Remote hiring – Will it ever look the same again?  

There was a time when traditional companies looked down upon the likes of “work from home moms” and millennials who willingly chose the freelance life. Much has changed in the corporate world, with remote hiring , since the COVID-induced work from home (WHF) mandate. 

For one, as more business leaders are considering a permanent shift to telecommuting, experienced remote workers have become hot commodities. Secondly, many agile recruitment teams have already begun adjusting to the new normal with video interviews, covering new home office expenses, making the online application process more intuitive and the like. But, surely they have only explored the tip of the proverbial iceberg?

This begs the question, how do companies manage the emotional and logistical complexities of hiring telecommuters? Specifically, how can you seamlessly attract and onboard the right talent, without ever meeting them face to face?

Especially in the current scenario of layoffs and economic uncertainty, it’s important that hiring teams re-engineer the recruitment and onboarding funnel by being innovative, sensitive, and cost-effective. This is essential to business continuity and assembling your dream team.

Even once the immediate threat of infection passes, considering the productivity and financial benefits, it’s likely that WFH will continue to be the norm. So, now is the right time to deliberate on how companies can navigate remote hiring.

1. Remote hiring expands your talent pool

Companies that wish to attract talent need to realize that candidates are increasingly preferring remote jobs, for the convenience and safety it offers, ever since the pandemic. So, instead of pausing hiring, be more willing to hire contractual staff. Not only does remote hiring allow you to save on the likes of paid time off and all benefits expenses, but it also allows you to have a flexible rolling roster of specialized talent. 

Additionally, you should re-look at the compensation of the remote workers. Based on the location of the remote employee and the respective cost of living, restructure their salary components to afford better talent remotely. 

2. Improves work-life for your new hires

For every new HR problem, including remote hiring, there exist at least a dozen tools that can resolve it. The challenge lies in picking the right ones. 

Since companies can no longer afford to throw more bodies at the problem, it would be prudent to try out the following productivity-enhancing platforms:

  • Application Tracking Software (ATS) powered by AI can pull out the perfect resumes to fit the role requirements in the blink of an eye, apart from offering automatic email follow-ups and interview scheduling. It can also predict candidates’ future behavior (for instance, the chances of early turnover) simply by assessing candidate resumes or interview answers. 
  • eSignature tools, such as SignEasy, are an absolute necessity; especially since touching contracts and other documents has become a strict ‘no-no’. What’s even better is if the tool can integrate into legacy hiring and onboarding tools so as to provide a seamless signature workflow.  

Additionally, with new employees located miles away, disruptive VR technology is perfectly placed to give them a tour of the office/factory facilities. 

Truly, the best way to bridge the physical distancing paradigm is technology-enabled hiring and onboarding!  Be sure to choose a cloud-based SaaS tool, which lets you try out the technology benefits at a nominal monthly or annual subscription fee; without having to buy the otherwise expensive software.

3. Humane remote hiring entices better talent 

The virus has turned the lives of the talent pool upside down, making this a great time for the hiring team to practice empathy. 

As employees struggle to manage their domestic and professional lives, things like flexible working hours, more comprehensive health insurance, and compulsory days off can really help hook that elusive candidate. Make your brand stand out as the employer of choice, by continuously fine-tuning employee benefits and hiring processes, based on candidate feedback.  

It would also help to tweak remote hiring and work policies. Try to focus more on improving mental health in a hybrid workplace, by coaching employees on how to draw the line between work and family time. Also, communicate actively about how the company is doing financially, in these unusual times, so candidates feel less stressed about the decision they are taking. 

Finally, think of this as a chance to increase diversity. So, be open to hiring candidates who would readily embrace telecommuting such as mothers, millennials and Gen Z, candidates from different states, etc. 

The bottom-line

It’s time to find an opportunity in the crisis. That opportunity is remote hiring. Make use of this sudden change in modus operandi, to build a workforce that is more engaged, flexible, confident, and productive. Remember the new-gen candidates are not just looking at salary, office layout, or perks, but for what makes your company truly ‘human’. 

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