The pandemic has taken hold of our very routine lives, especially in business, and we are still adapting to what has so excellently been named “the new normal”. In the blink of an eye, businesses had to yield to the power of distance and the world erected barriers between the employee and employer, communication came at the mercy of great WIFI connectivity and work could be done from the comfort of our couches. From the perspective of the employer, downsizing became another dreaded reality, a necessary sacrifice to survive the “new normal”, but this also meant that recruiting was needed, and with this, the capacity to find employees who could thrive at home, behind a computer screen.
Benefits of remote employees
Remote working is just the same as in-office working but does boast many more benefits which could have been restrained or non-existent in the time the new normal.
Improved employee morale
Remote working means that communication is a necessity at all hours of the day and between all the employees and the supervisors. The usual power distance has become less important, and employees can now communicate freely with their supervisors when needed. This new freedom of communication ensures that employees have less doubt and more confidence in themselves and in their work because employees get to choose where they work from, you see higher levels of work life balance, and therefore morale of the employee is much higher. Employees are much more engaged when they have this, which means better work product.
Remote working allows the employees to have control over their environment and have less distractions than when working in the office. When employees have control over their environment, they feel motivated to work longer and harder, but they also reduce their stress because they have a sense of security that they cannot get sick from anyone – or make anyone sick – and they have comfort in their own space and are able to concentrate more effectively than in the office.
With remote working comes a small in-office work force which means less desks, more space and less use of utilities. This results in the company spending significantly small amounts on utilities, catering, cleaning services and, if it is thought of, rent too if the decision is made to move to a smaller location.
There are many factors that lead to employee turnover, but remote working has the power to reduce these factors and ensure the highest retention. Factors like commute concern, improper work-life balance and over-working can all be resolved because by working from home, the employee does not need any concern about these issues and can focus most of their attention to their work, they have their own environment to recharge and relax between tasks and they cn still maintain their social lives along with their work lives, which consequently can lead to increased job satisfaction.
There are times when employees need to take an entire day off so that they can honor a commitment, go to the doctor, or take care of a child and as a result, they fall behind on work. When they work from home, they only need to take a small break to see these commitment or duties fulfilled and thereafter they can return to work.
Define your ideal remote worker
Finding the idea remote worker might seem like a strenuous task but it is easier than you think you have defined the traits you want your remote employees to have. This can be easily done with a personality test such as Shadowmatch, which allows an employer to identify behavioral traits of the candidate to assess whether they will thrive from remote working and assists in making a decision as to whether the candidate will be the best fit for the company. ShadowMatch is a tool that allows companies to understand the unique behavior of an individual, determine how their talents will be utilized and it also allows the leaders to understand the individual.
One of the most important traits to hold in a world like today is the ability to be flexible or easily adjustable to change. Nothing is ever stable or permanent in this fast-paced environment and an employee who can adapt to changes that happen unexpectedly can be invaluable to the organization. Remote working holds no exception to these changes. The right candidate needs to be somebody who can perform extremely well in problem solving and the constant changes in the market and organization.
An employee who is reliable, has undeniable integrity and great work ethic can be an invaluable asset to the organization. Trust in the employee needs to be a priority in remote working because it can be most convenient for the employee to miss a day of work just because they can and so the organization needs to be able to trust that the candidate will not betray this trust.
The most important deciding factor when choosing a candidate comes in the form of how well they communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. When it comes to communication skills, the candidate needs to have the confidence to communicate effectively, but most importantly they need to show a good sense of empathy as this is the key factor with any kind of communication.
For any candidate to thrive in the environment of any company, problem solving is an essential skill, one that comes in the form of listening, research, creativity, communication, and dependability, to name a few. In the context of remote working and it being an individualistic way of working, these skills will be essential in the employee handling any issues that will most likely arise and will need to assess and manage the situation alone and come up with the best possible solution.
When working at home, it can be very easy to be tempted to be lazy and sometimes even fall asleep, thereby losing out on work time. It is essential that the candidate you want to hire is high on the self-discipline spectrum and will treat working from home just like they would in the office.
Another thing to consider in your candidate’s self-discipline is their motivation to perform well. Although productivity has statistically increased through remote working, the temptation to slack can still linger in that environment of comfort. A good remote working candidate is someone who can give the same amount of effort at home as they would if they were in the office.
Able to work independently
Candidates who are individualistic by nature will undoubtedly thrive in remote working environments as they do not require any kind of constant assistance or supervision to guarantee that they get the task done. This trait in an employee is also an invaluable one because it is most advantageous in the current environment and can also prove well for the company because an independent worker will get more work done at a faster pace than someone who require constant supervision and critique of their task.
Prepare the job description for the remote job
Remote working is not at all different from in-office working and as such, like a regular, a job description Is needed. Anyone who has ever written a job description knows that It needs to be accurate and well explained but, if you have never written a job description for a remote job, read on ahead to see your tool set for writing out the perfect description.
Ensure the title is concise
You know how you capture a reader’s attention in the first ten seconds of them reading an article? This is just like that. Your applicant must get a clear understanding of the job and what it entails before they take a dive into the actual details of the position. Here, you must have information like the responsibilities and the level that an employee will hold. You should also use key phrases so that the job role is easily found as 36% of individuals search by job title and so these phrases can make you visible to the potential candidates.
Describe all aspects of the job- good and bad
Let us be honest, nobody likes finding out the negative things about a job once they are already in it. You need to be transparent when writing the description because the applicant needs to know the pros and cons of the job and whether it is worth their while. Listing the good and bad aspects of the job also ensures that you open yourself up to the best possible candidates who have the confidence to dominate the negativity and shine with the positive aspects.
Include required skills
Whether the job is remote or onsite, having the right skill the make-or-break factor for the job role otherwise you would have given the role to anybody who came along. Be sure to have a detailed description of the skillset that is needed to perform effectively in the role and, when you include this, you give yourself the power to narrow down your candidate pool to those best suited for the job.
Be clear on the technology needed
Just like with the skills, there are jobs that require a certain kind of technology to get it done effectively. You need to clearly state what kind of equipment is needed for the job and if there is any specific kind of requirement regarding internet speed. The way that you can draw in candidates is if your company offers some kind of allowance for home-office equipment because there is always a chance that you will get the perfect candidate but they may not always have the right technology.
Define the required schedule
Like with onsite working, there needs to be a schedule set out so that the remote employee logs in the correct number of hours per working day. When you define the schedule, you give the candidate an idea of how much effort they need to devote to the job, how many hours a day they will be working and the days when they will be working. In most cases if the remote candidate is in a different country, you will need to specify within the description if their schedule will be according to your own time-zone or theirs and if they will be working on your scheduled days or international working days.
Use the correct keywords
Candidate searching can very competitive and there is always a chance that your vacant positions will not be seen because your competition may come about with a better formulated description and snatch away your perfect candidate. It is because of this very reason that key words are important; these allow you to be visible in the applicants search and when using the right density of key words, you allow yourself the best chance of attracting the best candidates.
Include your internal communication process
Communication is like the heart, without it, nothing functions. This is one of the most important activities within any organization and the candidate that you select needs to do this as effectively as possible. When you include you ICP, you basically give the candidate an insight into the company and with this, they can also evaluate if they have the skills that align with the communication processes that the company as in place.
Clearly define the remote aspect
The rules need to be set out from the word “go”. Your remote employee needs to clearly understand the procedures that the company operates with and how their performance is managed. They need to understand any implications of rule breaking and/or underperforming in their assigned role.
How to find quality remote candidates
Now that you know how to bait the hook for your candidates, let us dive into how you can throw out the net and set the bait so that you get those prized employees.
hare your posting to all social media accounts
Finding potential candidates has become so much easier in recent years thanks to social media and since the pandemic, it has been of greater importance to both organization and individual. LinkedIn is now at the center of every professional’s mind for job hunting, and for recruiters alike. If you want to catch the eye of potential candidates who are already invested in your company and what you do, then posting on your other social media accounts is a great way to reach them, as in theory, they will already be following you. You also get the added benefit of the shareability of the post by your employees and other followers.
There is literally no other place where you can find people you already trust than within your own organization and, these people already come highly recommended. Included in employee referrals, your organization saves time and money on areas of the recruiting process, such as sourcing and screening applicants. Hiring internally also allows for you to have employees who are already aware of and aligned with the brand vision and know exactly what their goals are.
Leveraging your networks can be an effective strategy to find and create an interest in your recruitment pool by getting the message out about the company, the kind of culture it boasts and the opportunities it holds and, along with remote hiring, allows you to geographically increase your talent pool because of the benefit of technology that it readily available.
Remote job boards
In this era of endless interconnectedness, job boards are a simple place to find the right talent for your company. On these boards are a plethora of individuals who are talented and ready to work, only waiting for you to contact them. Most of the job boards provide all the essential information about your potential candidate and allow your directly contact them. Additionally, there are job boards that assist you throughout the recruiting process, all the way from discovery to hire.
Hiring remote workers
In this journey, you have found out that it is quite simple to locate and connect with your candidates, but now find out how you can make your decisions about the candidates you are sure will fit your organization.
Video calling interviews
Just like how everything else has adjusted to the concept of “new normal”, so too has interviews. Although video interviews were a trend in the past, they have increased in use due to necessity. Video calling interviews are a good way “meet” your candidate and during the call, observe their communication skills and nonverbal behavior which will help you make a calculated decision about whether they are, in fact, the right fit for the job.
When it comes to remote working, this is the most important tool for the recruitment process because it allows you to definitively decide whether the candidate is perfect for the role. These tests, like ShadowMatch and SimpleMustard, can delve into the hidden strengths and weaknesses of the candidates and will provide information about the areas where they need to be further trained or in areas where they will be highly efficient.
The history of an employee is as important as their skills and with reference checks, these skills and their history can be confirmed and can add credibility to the candidate which will influence the overall decision of the recruiter. These checks can be essential in confirming the work ethic and capability of the candidate and is particularly important for a remote working environment where there is little to no supervision, to ensure that the candidate will be most efficient.
Preparing to onboard remote workers
Now that you have finalized your decision, let’s look at how you can ease your employee into the heart of the company.
Streamline HR process
Remote hiring does not need to adhere to the regular processes that in-house hiring requires. There are processes that can either be adjusted or eliminated entirely such as in our blog on onboarding process, step 6, “convey housekeeping basics”, can be adjusted to just informing the employee about dress code during calls and certain first day courtesies have the potential to be done one step.
Look at automation of processes
The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen can be the most relevant concept in this context. It refers to continuous improvement, and when applied to automation, it can ensure efficiency and high productivity by allowing you to evenly distribute your time and effort so that not a lot of this is wasted on a single activity. Automation provides a space for your to also avoid unnecessary human effort on tasks and is a Kaizen activity, and gulfhr can automate some of the recruitment processes like screening CV’s that don’t match your criteria.
Prepare for feedback
If it is your first time in the remote hiring game, feedback is important in discovering areas of your program where the current processes are working well and where you may need to improve. By getting the feedback from the new staff member, you gradually compile feedback and through the practice of Kaizen, you consistently improve your program whenever and wherever need be.
Productivity processes are essential to employees and to the organization because it ensures that work gets done all the time and with the best efficiency. These processes allow the employee to evaluate themselves and the task(s) at hand and determine the time and effort, i.e. how long it will take, how will tackle the task, their goals and finally, a plan of action is needed to provide clarity about how they will complete their tasks.
The employee KPI is actually slightly more important that the organizational KPI because if the employee does not meet their require indicators, then it has a ripple effect. The employee KPI, especially if they are in a team, need to be clearly defined and explained so that the employee knows what is expected of them and are aware of the goals that the team works towards.
This post was written by gulfHR who are an exhibitor on the HRTech247 HCM – Full Platform and Employee Engagement floors. You can visit their HRTech247 exhibition stand here.