Online Recruiting: How to Bring in New Remote Recruits (and Keep Hold of Them)

There is no way of ignoring the change in the working world in the wake of Coronavirus. Many businesses have shifted to allow their employees to work remotely and when new employees need to be brought onboard, a new approach to recruiting and engaging remote employees is necessary. Working remotely is the norm for many industries now but it does take some getting used to and new employees still need to feel welcome and a valuable member of the team. Remote recruitment does involve some adjustments, but you can just as easily bring in enthusiastic and willing employees with the right processes in place.

Remote Recruitment Essentials

When you put your hiring plan in place for remote employees, you’ll need to consider how you’ll carry out the process and how it may need to change to suit the change in circumstances. Successful remote recruitment will include the need to:

  • Build and improve video interviewing skills: ensure you are fully adept at using your chosen software package so avoid any awkward or embarrassing moments while interviewing candidates,
  • Consider a longer hiring process: getting to know potential candidates is much harder when you can’t see them face to face. This means extending the hiring process is a great idea, allowing you to spend more time getting to know the candidates.
  • Rethink your job descriptions: remote roles need to be clearly defined and applicants should know whether you’re recruiting for fully remote roles or may require some office time too. You should also highlight your communication techniques and policy and any technology or software you expect your recruits to use on a regular basis.
  • Consider job trials and on-job assessments: sometimes the only way to know if someone is a good fit is to give them a test run. Trial days are a good idea so remote employees can see if they feel like they fit the role and as there’s no on-site requirement it isn’t a difficult thing to setup.

Remote Onboarding Tips

Once you’ve found the perfect candidate or candidates, the onboarding process also needs to be reshaped from a remote perspective. Many companies have created remote onboarding programmes specific for the type of candidate being hired. Apprentices will need more support than experienced executives for example. Keep in mind the following points when planning your remote onboarding:

  1. Being Onboarding Early

New joiners should be given as much information as you can as early as possible. Let them know as much as you can about your company culture and projects they’ll be working on in advance so they can familiarise themselves with the situation.

  1. Communicate from Day One

Helping new employees be up and running quickly and effectively is really important. Get their IT systems and account setup so they are ready on their first day and can quickly tap into the digital workplace. This will help them to quickly familiarise themselves with the way your business works.

  1. Don’t Underestimate Morale and Team Spirit

You need to think carefully about how you will instil a sense of belonging and team spirit in your remote teams. Teaming new employees up with a buddy, even remotely, can be extremely helpful in ensuring they don’t feel unnecessarily isolated. All the support materials about your business are also key to this so they don’t feel anxious about any information they may be missing. Promote regular virtual meetups on a more informal basis such as coffee breaks and lunch get togethers is also a popular idea.

Software and Apps for Smooth Remote Work

Hiring new employees using video software and similar tools may be alien to you, but the software packages out there have been designed with these tasks in mind, are intuitive and should make it simple to setup interviews and manage remote workers.

Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams are the most popular options on the market and they have very similar features so it is your individual preference which will help you choose. All these packages include:

  • Easy file and screen sharing including annotation: this allows demonstrations to take place live rather than pre-recorded. This is particularly important if the interview process incorporates technical or practical questions.
  • Group calls: anyone you need can login and be on calls during the interview process, whether this is to actually take part or simply to monitor and take notes.
  • Session recording: all interviews can be recorded so you can make your decision after a thorough debrief and garner opinions from the wider team.

CDP and Online Learning for Successful Remote Workplaces

Businesses looking to successfully bring in new remote employees should consider upskilling their existing workforce and ensuring employees feel confident and able to work in this new and unusual way. Investing in additional training and courses helps to give colleagues the confidence and assurance in their skills and learn new ways to effectively manage and support remote employees. Useful courses include:

  • Building and Managing Remote Teams

Specifically designed support leaders and supervisors in decision-making roles, building and managing remote teams courses helps ensure those in charge are well-equipped to help new employees feel part of the team and able to complete their work effectively.

  • Communication Skills

Communicating with remote teams requires different skills and approaches than in a regular work environment and specialised communications training helps to ensure employees have the skills necessary to be effective.

It’s important to also remember that remote working can be hard to get used to. Employees may need a little extra support and their mental health is something you should be particularly aware of. Additional training in skills such as mindfulness are something you could consider for your leadership team as well as every employee as they can learn to build personal resilience, self-understanding, and stress management.

Remote recruitment has become important for many businesses and potential employees are getting more and more used to this method so you’ll be able to effectively hire the right people for your business. Over time, you may be able to bring them on-site, or you may decide to benefit from maintaining your remote team.