How Do You Recruit a Remote Workforce?

Caitlin Weiser, aPHR
October 31, 2022

The concept of remote work became predominant in our lives at the beginning of 2020 when we packed up our offices believing we would only have to navigate working from home for two weeks. Fast forward to the present day and it is obvious that remote work is here to stay. Just like we had to adjust from cubicles to home offices, the way we approach recruitment also needs an update.

The Rise of Remote Work 

There are numerous reasons why the temporary solution of remote work that spawned from the COVID-19 pandemic has become the norm for many businesses. Over the past two years, work-life balance became a top priority for employees. With the cost-savings that resulted from a lack of commute and the convenience of working from anywhere, the ability to work from home is now one determining factor in which positions job seekers apply to. To stay competitive in the current job market, many companies are continuing to offer remote positions to attract a plentiful talent pool.

Outside of the employer branding advantages, remote work has provided companies access to a more diverse workforce. Hiring remote employees allows businesses to expand their search parameters for top talent to locations that hadn’t been an option in the past. Building a remote team spread across geographical locations brings more diversity and an expanded skill set to an organization, which is a competitive advantage. 

Tips For Recruiting Remote Employees 

Simply put, the way you recruit and hire a remote workforce is much the same as traditional on-site employees. The main difference is that more thought needs to be put into making the hiring and onboarding process for remote workers as effective as it would be if they were reporting to an office.

Utilize Video Interviewing Platforms 

With an increasing number of candidates actively seeking out remote positions, a single job posting can attract hundreds of qualified applicants. Even after resumes are reviewed and you have screened out the applicants that aren’t a fit, you can be left with a large number of candidates to speak with. A great way to save time for your hiring team is through using innovative recruiting tools such as video interviewing platforms.

Historically, the first step in the interview process is a phone screen, where a member of HR evaluates the candidate’s skills and experience to determine if they are qualified to continue interviewing. This initial step can be almost impossible to complete in a timely manner when you have many applicants to screen. With video interviewing platforms, candidates are able to answer the same set of interview questions but on their own time. To make using the video interviewing platform a positive experience for candidates, members of the recruitment team should hold a five-minute intro call to explain the process and answer any questions before sending them their video interview link. This personal touch builds rapport and takes less than half the time it would to conduct a full phone screen.

Get the Team Involved  

It takes a lot of work to build an engaged team that feels connected to one another when you have a remote workforce. By getting your team involved in the interview process, you are able to directly showcase your company culture to candidates. Setting up your interview process to include members of the future hire’s team allows candidates to ask questions and better understand what joining your remote organization will look like if hired.

Communicate Effectively

Effective communication can be an obstacle for remote teams, especially as a company grows. When recruiting for remote positions, the way you communicate throughout the interview process can make or break a candidate’s decision to join your team. Effective communication begins with the job description. Effective job descriptions clearly outline the key responsibilities of the role, paint a picture of your organization’s culture and values, and increase the likelihood that qualified candidates will apply.

Consistent communication should be a top priority of the hiring team. Contact candidates regularly to keep them engaged throughout the entire interview process. Notify candidates when there is a delay in scheduling. Send a quick reminder for their interview the day before. Communicate with candidates when you are not moving them forward in the process rather than stopping communication without an explanation. Keeping consistent communications shows a candidate that you value their time and provides a more positive candidate experience.

Don’t Do It Alone 

While employees were adjusting to remote work, their HR teams were working tirelessly in the background to ensure business continuity. Now that fully-remote and hybrid work environments have become normalized, it is important to leverage the direct experience HR professionals have gained throughout the transition to remote work. Whether you have internal HR or an outsourced HR partner, trusting their expertise when it comes to best practices for recruiting a remote workforce provides a seamless experience for candidates. Additionally, using your HR team’s expertise effectively means providing support to your hiring managers and team members through compliance, training, and guidance.

Need Assistance Recruiting Your Remote Workforce? 

At Red Clover, we have extensive experience building out remote hiring plans for many different industries through Recruitment Processes Outsourcing. Whether you want to begin looking for talent in different locations or just feel stuck in your current recruiting process, we are able to tailor our RPO services to fit your business’s specific needs across all industries. If you are trying to scale your business with remote employees, contact us to see how we can help support you.

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The Results

Construction and Contracting

A commercial roofing contractor was in hyper growth mode. They had goals to increase their field workforce to expand their service area to additional states and geographical locations. If they were to grow their field workforce, they would also need to increase their administrative, operational and sales headcount to support the additional workload created by increased field work. Additionally, they were challenged in workforce retention and development, experiencing high turnover, and did not have a dedicated Human Resources professional to manage employee relations and compliance issues that come with trying to scale a business.

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