Remote hiring: How to master it and what to expect

Remote Hiring has grown massively in the last 12 months due to the pandemic but what does it all mean for recruitment? You could argue that now is the ideal time to hire, as more people are away from the office and unemployment rates are soaring. However, we can also appreciate that a weakened economy is going to make organisations nervous and unfortunately, impact their ability to recruit. 

Either way, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll have a look at remote hiring in more detail; including how it works at each stage of the process, what to expect and how you can maximise your recruitment efforts during this period of uncertainty. 

Advertising your jobs 

Often, the hiring process starts with a job advert. And how you frame your job postings is more important now than ever before. After all, a lot of professionals will be nervous about changing jobs when the economy is so uncertain; so, you’ll want to help instil confidence in your candidates and urge them to apply. 

You should also acknowledge the current situation. This shows that your job advert is up-to-date and that you haven’t put a pause on your hiring plans. We’re noticing that a lot of our clients are referencing coronavirus in their job adverts. Here are some examples: 

  • For an administrator role: Whilst we are still working on this vacancy for our client, there are likely to be disruptions during the selection process because of the government’s lockdown related to the coronavirus” 
  • For a business development role: This role also has provisions in place to accommodate for initial reduced face–to–face business development, as well as home working/remote working opportunities in the near term for the right person due to the covid-19 outbreak” 
  • For a teaching role: Please note, we are still recruiting staff during this time of crisis, in preparation for vacancies to start in the eventuality of schools reopening” 
  • For a care role: Is your current role at risk due to coronavirus? Are you facing uncertainty in your job or being made temporarily redundant? Maybe you should consider joining us as a Care Assistant” 

Alongside this, it’s also a good idea to mention the fact that the hiring process will include an initial video interview. While this might seem obvious to you, candidates might assume that hiring is completely off the cards right now as there’s no option to meet face-to-face. Ideally, it should also cover: 

  • How the video interviewing process will work. Are there going to be multiple stages? Do you know what technology you’ll use to conduct them? 
  • What your current remote working policy is. Are all employees working from home? Is this normal for your business? Will they be back in the usual workplace once the pandemic is over? 
  • Any logistic requirements. For example, if they’re successful, will you be able to set them up to work from home straight away? Will they need to use their own IT equipment initially? 
  • Your communication cultureIn the absence of face-to-face interaction, what are you doing to keep people engaged? How do you encourage collaboration? Remember, not everyone enjoys working from home 

As well as advertising your jobs, you may choose to source candidates via CV Databases. Unfortunately, with more people losing their jobs, unemployment rates are set to soar; and we’re noticing a surge in people registering their CVs online.  

This means that now is a good time to build your own talent pool and engage with some quality job seekers that wouldn’t normally be on the market. Pay attention to transferable skills from different industries, especially for urgent roles. 

Engaging with candidates 

Whether you’re sourcing candidates through job applications or via CV Databases, you need to consider how well you’re engaging with them. Remote hiring is by no means easy.  

A lot of professionals will be nervous about changing jobs right now, while others will be desperate to find something that will help them pay the bills. How you manage this will influence how successful your recruitment efforts are; and also how people perceive you and the company. 

Alongside this, you should be aware that more candidates might fall out of the hiring process; in fact, this may have already happened to you. As mentioned above, people are growing cautious of changing jobs at a time where job security is pretty much non-existent. 

If there’s anything that’s come out of this situation, it’s that we can all afford to be a little kinder. And remember, you’ll want to keep these candidates engaged with your roles for when life returns to normal and hiring picks back up. Some points to consider: 

  • Are you telling candidates about any delays? Sometimes it’s better to be frank and honest. If you aren’t sure when you’re going to start hiring for a role again, tell them and explain that you’ll get in touch when you know more 
  • Are you acknowledging applications and giving feedback? The usual rules apply here. Remote hiring doesn’t mean you can let your communication slip. If anything, it’s more important than before. If you get it wrong, it can be very damaging for your brand 
  • Are you prepared for some challenging questions? Some candidates won’t be afraid to ask how the business is performing amidst so much uncertainty; you’ll want to have a line prepared just in case 

Conducting interviews 

There is plenty of guidance out there on how to master a video interview when working remotely; including what you should wear, how you should arrange your set-up and how you should run them. But we do need to acknowledge that it’s going to be difficult to adjust to this way of assessing candidates. 

Imagine offering a job to someone you’ve never met?! It may be the future of hiring, but it’s certainly not something that a lot of recruitment professionals have done before. You may find that you need several rounds of video interviews to really get to know someone and see if they’re right for the role; and that’s fine. 

After all, there will be less logistics to navigate around organising a time and place to meet. Some recruiters believe that they’ll continue to use video interviews once then pandemic is over. See what works for your company and look at the quality of hire later down the line as a benchmark. 

Making the hire 

If you are able to make a hire right now, that’s great. We know that millions of people could be out of work and clearly, there’s an appetite for jobs. However, you may find it difficult to find the right person for your job; and if so, you aren’t alone.  

Alongside this, budgets are tight. You may not be able to offer someone the salary they were hoping for, but they may also be prepared to lower their expectations when the market is so uncertain. 

One point to note is that during this strange period of uncertainty, your time to hire will probably increase. This is because you may add in additional rounds of video interviews, or delay making a decision on hiring someone. Remember what we spoke about above – communication is going to be key. 

Onboarding your new hire 

When it comes to onboarding your new hire, there may well be a delay to their start date. Unfortunately, there’s no real clarity on when this will all come to an end, so you’re going to have to assess it on a week-by-week basis and keep your candidate informed. 

Some companies are in despera te need of employees right now and therefore can’t afford to put onboarding off. As a result, they’re bringing in new hires to work remotely straight away.  

If this is the case for your company, you do need to consider what their initial training programme looks like and make sure they have valuable one-on-one time with their manager over video. It can be nerve-wracking starting out in a new company on a normal day, let alone during these strange times. Bear this in mind and tweak your plan accordingly. 

Remote hiring – making it work 

If you want to continue with your hiring efforts right now, you’ll need to be patient, flexible and creative. Remote hiring isn’t necessarily new; however, it’s a new normal for thousands of recruiters across the UK. Hopefully, our guide should give you some food for thought and help you consider how it will work for you moving forward. 

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