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Navigating the Next Normal: A Guide to Hiring Remote Employees

A Guide to Hiring Remote Employees

The pandemic and rapid shift to remote work upturned many industries, but companies across the globe are adjusting. Because times have changed, human resource leaders will need to reassess how they handle the recruitment process. In particular, companies that hire remote workers must become more intentional about talent selection.

According to a survey by Enterprise Technology Research, the percentage of remote workers is expected to double through 2021. Many companies have done away with location requirements, which has opened up talent pools and allowed companies to hire remote workers from pretty much anywhere. That's why HR must rethink role responsibilities and requirements as well as how it shifts the recruitment process and assessment of candidates.

As an HR leader, you must navigate a challenging labor market and learn how to hire the right candidate remotely. The approach you took when recruiting in-person workers won't translate well to a digital environment where top talent is tough to find. Hiring remote employees requires an entirely different strategy, so you'll need to handle the process differently.

Overcoming the Challenges of Hiring Remote Employees

In a post-pandemic world, hiring the right candidate remotely is something all HR professionals must learn how to do. Even if your company isn't 100% remote, your customers probably are, which means you need remote leadership skills. The ability to maintain seamless communication and productivity will be key.

Even though many companies are hiring fully remote workers, remote hiring poses significant challenges around assessing candidates. As a hiring manager, you probably look at past experience to gauge success in a role, but this doesn't adequately measure a candidate's ability to perform the job well remotely. In this case, you'll need to use tools to increase the likelihood of hiring the right person.

Pre-employment assessments as well as behavioral and skills interviews, for example, identify a candidate's strengths and areas for improvement. You can also rely on text-based résumés, social media platforms, and video interviews to determine whether a candidate is a match. Virtual interviews provide a decent window into a candidate's talent, personality, connections, and tech skills. From the candidate's perspective, you can use virtual office tours to give them an idea of the company's culture, the office environment (for occasional office visits), and day-to-day tasks.

Using Assessments to Hire the Right Remote Employees

While there are many tools you can use to vet, recruit, and hire the right people, behavioral and skills test interviews and candidate assessments are some of the most effective ways to measure aptitudes. This is especially useful if qualified candidates come from different industries or backgrounds. Considering how many different types of assessments exist, it's important to know which ones work the best for a particular role.

Predicting job performance - particularly in a remote setting - requires a comprehensive analysis of the critical elements of a role. Eligibility and technical competencies are important, but these only represent part of the equation. Behavioral competencies (e.g., emotional intelligence, personality, and work preferences) must also be measured. Identifying these traits can help determine whether a candidate will fit within the organization and help move the company forward.

Remember that the best assessments are job-specific. If you are hiring an auditor, for instance, look for someone with meticulous attention to detail. Other personality traits might work in the position, but that one is a must. Meanwhile, an opening for a customer service representative would focus less on precision than solid people skills. Pay attention to the priorities of the role and consider how they might differ in a remote setting when making your decision.

Finally, it's important to use assessments that measure a large variety of specific traits. Personality tests that only offer insight into general behaviors won't work. Look for a tool that provides much deeper data analytics. While administering these assessments, consider those traits that would diminish overall performance in the role in addition to those that predict success. Is the candidate 80% right for the job, for instance? You'll need to determine whether that's good enough.

Remote hiring can be a challenging process, but there are valuable tools you can use to select the best candidates. Choose an assessment that can predict success in the roles you're filling. From there, you can dig deeper into a candidate's skills and behaviors to find the right person for the position.

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