Remote work is not a trend; it's the future. Many companies are embracing remote work and hiring remote employees as well, because of the added benefits of higher productivity, less wasted time, and lower overhead firsthand.

Remote Companies looking to attract and retain top talent have to implement remote work policies. Zapier found out that 95 percent of U.S. knowledge workers want to work remotely, and 74 percent would be willing to quit a job to do so. In fact, workspace and flexible hours are some of the key trends in the workplace in 2020.

There are several things that companies consider before hiring remote employees. We are thus providing a step-by-step process, which is essential for your company to hire remote employees.

The idea of hiring remote employees seems quite attractive since the group of potential candidates is much larger. Besides, much more work is done without cramming the office space and is cost-effective. Everyone wins!

Before you dig in the process, it is crucial to finalize what type of candidates you want to hire and which skills fit your job description perfectly? Currently, with technological progress and new forms of communication, a remote company has many more potential candidates to choose from when we are talking about hiring remote workers.

It is necessary to prepare yourself as a company before commencing remote interviews, so your expectations are set from the beginning. But what should you examine before hiring remote workers?

Required Skills of Remote Employees:

No not everyone is capable enough to work remotely. Sourcing the right candidates is important. Before you start hiring ,it is important to decide on the skills that suit perfectly to your future remote employees:

  1. Self-Discipline and Trustworthy
  2. Focused and Driven
  3. Strong Written and Verbal Communication Skills
  4. Independent Troubleshooter and Problem Solvers
  5. Flexible and Adaptable in any environment
  6. Punctual And Responsive
  7. Able to avoiding distractions when working from home
  8. Virtual collaboration skills

Creating an Attractive Remote Job Post:

A detailed job posting is an integral part of obtaining a possible future employee. Writing the same generic job post for a sales or developer role doesn't indicate the job details as well as the company culture and ambitions.

Make your job posting a great outlet to represent your company's culture, work environment, remote work policies, skills required to do your best work, and experience you are seeking from the candidate. Thus, giving candidates a peek into the company which helps them decide if they want to work for your company or not.

According to Toggl, the job description should focus on precisely what the applicant should be able to do, first and foremost. Instead of focusing on desirable experience, education, and character traits, focus on what matters -- their ability to get work done.

Basecamp CEO Jason Fried, before hiring anyone for a new position in the company, they try that position out by themselves with their team. This helps them identify the skills and abilities required to fulfill the job, thus helping them in creating the job posting.

Also, make sure you list your awesome job post on Job Boards like ours, which can significantly expedite your hiring time.

Sort through candidate applications:

Once the job posting is up, you will start receiving lots of applications from various regions of the world. It is vital to go through each application so that you don't miss the top applicants.

If your company is small, you can do away with a project management tool like Trello or Asana. But they won't cut it once you're hiring for multiple positions. Instead, you can look for a specialized product that helps in tracking applicants, commonly known as Applicant Tracking System or ATS for short. Greenhouse, Lever, and Workable are most popular applicant tracking system amongst remote companies.

It is also advisable to hire a specific person to go through all the applications. They would select the ones who seem to fit the required skills and appreciate the company's culture. He would also respond to all applications even handle rejections, thus treating every candidate with respect.

Assignment of tasks:

At this stage, you should have already narrowed down your candidate list by quite a lot. We suggest giving a small home assignment to all the shortlisted candidates, such as a short code project when hiring for a developer, creating a marketing ad problem for marketers, a new product flow design for a designer, etc.

Depending on the role you are hiring for, assign a task of moderate difficulty that is related to their day to day activities, so that you can test them in your company workflow.

Analyze the answers of shortlisted candidates and observe if your team agrees with what the candidate has done. Both the company and the team must agree to establish a plan for task assessment before this stage.

Some companies also skip this step and call the selected candidates directly for a video interview, which is also acceptable. Assigning a task adds one more layer in finding a perfect remote candidate for your company.

Schedule Video Interviews:

Remote companies such as Automattic do their interviews over slack. Setting up video interviews or face-time with the selected candidates, though, will give a peek into the candidate's personality along with his work environment.

Video interviews help you hire more effectively. In a face to face conversation, you could take a glance at their workspace, analyze their confidence level, and how they answer your questions.

Before starting a video interview, create a list of questions that include specific queries regarding remote work, their time management skills, their home office setup, and how they handle or avoid distractions.

Give them real problems and see how they respond and how they would handle such situations. Give them a couple of moments to answer, given the nervousness.

Buffer, a fully remote company, conducts three interviews to spot the best candidates:

  1. A Culture and Values Interview to find how aligned a candidate is with Buffer’s culture. Buffer follows a structured interview here by asking questions and try to map the hints to their expected answers.
  2. An Experience Interview round that includes a brief exercise to assess the candidates.
  3. A Final Interview to understand the candidates fit with the company and how his personality aligns with the company's culture and goals.

This process of taking multiple interviews is beneficial in remote hiring setup, as it buys the team more time with the candidate. It helps in correctly evaluating a candidate's candidature.

Check References and make an offer:

Before making an offer, Zapier, sends out an anonymous survey for a reference check using SkillSurvey, which helps them get honest feedback on candidates from their references.

Ask for examples of proactive, independent work that the candidate has done for checking the competency of his work. Acknowledge any links from their prior remote experience or office work projects that they have done.

Look for candidates who can isolate their work time from their family time and take complete ownership of their tasks. People who don't need a manager to always lean over their shoulders to achieve their goal. Candidates should have compelling examples of initiatives taken and work experience.

Check all of the references provided and avoid any possible inconsistencies at this stage of the process to prevent problems later. If you have found your ideal candidate, offer him the position, or a paid work trial to test his competency with the team.

Offering a paid work trial period

Automattic, a remote company, offers all its candidates a trial process that pays $25/hour as a “mutual tryout”. So that both the candidate and the company are sure about it being a good fit.

Toggl set up a paid trial period of 2-5 days, depending on the role. They believe if  you want to ensure someone will work with you in the long run, test the waters first before dipping in.

Trial periods help remote companies to be double-sure before making an offer. This helps the company identify if the candidate could adjust and collaborate with the team, if they fit in your remote work setup.

Create a remote friendly On-Boarding Process

It is crucial to have a proper onboarding process planned by the company, which could help the new employees get a sense of the remote work dynamic there.

Communicating with a new hire is very necessary initially. Being a remote job, given that you are not in the same place, it becomes essential to have team meetings and 1:1s with the new member. It makes the candidate feel like a part of the team. Also, the team gets to understand where does the new member stands and what work can be assigned to him.

Trial period also helps in understanding how the candidate aligns with the team, how he performs his task, and whether or not he can keep up with the pace of the team.
Make absolutely sure that new hire has all the software and hardware he requires to work effectively.  Organise fun activities with the whole team and offer plenty of opportunities to bond with the rest of the team. This will get him off on the right foot.

It is necessary to make overly sure that your new team member has the support they need, rather than leaving them feeling overwhelmed and isolated.

When you plan on hiring remote employees, create a magnificent job post helping the candidates self-decide if they’re considering or pursuing a job opportunity where they can shine. If you are looking to source great remote candidates, DailyRemote has a large remote community. You can also post your remote job here and get to choose from skillful candidates from all over the world.

Use pre-employment tests and schedule thoughtful interviews and check referrals before making an offer. Since in remote hiring, you don't have the privilege to meet your candidates in-person, it is essential to understand their capabilities and hire the best-suited candidate.

Hiring remote employees isn’t the same as hiring on-site employees, but not much different as well. But following the above remote hiring tips will help you hire the perfect remote employees, no matter what role you’re hiring for!