If you’ve never recruited for a remote team, you’re probably wondering if the recruitment process looks different than the traditional hiring process.
The answer? Yes, it does.
However, this shouldn’t worry you. All you have to know is where to look, how to leverage LinkedIn for your recruitment process, and how to communicate with remote workers. This guide will give you three quick tips to get you started on the right track.
1. First, you have to know where to look
When you’re looking for candidates for your first remote team, you might want to avoid the big job boards. While 42.9 percent of job seekers use them to look for offers, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to wade through irrelevant resumes.
Instead, here are four places to look for candidates:
Go back through your talent pipeline
Are there any talented, non-local candidates that you’ve rejected in the past because of location? If you keep resumes on file, that’s a great place to start. You already know the candidates are talented and relevant.
If you don’t have a talent pipeline, it’s a good idea to build one. Create a candidate database and update it frequently. Mark candidates that qualify for remote, part-time, or piece work.
You can also ask your current employees if they know someone they’d like to refer. Referrals can be your best friend, resulting in higher employee retention rates. It’s been suggested that 46 percent of referred hires stay for three years or more, while only 14 percent of candidates hired through job boards stay. Not only that, 39.9 percent of recruiters say they make hires based on referrals.
Target job boards specifically for remote workers
Okay, what if you need to look outside your pipeline? Try job boards for remote workers.
Here are the top 10 boards for finding remote workers across a variety of categories:
- Remote OK
- Hubstaff Talent
- Working Nomad
- Skip the Drive
- We Work Remotely
- Go Remote
- Flex Jobs
- Upwork (formerly oDesk)
Try job boards that are for remote workers in your niche
Want more direct results? Post your job offer on boards for people in your industry or niche.
Keep in mind that each site has different rules about publishing job offers. Occasionally, a site will want to review your offer first. Look for active candidates on-site in the meantime and write direct messages.
Here are six different job boards based on niche or industry:
- Stack Overflow (programmers and developers)
- AngelList (startup jobs)
- Behance (graphic design)
- Idealist (nonprofit)
- Inbound (marketing)
- ProBlogger (writing)
Make use of LinkedIn groups
Don’t forget to use LinkedIn. Start with a standard keyword search; if you have a recruiter account, you will have access to more data. You can try it for free for 30 days here.
Not sure how to do an advanced search? Let’s say you want to find a writer who is fluent in both English and Spanish. You want them to have over five years of experience. Plus, you want someone who can use Wordpress.
Start by searching for the following keywords:
To do an advanced search, select the following:
- Skills: Wordpress
- Experience: 6-10 years
- Languages: English + Spanish
A more direct method is to join groups. Search for local and remote employee groups and post your job offer; you might also want to join a global group. One of the biggest groups dedicated to remote work is Only Remote. Shop around to find groups that suit your needs.
Pro tip: Jobjet is a free Chrome extension that you can use to add candidates from different sites to your talent pipeline.
2. Write an attractive offer tailored to remote workers
For remote workers, you’ll want to write a slightly different job offer than you might otherwise.
For example, be sure to add employee benefits and salaries to make the offer more attractive. Of the things all job seekers want to see on an offer, 74 percent want to see salaries and 61 percent want to see benefits.
To give candidates a sense of what it will be like to work for you, add descriptions of your company, team, and work culture.
Here’s the thing: You need someone who is going to fit in with little direct interpersonal contact, as most remote workers won’t come face-to-face with you or your team. You up your chances of finding a good fit if you give candidates a strong sense of the work environment before they apply.
You’ll also want to list the apps and tools your team uses, so candidates know what to expect.
Other things to include are skill development plans and a description of your recruitment process.
For the development plan, include how you will measure progress and your vision of the candidate’s potential career path. For your recruitment process, describe individual steps and the time each should take.
Pro tip: Think about asking for a pilot project, work sample, or trial run. If you do, be sure to inform candidates about the work in the job offer and indicate whether or not you plan to pay them.
3. Use everyday apps during the recruitment process
It’s not a bad idea to pair different parts of the recruitment process with apps you use in your day-to-day work.
Why? You’ll be able to gauge how tech savvy the candidate is. Plus, it will give you a chance to calibrate the platforms you use with worker needs.
Here are a few examples:
For the interview, use the primary video conference tool you’ll use for remote group meetings. Examples include Skype or Google Hangouts.
If you use an instant messaging tool to communicate, such as Slack, add the candidate while they’re working on their project. That way they can ask questions and get feedback as they go. It’s also an excellent way to gauge what type of worker they’ll be.
Finally, if you give your candidate a project or ask for a trial week, add them to your project management platform, like Trello or Basecamp.
The recruitment process for hiring remote workers isn’t all that different from a standard process. At the same time, you’ll get better results if you know where to look and how to communicate with remote workers.
Take the time to adjust your recruitment process, and you’ll see far better results.