We’re about to get into our top tips for hiring a remote team.
At Support Adventure, we have hired over 40 remote staff members who have contributed to our growth, almost all of whom were interviewed and hired online.
We understand that the process of hiring remote workers can seem daunting if you’re new to it, so here are our top tips you need to know to have success with it.
The first thing you need to understand about hiring a remote team is…
Hiring staff for today’s remote environment is drastically different than hiring was in a pre-corona office environment. There are two main reasons for this:
- Your company will be involved in your employees’ everyday lives in a more fluid and intimate way as they juggle home life with the work they’re doing from their computers.
- The now mature and serious millennial workforce is pickier and prioritizes their feeling of self-worth and happiness over financial gain, largely because the idea they were promised regarding getting an education and having a stable career largely proved to be false with the global internet economy emerging in the 2000’s compounded by the decreased opportunity offered them due to the 2008 and 2020 recessions.
You need to find the proper balance between laying a structure of policies, values and procedures for productivity for staff working from the comforts of home while also using your company as an enabler to the lifestyle they desire and connecting with them as fellow humans.
How exactly can you strike that balance?
Build rapport when hiring remote staff
Many traditional hiring managers like to intimidate their interviewees with an authoritarian style of questioning, asserting dominance to see if their subjects crack.
This style of interviewing does not fly for a lot of remote job opportunities. It will turn off your star prospects and lead them into the welcoming arms of another, more in tune remote employer.
This is why building rapport is so important, because you want your candidates to:
- Feel a place for themselves long term with your company, that they are a part of the team and can become an integral part.
- Feel like their ideas are valid and valuable and their input is welcomed and considered by decision makers.
- Feel as though their career growth goals can be achieved by working for you.
- Feel that there is room for their hard work to make them a key team player.
Instead of interrogating your candidates with an dominating style of questioning, you should seek to develop common ground with your prospective employees by:
- Incorporating casual conversation into the interview.
- Not interviewing in a patronizing style.
- Understanding how your prospects can help add skills your team is currently missing.
- Mixing up typical work subject questions with more personality and lifestyle oriented questions.
- Mixing up typical questions with more atypical, original or quirky questions.
Your company will appeal more to talented remote job seekers when they know you do not operate with the dated mentality of being a dictatorial, self-important superior who views their staff as a mere means to make money and one who lets a cut-throat concern for the bottom line wipe out the possibility of compassion, connection and mutual understanding.
Connect over your company’s culture
Traditional corporate businesses often lack a unique and inspiring identity, which is why so many of the most talented job seekers today are attracted to online companies with unique values. Remote businesses can offer more lifestyle satisfaction, which is why you should play to that strength when interviewing people.
Job-seekers want to work with companies that actually encourage them to have a life outside of their job and ensure the opportunity to have positive experiences during working hours.
You can reveal how you prioritize this by:
- Talking about how your lifestyle inspired your business.
- Talking about the lifestyles of your existing staff.
- Asking the interviewee about their lifestyle.
- Sharing details about remote team building activities your company does.
- Learning about your interviewee’s long term goals.
- Explaining the long term goals of the company and how someone like them can fit into it.
Having a distinct culture helps attract the best talent and reduces turnover. If you still don’t have a definable culture, write down a list of lifestyle attributes you want your employees to have, and goals you want for your company.
You should also relay during the interview process that you are understanding about the lifestyle goals of your staff. Remote job seekers know that online companies can be more malleable to their schedules, so don’t be afraid to talk about the following with your prospects:
- Family commitments that might disrupt their schedule.
- Upcoming travel plans they have and how they hope the job will accommodate that.
- Valid reasons why they might arrive late to or leave early from a shift occasionally and how often you might want them to work out of hours.
Companies that acquire the best talent will share the same values as their talent. We always let our prospective employees know that parts of our core values are internationalism and travel. We are understanding when a staff member is going out of town for the weekend and needs to leave their shift a few hours early. But we also make it clear during the interview process that trust is earned, and we value accountability as a means of developing trust.
Create a comfortable interview environment
It might seem hard to do through a computer, but you should try to make your interviewee as relaxed as possible in speaking with you.
Even though your interviewee won’t be face-to-face with you, it’s still important to do this for the following reasons:
- Being interviewed is always intimidating, so you’ll want to mitigate that.
- Your interviewee can release any nervousness or anxiety they have about speaking if you start the meeting with a lighter friendlier tone.
- Video calls can feel disconnected, so you’ll want to ease into them with some small talk.
- Your applicants will be more communicative when they are relaxed.
Again, the appeal of a remote job is that they seem more modern and exciting to applicants, so creating a relaxed interview helps them to open up and reveal the best version of themselves.
The best way you can get your applicants to feel comfortable is to show them that you actually care about them. The more you portray that, the more they will care about your company.
You can create comfort and show you care by:
- Make room chit chat in the beginning of the interview.
- Asking the interviewee about their life and their current situation.
- Telling the interviewee about your life and current situation.
- Sincerely complimenting them throughout the interview and asking questions that help you learn something from them.
- Joking throughout the interview (which is also a good compatibility test if they understand your humor).
Make sure to write in your interview script questions that will help create comfort and bonding between yourself and the applicant.
If you want fully-committed team members who will work with you for the long haul, you need to create trust. When your staff trusts you and what your company stands for, you reduce turnover by increasing the amount of talented individuals who feel connected and indebted to you.
You can build trust by:
- Explaining to your interviewee how you hold your staff accountable in a non-draconian way.
- Talking about your core values and seeing how they relate.
- Giving the interviewee opportunities to explain how they can help the company grow.
- Describing how you see the interviewee’s position evolving long-term (if you like them of course).
Talented professionals will feel more connected to your company if you build that trust with them, even from the very first interview.
As long as you understand that the workforce today values their lifestyle and working with a company that doesn’t take them for granted, you will have success with hiring a great remote staff. The candidates with the evolved skill sets that you really want have lots of options. Why should they choose your company?
We hope these tips have helped you with your remote staffing goals. We specialize in this, so comment below if you have any more questions.