t communicate effectively online, you want to know that to weed them out. Don’t make them prove their skills in person, make them prove their skills over a Zoom call or a phone interview instead.
You can do this a variety of ways. Some companies, like Blackbaud, use interview questions with an on-demand video interview process for their first round of interviews. This way, prospective employees can take their time, answer questions, and the answers can be viewed by the hiring team—when it’s convenient for every party involved. Other companies use traditional methods like phone interviews and even video interviews to vet candidates for a role.
No matter what process you choose, make sure that you make it easy. It can be a huge red flag for prospective remote employees if a remote interview process is a massive hassle for scheduling and completing. It should be quick and efficient, to make the most of everyone’s time.
One important note: If you choose to use the on-demand video hiring process, ensure your hiring team follows up. Nothing ruins your brand perception than when remote candidates take the time to make videos and apply, and then they never hear back from you again. And they will share that experience with other people in their network. Not a good look for you.
Tip 4: Get Referrals
If you are a strong brand, with a great culture, it shouldn’t be hard to get referrals from your current employees. Ensure they know exactly what you’re looking for and (especially if they are already remote) that you’re prepared and willing to support a remote candidate for the role. These referrals serve as yet another extension of Tip 1, proof that you’re a strong employer brand. And, purely from an efficiency perspective, your current employees are helping to vet candidates you otherwise don’t know, making it easier to push them right into the interview process.
Tip 5: Build the Right Compensation Package
Most employees don’t really care about a foosball table and free coffee. What they do care about is that they can pay their bills with a compensation package that is both fair and attractive. This means research on your part, and it goes deeper than just a high salary.
Being able to hire talent anywhere in the country, or even the world, is a massive benefit to your company. But someone who lives in Los Angeles, California has a higher cost of living than someone living in Springfield, Missouri. So for the same role, with the same amount of talent, should you offer the person in Springfield significantly less? Probably not, because like it or not, salary talk happens. You don’t want massive salary disparities between team members. So find your middle ground, and then consider benefits, time off, and even stock options. These can all sweeten the deal and make your potential hire more inclined to take the job.
You may also want to consider things like professional development plans and co-working office memberships. These are great ways to retain talent and keep them invested not just in your industry but in your company.
Have a remote opportunity you’re interested in getting in front of over 1.6 million students and professionals? Let us know. Not only can we add your opportunity to Tallo, we can help you recruit the right people for the job, too.