Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

Selecting your remote workforce –5 ways to help you get it right

Even for experienced recruiters, attracting, and selecting the right talent for remote work presents new challenges.   The first is that, as companies increasingly move online, employees who want to be home-based, or mobile, have a much greater number of opportunities.  You may find yourself competing for the best with employers from other parts of the world. The second is that successful remote workers need a specific set of competencies, in addition to their technical skills, which will vary according to their role and your organization’s needs. Below, we consider some of the tools and strategies you can use to help you make the right decisions about who to bring into your team.

1. Look local or go global?

The first thing to consider is whether your team will be completely remote, or whether you’ll need them to be physically present at least part of the time. This will have an impact on your candidate pool, and the selection process.  If you’re open to global recruitment, you’ll need to have systems in place to manage the work in different time zones, as well as differences in culture and employee expectations.

2. Choose your platform

Even if you do prefer local candidates, there are now several excellent job platforms specializing in candidates looking for remote working opportunities.

We Work Remotely is one of the largest, while others, such as 6nomads specialize in niches such as full-time tech talent.  Others such as Upwork can be useful for attracting freelancers and those working on a by-project basis.  Expect to attract interest from around the globe, so be sure to offer specific details about what the work will involve in terms of availability, technology, and communication as well as technical expertise.  Once you’ve defined your ideal candidate, use the job board’s, or your own, AMS to filter out unsuitable applicants.

3. Use online psychometric tools

Once you have your shortlist, online psychometric tools can provide behavioral insights to help define whether a candidate is the right fit for a particular role, and is likely to be successful.  The easy-to-use online MBTI is one of the most popular. It identifies 16  behavioral or personality ‘types’, and provides insights into what’s likely to motivate each one, what kind of work environment they need to thrive, and how they deal with stress. For example, an ESTJ Personality Type’ is characterized as an ‘efficient organizer’ – objective, analytical and dependable, while a candidate with an INFJ style, an ‘insightful visionary’, may be sensitive and reserved.  Which type will best fit your needs depends on the nature of the role and the company.  However,  these kinds of psychometric tools can help you to better understand and compare the strengths and needs of each candidate.

4.Video interviewing

It almost goes without saying that to really get a feel for a candidate, it’s essential that you need to see them in person.  Body language is one of the most important ways we evaluate each other – so candidates need to see you as well.  Video interviews will give you the chance to see the candidate’s reactions as you explore their reaction to questions such as:

What skills do you have that will make you successful as a remote worker?

What concerns you about working remotely?

What are the potential blocks to your productivity at home? How will you manage them?

What does your ideal work schedule look like?

5. Onboarding and orientation

Once you’ve invested time and money in selecting the best talent, the challenge is to keep it creating value for you.  The traditional settling-in period for employees is typically condensed for remote workers. They’re expected to be productive almost immediately. Ensure you create a thorough onboarding procedure to help them align with your values and understand expectations. Just as with a physical workforce, the first month or so will set the tone for the rest of their time with you, so regular and open communication is essential to help them get up to speed and understand what is needed for success.

The next decade will see an ever-increasing number of people working remotely. This will present tremendous opportunities for recruiters to increase the diversity of their workforce. It is becoming ever easier to access global talent, and expand business productivity with people working across time zones. Ensure you harness the benefits by considering how your resourcing practices can be remodeled to reflect the needs of candidates, and employees, around the world.