Hiring 6 min

7 Ways to Manage a Wider Talent Pool

August 10, 2020

The sudden rise in remote work creates an unprecedented situation for many hiring managers. Remote recruitment is now an essential aspect of the modern workplace. Recruiters are currently in the position to hire from a wider talent pool than ever before. With the right tools and processes in place, you can recruit the top talent for your company.

This past year, though, the nature of work fundamentally changed. The international struggle to flatten the curve pushed remote work to unprecedented levels. Now approximately one-third of all Americans are currently working remotely because of COVID-19. And most workers want to stay there: three in five stated that they would rather continue working remotely even when it is safe to go back to work.

Here’s how to manage remote recruitment and build your most talented team yet.

Benefits of Remote Recruitment

Traditional industries are notoriously slow adopters of remote structures. But with no choice other than to make the switch due to COVID-19, employers have realized the true benefits:

Increase in Diversity

Diversity is a significant advantage for companies. A 2018 study found that gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more profitable, while ethnically and culturally diverse executive teams are 33% more profitable. Diversity is also a distinct advantage for attracting the newest and best talent too. A 2018 survey by Deloitte found that companies that were perceived as diverse were more likely to retain younger generations of employees.

Most companies understand the importance of diversity and try to recruit a more diverse team, but they often run into issues. Remote hiring is a helpful way to overcome these issues. Some reasons why remote hiring promotes company diversity include:

  •     Eliminating unconscious bias
  •     Allowing employees to live in communities that make them feel comfortable and
  •     Eliminating barriers for those with disabilities

A remote workforce creates the kind of modern diversity that gives companies an edge over the competition.

Competitive Benefits

The modern economy makes it challenging to offer a hefty paycheck to attract top talent. However, there are other ways to compete with other companies that may even offer more.

Remote work is an attractive benefit for many potential workers. In one survey, two out of three employees stated that they’d take a new job if they had a better commute. In fact, 36% said they would even take remote work over a pay raise.

As more businesses embrace remote work, employees can be selective about whether or not they want to work in an office. Remote hiring allows you to stay competitive against other companies, even those that can offer a higher wage.

Hire Top Talent from Anywhere

A successful business requires having the top talent. However, many organizations are facing a critical shortage of the kind of talent that encourages growth. Flexible work arrangements can solve this significant gap. Remote work allows leaders to hire based on the talent they bring, and not because they live locally.

Many hiring managers have turned to remote work to help find workers when there is none nearby. In one survey of HR managers, 62% stated that talent shortages drove them to create a more flexible workforce. This trend will likely only continue: the same study found that the majority of HR managers (78%) expect that they will need even more specialized skills in the future.

Remote work is your chance to fill valuable positions, especially if your business is in an area that does not typically draw talent.

Loyal Employees

Remote jobs not only attract workers, but it also provides an incentive for them to stay. Organizations that hire and work remotely are rewarded with increased rates of employee retention.

The research on remote work and loyal employees is impressive. Almost 95% of companies report that remote work had a positive effect on retention rates. Another Millennial survey found a correlation between remote work and better employee retention rates.

Productive Workers

The office can be a distracting place: the sound of phones ringing, endless meetings, and coworkers steadily dropping by to chat can make productivity more difficult. While many leaders worried that being at home might be even more distracting, the opposite has proven to be true.

At-home workers are in their comfort zone, happier, and less likely to get caught in an inessential conversation. All of this equals more productivity: Global Workplace Analytics found that teleworkers were 20-25% more productive.

If you want to get your employees to get more done, it might be time to send them home to work!

Tips for Remote Recruiters

While remote work offers clear benefits, it can still be an intimidating process for recruiters and hiring managers. Most recruiters are in uncharted territory as they try to navigate hiring remotely.

Here are some of the top ways to recruit talent remotely:

Reimagine your recruitment process

A solid plan can make the process of hiring much more manageable. Consider the length of the interview process to make sure you find and hire the right people.

A longer hiring process works well with remote hiring. Many leaders choose to have at least three interviews to make sure that the candidate is the right fit. An extended interview process allows you to interact with the candidate much more and get a sense of their soft skills. It also helps you to clarify the role and expectations more thoroughly to make sure they understand what the role entails.

However, it’s important to consider your unique needs when deciding the length of the hiring process. Some companies are scrambling to get more workers because of COVID-19. If your organization urgently needs extra hands on deck, you may need to reduce the length of the interview for now.

Create a strong social media presence

Since remote workers will not be able to see the inside of your buildings, your social media presence is even more critical for attracting applicants. Potential employees can get a sense of what it means to be a part of your company and how your team operates.

Even if they are not in the office, candidates still want to be a part of a company that is moving forward and has a strong sense of purpose. Social media is your chance to demonstrate how you do that. It helps applicants visualize themselves as an employee and makes your organization attractive.

Write smart and engaging job posts

While job ads have always mattered, they become even more vital when recruiting remotely. The right ad not only ensures that people apply, but it encourages the right people to apply to the position.

Write a thorough ad that outlines the expectations and responsibilities for your position. Since there is not as much of a chance to clarify in-person, a detailed job posting will help make sure potential employees know what is expected of them.

Keep in mind that there may be additional skills to include for a remote position rather than in-office. Some of these skills include reliable communication, organization, self-disciplined, and tech-savvy. Be sure to add these skills to the description.

Consider adding a short video. It will allow you to both more clearly explain expectations and give workers a sense of your company culture. Videos also encourage more people to apply. According to CareerBuilder, job ads that included videos were viewed 12% more and had 34% more applications than text and image posts only.

Also, be sure to include that you’re looking for remote work in the job description. It will be a major attraction for job seekers!

Screen candidates (literally)

If you are using the right recruiting techniques, the chances are that you may get overwhelmed with candidates. However, leveraging technology can make your screening process much faster and simpler.

Find ways to allow applicants to self-screen themselves to make your job easier. Provide resources about your remote culture, including expectations, flexibility, and testimonial, “day in the life” perspective from current employees. A realistic look at both your culture and remote work can help applicants decide if they are a good fit or not for themselves.

Technology can also help you to screen quickly and put applications in groups according to how ideal they are. Depending on the position, such as developers and engineers, a quick quiz to test their skills can provide valuable insight into their skill level. Recruiter chatbots can also be used to screen and engage clients. They can answer repetitive questions and provide useful insights to make hiring easier.

Technology can help you screen out the bad fits. You can then concentrate on the more high-value tasks that will help you find the right hire from a much smaller, more well-suited pool of candidates.

Lean on video

Video meetings and calls are an essential part of remote work. Video interviews not only give you the chance to interact real-time, but it also gives you a sense of their setup. You can see whether they have the fast internet and a work device required to do the work.

Be aware that a video interview is a different experience than an in-person meeting. A comment or hand gesture can be viewed very differently through a different medium. Also, double-check all of your tech before the interview. Make sure that your microphone and camera are working, for example, and that your internet connection is stable. Also, keep a plan B in place in case your connection is cut.

Because remote work has different requirements, you may need to add more questions than typical interviews. Questions about time management, self-motivation, communication, and consistency, for example, will be vital for a remote role. Once you have conducted the interview, establish a clear way for your candidates to follow up with you, and any necessary next steps.

Get a second opinion

While someone might look perfect on paper, their dynamics with their coworkers and how they fit with the company culture can make or break a new hire. Companies do not work in silos, and even remote positions affect everyone on the team. Collaborative hiring ensures that the hire is a good fit for the company, including a cultural fit.

Allow future teammates to take a look at top candidates, even sit in on video interviews. They can help evaluate the applicant’s skills and give a valuable perspective before you give an offer.

Consider a paid trial

Remote work is new for everyone, including your applicants. While remote work might sound perfect on paper, and they may seem to have the right skills, it’s impossible to know whether a new hire is ideal until they start working from home. Once you have narrowed down to your top candidate, a short, paid trial can help give both of you a chance to see whether it’s the right fit.

Give either a short assignment or bring the new hire on for a few days with the understanding that it’s a trial run. You can assess the quality of work and amount of communication, while they can try out whether remote work is something they enjoy doing.

Take this Opportunity to Build a Stronger Company

Remote jobs aren’t the future: they’re here now. They offer organizations a number of benefits and can help recruiters find the right talent to fill crucial positions. Companies continue to turn to remote work to run a productive, innovative, and profitable business.

However, remote recruitment is a new role that requires different techniques than an in-office setting. The right tools and processes can help make it easier to find the perfect new hires that add value to your company.

Emily Roberts is a Content Associate at PandaDoc. If she’s not busy creating content in the office, she’s getting creative in the kitchen (with some red wine) to the sound of a true crime podcast.

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