The coronavirus pandemic has sent the job hiring process into a tailspin. With businesses closed and shelter-in-place mandates in effect, companies are now forced to go through the job hiring process remotely. Traditionally, hiring candidates for a new role was a relatively streamlined process—candidates would send in an application, come in for an interview, and the decision would be made. While some of these steps remain the same, remote hiring looks a bit different.
Whether you’re the owner of a family-run mom and pop shop or the HR manager for a new startup, you want to ensure you pick the perfect candidate for your open position, even if you can’t meet them face-to-face. While this can be challenging, it’s not impossible. Take a look at our guide on how to manage remote hiring for your small business below.
1. Build a strong online employer brand
With millions of Americans unemployed, most businesses that are fortunate to be open are going to notice an influx in job applications. However, in order to attract top talent, you want to make sure you have a strong online brand. The best and most qualified applicants know their worth, and they’re going to seek out companies that align with their values, have a positive workplace culture, and have the potential for growth.
To build a strong online employer brand, you can:
- Highlight employee testimonials
- Provide a statement on company culture
- Be inclusive
- Host all-person meetings
- Provide employer benefits
These are just some of the ways you can foster a positive work environment that will strengthen your brand and have highly-qualified applicants apply to your open positions.
2. Write a thorough job description and post it in the right place
The job description you post heavily influences who applies for the position. Too broad, and you’ll have thousands of unqualified applicants flooding your inbox. Too narrow, you might not have an applicant at all. When drafting your job description, make sure to write “must-have” qualifications, such as education, knowledge, and certifications. Then, highlight some “good to have, but not necessary” qualifications, such as advanced degrees, recommendations, and years of experience. This way, you won’t prevent applicants who don’t meet every criterion from applying.
Once your job description is good to go, post it on various online job boards to attract a wide range of applicants. Some great places to post jobs and look for candidates include:
- Working Nomads
3. Test your candidates
One way to improve your recruitment process is by testing your candidates. Because your candidates will be remote, you won’t be able to have them complete an on-the-spot task that demonstrates their skills and knowledge. However, there are plenty of ways you can test remote candidates.
For example, if you’re hiring a content writer to get your company’s blog up and running, have them complete a timed writing task on a specific topic. This way, you can test not only how well they write but how they write under pressure when a deadline has to be met. Or, if you’re in search of an IT specialist, have them partake in a coding task and see how well they perform.
The way you test your candidates will vary depending on the industry you work in. However, with some creativity, you can find a way to see the skills a candidate can bring to the table. Just make sure the task is reasonable and that you compensate them for their time completing the project.
4. Conduct a background check
As you continue on through the hiring process, one step you should never fail to neglect is a background check, especially for remote workers. Unfortunately, not every candidate is who they say they are, and they may have a history of criminal activity or other irresponsible behavior that can be harmful to your company. The last thing you want is an employee with a poor credit score becoming your business’s accountant.
A background check can uncover a lot of helpful information, such as:
- Criminal history
- Driving records
- National Sex Offender Registry
- Previous addresses
- Credit score
Conducting background checks can give you peace of mind knowing you’re hiring a credible and trustworthy candidate.
5. Include employees in the interview process
Whether you’re the manager of a team or the owner of the business, more often than not, you’re not working side-by-side with the same employees every day. With that in mind, consider including employees in the interview process. A panel interview is a great way to reduce bias and allow the candidate to better understand what the role truly entails.
When employees are allowed in the interview process, they’re able to speak on behalf of the day-to-day processes that a manager or business owner might not be able to. Employees will be able to ask a wide range of interview questions you might not have thought of, such as accomplishment-based questions and behavior-based questions.
Lastly, bringing other team members in on the interview process can help you spot red flags that you might not have picked up on. You don’t want the charisma of a candidate to blind you from the fact that they don’t have the skills or background knowledge necessary to perform the job well. When this happens, you can spend large sums of money getting this employee up to speed through training and onboarding. With more eyes and ears present during the interview process, your company’s weakest interviewer and strongest interviewer will be able to thoroughly vet each candidate.
The bottom line on managing remote hiring for your small business
Hiring new workers can be a challenge, especially with so many other tasks and responsibilities on your plate. Hiring remote workers makes this process even more difficult, especially when you have to communicate through email or phone, which can be easy to lose track of.
To ensure you hire the perfect remote employee for your small business, it’s important to have a streamlined process in place. From posting your application on multiple job boards to conducting background checks, these are just some of the ways you can manage remote hiring for your business.