As we approach a year since lockdown 1 in the UK, it is clear that remote working is here to stay. It is predicted that by 2028, 73% of all departments globally will have remote workers. Businesses that delayed the hiring process in the first wave of the pandemic – in the hope that recruitment would soon get back to normal – are now faced with developing remote onboarding programmes. This shift online can be intimidating, but with the correct know-how, hiring the right resource for the right project just got easier.
So, how has remote recruitment transformed the hiring process?
1. You’ll have a wider talent pool
Remote recruitment means that you’ll be casting a wider geographical net.
Working online offers professionals the chance to join projects and teams without having to relocate. Therefore, remote recruitment provides your business with the opportunity to source high quality, in-demand skills that are difficult to find in your location. This means that you can hire the experts you need in software development and AI, for example, regardless of where your business is based.
By casting a wider net, you will also be opening up your business to working with a more diverse selection of candidates. Professionals previously shut out of projects due to expensive locations, family commitments and disability will be able to apply, knowing they can work on projects from home. In fact, 79% of companies surveyed by Talview believe remote hiring will help improve diversity in their organisations.
Tip: Opening up a wider talent pool also means having a larger number of applications. Find the expert you are really after by being clear and specific about the skillset you need. Need some help writing a job description? Talk to one of our relationship managers.
2. Businesses need to have a stronger brand online
So, you have a wider talent pool, now how do you attract quality candidates?
With less people coming across your business through word of mouth and face to face exchanges, digital presence is more important than ever. Potential candidates will rely on your website and social media to learn about your company’s culture and values. Even if you are looking for temporary resource, having a stronger brand online is key to creating a good first impression and attracting the most qualified experts, who can often afford to be pickier.
Tip: Before sending a proposal, potential candidates want to know what it’s like to work with your business, and the kind of team they are joining. Make sure that key webpages, like any showcasing current business projects, and the about section, are kept up to date. Don’t be afraid to show personality in your content and let visitors see the people behind the project.
3. Interview structures need to be more organised
When you use Prolancer’s relationship manager service, then you’ll only have the one interview stage with a shortlist of three pre-vetted candidates. But how do you ensure you get the best from people at a remote interview?
Preparation here is key. It is vital to treat a remote interview as formally as one in person. That means ensuring you have the right tools for the job – including video call services like Zoom – and more specific software for skills-based testing should you need them. Clearly communicate a contingency plan to candidates well in advance of the interview and exchange phone numbers in case of internet connection issues.
Tip: Set aside time at the beginning of the call for both parties to communicate what they hope to get from the interview and any reservations that they have about the online process. If you are using tools and software in your interview, like Codility, make sure you do a dry test run with a candidate before the interview formally starts.
4. Hirers need to build confidence in candidates
Since you can’t rely on applicants getting a ‘feel’ for your business in person, it is vital that you go the extra mile to build confidence remotely. Candidates need to know they will be supported in their projects, and not simply abandoned once onboarded. One great way to demonstrate your commitment as a hirer is to involve other project members in the interview process more informally. This offers candidates the opportunity to get to know the people they will be working with, and for your business to showcase the witty and empathetic professionals behind the laptop screen.
Not only does this process put applicants at ease during the interview process, but greater informality provides candidates with the chance to start building connections. These relationships will be key to ensuring resources feel comfortable reaching out with questions when working remotely.
Tip: Organise a few calls where candidates can speak freely with peers and team leaders around the loose agenda of their ambitions for the project. Once trust and rapport has been established on a personal level, move to a more formal interview that consolidates these discussions.
Businesses need to recognise that remote hiring is here to stay, and commit to developing engaging processes and policies that attract and keep the best candidates. This will include investing in the right tools, building a greater digital presence, and prioritising communication. The pandemic may have accelerated the remote working trajectory, but even as life slowly returns to ‘normal’ the momentum of this different way of hiring won’t be stopped.
If you need help finding the right talent for your business, Prolancer.com is with you every step of the way.