COVID-19 has changed how companies do business. It’s shifted priorities, how work is done, how you interact with customers, and how you collaborate with your employees. Many companies have also transitioned to operate in a remote environment. While, there’s uncertainty about how long this new way of doing business will last, most organizations don’t have the option to completely suspend key business functions like recruitment. 

Being remote changes your company culture, including the type of talent you look for and your approach to hiring employees. Below we will provide you with important steps for how to build an effective job application and hiring process when you’re operating remotely.


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assess the successes of your current hiring process

Your hiring needs can be very different when you’re a remote company. The inability to meet with candidates face to face alters the steps you can and will take during the hiring process. If your company has recently shifted to remote operations because of COVID-19, it’s important to assess your current hiring process. 

Understand the elements that are successful and can be adopted for digital recruiting. It’s also an opportunity to address what wasn’t working. 

Things you will need to address include:

  • Hiring process steps
  • Interview questions
  • Interview style
  • Skills tests and assessments
  • Hiring timelines
  • People involved in the hiring process

change your criteria 

Operating remotely changes the type of candidates you are seeking. You now need candidates with strong technology skills for all positions. You want people who understand what it’s like to work in a remote environment and its nuisances. Your ideal candidate profile will shift because of the importance of IT knowledge. 

update your job descriptions

Create a job description that is focused on attracting remote candidates. Here are some tips for updating your job descriptions:

  • Make it clear you are seeking remote workers
  • Outline all aspects of the remote role
  • Provide clear expectations for skills and qualifications
  • Highlight the advantages of working for a remote employer

post job ads in the right places

Where you post your job ads is important. In addition to posting job ads on your company website, sharing on LinkedIn and social media, it’s also important to post on niche websites. Look for sites and directories that cater to remote workers. You will improve your chances of finding qualified and interested candidates. Another effective option is to work with a recruitment company (like Randstad!) to ensure that you’re finding the right people. Recruiters can also help relieve the pressure your HR team is currently facing by bringing experienced candidates to you.

cast a wider net

One huge advantage of being a remote company is you can cast a wider net. With no need to live close to a physical office, you can recruit candidates from across the country. You are no longer limited by geography. This gives you access to a larger and more diverse talent pool. 

build skills assessment into the job application 

A completely digital hiring process makes it easier to integrate skills assessments as part of the job applications. 

You can use skill-based questions to quickly baseline candidates. You will know right away if the candidate has potential without even looking at their cover letter or resume. 

You can also assign short tasks related to the job to top contending candidates. For example, if you are hiring someone for your digital communications team, you may have them write a press release or communication brief. 

The type of assessment tools you use will depend on your industry, business type and the role you’re hiring for. 

assess technology skills during the interview

As a remote company, you likely won’t be using in-person interviews. COVID-19 has eliminated this option for the time being. When speaking with candidates on the phone, via email, video, or even chat, you should be assessing their digital communication skills. Communication is even more important in an online environment. Assess not only what a candidate says, but how they use (and their comfort level with) digital communication tools. 

Remote companies have different talent needs than their traditional counterparts. Reflect this in your hiring process to find and attract the top remote candidates in your industry.

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