How to make remote recruitment work
10 December 2023
Hybrid and remote work is here to stay, so it’s crucial that your company invests in making new hires feel included from the start. The kind of flexibility that comes with remote work has been shown to increase retention; in a post-Covid world people want to travel more, and remote work makes this easier.
What’s more, hiring remote employees also means it’s easier to bring people in from diverse backgrounds. It’s also more friendly towards parents, as mandating time in office can cut parents off from work who may be more inclined to stay home instead.
Are there certain characterises to look for when making hybrid or remote hires?
1. Look for candidates who are passionate, curious, professional and humble.
2. Try and avoid those with a negative orientation, such as those who bash the competition, blame others or are arrogant.
3. Focus on assessing the skills required for the job, rather than just how good the candidate is at interviewing.
4. Evaluate prospective employees based on how their values align with the company values. It’s harder to build culture remotely, so it’s crucial to hire against your North Star from the start.
How do you get onboarding right for employees who aren’t in the office?
Try and get people into office for onboarding and learning where possible, as it helps to instil the company culture. For fully remote onboarding, it’s important to have a well-documented process. Think about:
1. What are the new hire’s learning milestones by the end of the first day/week/month?
2. Set clear expectations for each onboarding process — team onboarding, leadership onboarding, company onboarding etc.
3. Always be transparent with remote employees and allow them to look at compensation, company targets and P&L from day one.
4. Conduct regular check-ins and 1-1s with remote employees to help prevent people feeling isolated during onboarding and provide an opportunity to ask questions, give feedback and explain any challenges they’re facing.
You may want to create a user manual for each new hire to find out the best ways of working with your team from the start. Ask each employee to answer the following questions:
– How do you like to work?
– What are your challenges?
– What are the best hours to contact you?
– Do you prefer meetings in the afternoon/morning?
How do you maintain a good remote culture after new hires have settled into the working rhythm?
Make sure to celebrate wins, call out key contributors and put a clear Slack etiquette in place when remote. It’s also important to provide monthly or quarterly in-person team moments for those who want them, such as getting the team together at conferences or holding offsites in different cities or locations. Whatever you do, be sure to make it meaningful and worthwhile when people come into the office. This may be by providing breakfast/lunch, or scheduling key meetings on office days to make the best use of everyone’s time.
Remote working does risk certain employees, particularly those who are less confident or outspoken, losing their voice. You can combat this by introducing exercises to ensure they can ask for help or give feedback in a way they’re comfortable with. For example, hold a weekly team vote on key blockers to be discussed on the next team call. This gives everyone a voice remotely and provides an opportunity to drive change in a democratic way.
What is non-negotiable in a remote working environment?
It’s vital to create a digital-first experience by ensuring everything is accessible online, seeing as you can’t rely on employees coming into the office to find out what work they should be getting on with. It’s also a good idea to allow ample time for new hires to meet people at your company — don’t just push new starters into the role straight away. Instead, allow them to learn from everyone else in the organisation via video calls to help new hires build relationships early on and learn about the business during the initial stages of working there.
In a remote environment, a special focus should be placed on communication. In addition to regular 1-1s, why not hold a town hall meeting every quarter, start a monthly employee newsletter or send around a video of the CEO giving updates? These are more permanent than updates via Slack, which can easily get lost. You can also host a follow up Q&A session to allow employees the opportunity to ask questions to leadership following any updates.
In addition, try to find a good balance between asynchronous and collaborative working. This is especially key for employees in different time zones, as people may process things differently in different languages. One solution is to send materials in advance of meetings to allow ample time for everyone to absorb them.
Does the attitude differ for younger generations who were hired during the Covid-19 pandemic and don’t have as much in-office experience?
Younger employees may adopt a more casual attitude in the office or dress more casually, which may not be appropriate in certain work environments. To avoid this culture shock, be sure to make expectations clear about what is required on office days vs on remote working days to help people work efficiently.
How do you build trust and credibility in a remote business?
In a hybrid or office environment you can build trust by going for a coffee or lunch with your colleagues in person. In a remote environment, trust is built in a more results and action-oriented way, through achieving tasks. You might want to consider giving employees an annual budget to meet their colleagues face to face, a travel budget to work from abroad, as well as a budget to kit out their home office.
“We’ve partnered with Scene to make some key remote hires across EMEA — the team has been instrumental in our hiring efforts. Collaborating with the Scene team has been seamless. They function as valuable partners that ask the right questions to get an in-depth knowledge of the best people for our business. We can rely on Scene to help plan our next strategic hires over the next 12-months and beyond, confident that they can deliver.”
— Jason Fry, Senior Talent Partner at Primer, a remote organisation
How can Scene help?
Not only can our team help you secure the best talent, we also advise on your entire recruitment lifecycle. From designing candidate assessment to implementing outstanding onboarding and optimisation processes, we make sure your new hires continue to thrive (remote or otherwise). Get in touch to learn more.