Today, many employees would rather quit their job than give up work-from-home privileges. This clearly indicates the need for companies to adapt to the flexible work revolution, adopting a remote-friendly team structure in order to remain competitive and attract top talent.
But remote recruitment and hiring require a different approach to the traditional office-centric process. Not only do you have to find the right remote talent (not everyone thrives outside of an office setting) but sometimes there are unique regulations to follow - especially when hiring globally.
Once you’ve read this article you’ll have a deeper understanding of:
- How hiring remote workers can give you a competitive edge
- How to recruit remote employees, and the skills to look out for
- How to manage the ideal remote job interview process
- How to hire remote workers & employ global talent compliantly.
Why Hire Remote Workers?
There are extensive benefits to hiring remote workers, both for employees and employers. As an employer offering remote-friendly jobs you can:
- Make the ‘Great Resignation work in your favor by attracting and retaining workers who don’t want to go back to the office
- Gain access to leading talent, unique skill sets, and regional expertise across the world, all while building a competition-crushing team
- Build more diverse teams by widening your talent pool to reach applicants from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who can contribute new skills and ways of thinking to drive your company forward
- Lower overheads by reducing office space or hiring in locations where employee costs are lower
Hiring remote employees doesn’t mean you have to give up the office for good, though. Whether you opt for a remote-friendly approach or a hybrid work model, the main aim is to create a company culture that’s flexible and inclusive of all types of people and working styles, which ultimately gives you an edge over your competition.
How to Recruit Remote Workers: Step by Step
Now that you understand why you should be hiring remote workers, it’s time to get started and build a world-class team. But before you post that job ad, you’ll need to optimize your recruitment process to ensure you hire the right remote talent. Follow these five steps for remote hiring and you’ll be welcoming the best of the best to your team in no time.
1. Decide if you want to go global
When you start recruiting remotely, you’ll need to decide if you want to restrict your search to local applicants (i.e. those based within the same jurisdiction as your company) or widen your talent pool to the rest of the world.
Remote hiring within the same country is less complicated, as you don’t have to navigate international employment laws and regulations, but it does reduce your talent pool significantly. Thankfully, global employment service providers like Omnipresent can help make international hiring simple.
2. Set your salary and benefits budget
You should now set a budget to cover the successful candidate’s compensation package. This should take into account their level of seniority, experience, and role type. For example, a sales representative will likely have a basic salary, as well as commission, and possibly even bonuses on top. You should also factor in a home office budget and access to wellbeing tools so your new hire can work effectively wherever they’re based. Choosing a service provider like Hofy can help you equip remote workers compliantly and on a budget!
Now comes the tricky part: determining pay based on location. For office-based workers, companies generally pay according to the cost of living for that particular area. Offices based in big cities are more likely to pay higher salaries than those based in small towns or rural areas. But when you hire remotely, your successful candidate could be based elsewhere, where the cost of living may be higher or lower.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you pay remote staff - taking into account local regulations, of course - but a sound understanding of salary benchmarking will go a long way. If you’re hiring globally, be prepared to adjust the salary and benefits package depending on local customs and regulations, too.
3. Create an eye-catching & inclusive job advertisement
Without a compelling job advertisement, finding the right person for the job will be challenging. Your remote job advertisement should be concise but include enough information to give the candidate a good idea of the company and what’s expected of them. It should also use inclusive and culturally appropriate language, particularly if you’re recruiting globally.
An eye-catching remote job advertisement should include:
- An easily searchable job title (e.g. Product Manager)
- A quick, compelling intro to the company and why it’s a great team to join
- Clear messaging about the remote nature of the job, defining what ‘remote’ means for the candidate (e.g. is there an expectation to come into an office at any point, where can they be based, where is the rest of the team based, etc.)
- Your unique company values and culture, as well as how they benefit remote workers (e.g. autonomous, cross-functional working, flexible hours, an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, etc.)
- A comprehensive job description including the skills and experience needed for the role, as well as the tasks your successful candidate will likely carry out
- The compensation package and benefits your successful candidate can expect (e.g. salary bracket, bonuses, healthcare, home office allowance, food perks, remote socials, etc.)
- The interview process, including how many stages there are and who the candidate will meet.
4. Use the right channels or partner with a remote-friendly recruiter
Once you’ve created a job advertisement that stands out from the competition, you’ll need to post it on relevant job boards. While traditional job sites and social platforms, like LinkedIn, are useful if you use the right filters and keywords (e.g. ‘remote’, ‘work from home’, ‘distributed’, etc.), there are specific channels tailored to remote and flexible work you should use to reach the right talent, including:
You could also partner with a recruitment agency that specializes in finding top remote talent. This does cost money, but it also saves you and your team from trawling through a sea of CVs at the initial stage of the hiring process.
5. Optimize your remote interview process
The remote interview process has unique challenges that aren’t encountered in traditional office-based hiring. That’s why having a separate and streamlined remote interview process is really important; it not only helps create a better remote candidate experience but also allows you to determine if they have the right qualities to be a successful remote team member.
- Assess a candidate’s desire to work remotely: Before interviewing a candidate, use their application to determine whether they really want to work remotely. While your job advertisement may have made this clear, this initial screening is one way to avoid disappointment later down the line.
- Set an online task: To assess a candidate’s technical skills, you’ll need to set them a role-specific task. An online task is best carried out in the candidate’s own time, with a specified deadline, prior to the main interview. This way, you can discuss the task during the interview, assessing both their technical and communication skills.
- Prioritize virtual interviews: Candidates should be assessed based on the way they will work, learn, and communicate in the role, i.e. virtually. American Express’s remote interview process is a good example of this as it includes “a virtual learning environment that blends self-directed learning with group discussions in a video classroom”.
- Follow virtual interview best practices: Conduct the virtual meeting from a private room and test your laptop, camera, and microphone beforehand. You should also get rid of as many distractions as possible (e.g. switch off notifications) to ensure you can give the candidate your full attention. Use your tone of voice and facial expressions where body language doesn’t translate well through a screen.
- Look out for remote-friendly qualities: Not everyone thrives in a remote setting, so you’ll want to look out for specific qualities that demonstrate a candidate can work effectively outside of a traditional office environment. Some of the qualities you should look out for in a remote hire are initiative, autonomy, self-motivation, communication, adaptability, collaboration, and experience using technology and digital tools.
- Check references and right to work: Don't forget to cross-reference your candidate's experience with provided references, as well as their right to work in the country they intend to work in, so you don’t run into issues further along the process.
How to Hire Remote Employees
Once you’ve found the ideal candidate who will help drive your company forward, you’ll need to hire them and start the onboarding process.
If the candidate is based in the same country as your business, hiring and onboarding them is pretty similar to how you would an office-based employee. You should check their right to work, send a locally compliant offer letter and employment contract. Once they’ve accepted and signed, you should add them to your HR system and payroll. On their first day, you’ll likely welcome them to the team virtually and then they can start doing the great work they were hired to do!
However, hiring and onboarding remote staff who are based abroad - i.e. in a country where your company doesn’t already have a local presence - is more complicated.
To employ staff abroad, you’ll likely need to set up a local entity in the country they’re based in, which can be very time-consuming. You’ll also need an in-depth understanding of how to pay your remote workers according to local regulations, including taxation and benefit rules. When employing remote staff globally, there’s a lot to consider because if you don’t remain compliant you could risk fines or legal action.
Thankfully, there is an easier way to hire international talent. And that’s by using an Employer of Record (EOR), like Omnipresent. An EOR employs your chosen talent for you so that you don’t have to set up a local entity. The EOR takes responsibility for complying with local employment laws, including compensation, holidays, benefits, and tax, but the employee is assigned to your company and carries out the tasks you set them.