Recruiting in a Remote World - Hiring the Remote Worker

As the Coronavirus pandemic has continued to affect the way both Elevation and our clients recruit, we have been talking to clients and candidates about their experiences and have put together some useful information for how to get the best outcome when recruiting in a remote world.

In the second instalment of a three-part series of blogs on how to recruit in a remote world, this week, Operations Director Emma Noble discusses the challenges of hiring remote workers and how businesses can adapt their hiring process to ensure they can attract and retain the best candidates for their roles.

Remote working has been on the rise for some time across the globe. However, the pandemic has seen many businesses, from global PLC’s to SME’s respond by introducing remote working across some or all of their workforce, with many choosing to retain an element of remote working either in the short-term or as a more permanent solution to offering flexible working practices and reducing overheads.

Hiring remote workers can have huge benefits for businesses, not least that you can expand the search for talent further than the immediate location of your business. However, recruiting for a remote role can also bring its own challenges, especially when considering retention, cultural fit, building team rapport and ensuring that you attract candidates who have the right competencies for home-working.

You might be one of the many businesses who have chosen not to return to site just yet, or only return part of your workforce, or perhaps, having seen how effective remote working can be for your employees, perhaps you have decided to keep certain job roles remote for the foreseeable future. Whatever your situation, If you are hiring for a home-based role, your recruitment process will need to be adapted to ensure that these challenges are addressed and that you hire people who are capable of working effectively in a remote environment.

In addition to the adaptions you will need to make to your remote interviews, explored in the first blog in this series, Recruiting in a Remote World - The Remote Interview, you will need to consider making some key changes to your hiring assessments and questions to ensure that you find the right person for the remote role:


Collaborative Hiring

This should be a priority for hiring someone who is going to be working remotely. This is a team based recruitment process, where you utilise the effort of team members and the hiring manager before conducting your recruitment process. It ensures that the team have an input into how the new employee is hired and could include various levels of involvement - from the initial screening, to a multi-staged interview process where the candidate and different members of the team get the opportunity to meet.

Future teammates will have the opportunity to assess, evaluate, and get to know potential remote hires during the recruitment process. This will help you ensure that the remote hire is a good skill fit, in addition to a cultural fit for their potential team and can help you gain a much more diverse perspective of the candidates and the qualities that they can bring to the role.

The most important consideration will be to make sure your technology can accommodate multiple users and facilitates for team interviewing. Ensure that you and the team test the technology before hand and plan together how you will conduct the interview to ensure that the team isn’t talking over each other and creating an overwhelming environment for the candidate.


Customize your question set

In addition to your standard screening and cultural fit questions, there are a few additional questions you may want to ask of remote candidates. Think about your ideal candidate and how they will manage to work remotely. In addition to the hard and technical skills required for the role, soft skills are also hugely important when remote working.

There are a couple of core competencies you’ll want to look for, including time management, discipline, communication, consistency and proactivity, among others. Some key examples of questions that you might want to ask could include:

  • What is your remote working experience?
  • How do you manage your working day?
  • How do you ensure that you can stay focussed and productive when working from home?
  • What do you consider to be the key challenges of working from home, and how will/do you overcome them?
  • How do you ensure that you stay in touch with your team?
  • How do you deal with mis-communication/conflict


Remember that you’re looking for a different kind of profile

Sometimes people forget that remote employees require a different set of skills and even personality traits. However, the skills and personality of a remote worker can differ vastly from that of of employees who work on site.

Not only do you need to ensure that your candidates have the right skills for the job, you also need to be confident that your candidates know how to work remotely effectively. This should be a key part of the requirements for the role and is an essential part of developing your interview process and assessments.


Further Information and Support

This blog is the second instalment in our ‘Recruiting in a Remote World’ series. You may also be interested in ‘The Remote Interview’ blog. Look out for the next blog in the series: ‘Recruiting in a Remote World - Onboarding the Remote Worker’.

Elevation Recruitment Group have worked with multiple businesses across the region supporting them through Covid-19 and remote interviewing:

  • We can provide insight on the best interviewing technologies i.e. Microsoft Teams vs Zoom
  • We can advise on the best interview techniques
  • We can provide advice on how Covid and Virtual Interviewing has effected candidate attraction
  • We can sit in your interviews with hiring manages to help control the format or provide support to them on questions
  • We provide feedback on the pro’s / con’s of your interview style and feedback candidates are providing

If you need any further help and guidance on this area please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on 07710 096 839. 

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