7 Expert Tips on How to Hire Employees Virtually
Are you looking to expand your operations by hiring a virtual team member? Exciting times ahead. Hiring employees online opens up a myriad of exciting possibilities. Nevertheless, it requires a little more creativity on your part because you may never get to meet potential applicants in the office and must do the whole process online. In addition, competition can be tough as more and more companies shift into the remote work setup. Researching your competition will also help you in hiring.
So, where do you start?
1. Don’t get stuck on local; think global
If the position you’re trying to fill does not involve reporting in the office regularly, go ahead and widen your search by exploring promising talents worldwide. For instance, South America and Southeast Asia are well known for having a pool of highly qualified professionals at affordable rates.
However, regular calls with your team are important and no matter which side of the world two people live, there are always a few hours in a day that suit both people for a call.
Creating a taskboard on Trello or Asana also helps to keep a remote team focused and productive. For example, we work with a team member who recently relocated from Peru to Australia for a few months and while it initially seemed like the timezones wouldn’t work; we decided to stay open later so that our Australian based team member could take late evening calls in the U.S from people who needed our services last minute when no other companies were open to take calls.
2. Decide whether you’re looking for long-term or project-based employees
If you’re only looking for a virtual professional on a per-need or per-assignment basis, Upwork and Freelancer.com are is packed with remote freelancers doing gigs and side hustles in various areas, including web development and content writing, virtual assistant, and graphic design. Upwork and the other platforms aren’t a good fit if you want to build a relationship with your team.
If you are offering a long-term opportunity, it’s highly recommended to take your search on more traditional online job posting platforms, like Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, or even Facebook. Here, you’ll have higher chances of finding aspiring applicants also looking for a stable full-time position and sufficient experience working from home. We have found Indeed to be the most lucrative as they allow you to create free job ads which attract hundreds of applicants. Paying qualified candidates 3-4x more than other local companies helps to attract a high calibre of candidate.
3. Filter with an online aptitude test that includes video
You’ll be amazed at how many incredible applicants you’ll find online in different parts of the globe. Using video screening as part of your online assessments can play a pivotal role in helping you pick the cream of the crop.
It gives you a glimpse of the person’s facial expressions when they answer questions, how well they carry themselves, and whether they made an effort to present themselves professionally for the interview. This is especially crucial if you’re hiring for a client-facing position. Of course, you’d want someone who can positively represent your company and is a good fit with company culture. Our mission statement encourages positivity and good initiative so we look for that in interviews. It’s easy to stop people from making mistakes but it’s harder to teach someone to be positive and use their initiative.
4. Have another round of video interviews using Zoom or Google Meet
Did you like what you saw during the online assessment and video screening? Now, it’s time to check for consistency. Schedule another video call on a different date. Have at least four people on each video call from different business areas to get a variety of opinions on where they would fit within the company. Everyone we hire completes an aptitude test via Test Gorilla before we schedule a video interview. The aptitude test includes a video portion that is really helpful when filtering applicants.
For video interviews, we focus on how well we connect with the person on the call. If the interview turns into a conversation rather than an interrogation; it’s usually a good sign.
5. Evaluate and streamline your online hiring process
Is it necessary to have five online assessments or four online interviews? Hiring virtually can be time-consuming and painfully exhausting, not only for you but also for applicants. Sometimes, you risk wasting the perfect candidate because they were frustrated with your recruitment process. Determine which steps you can do without and how to keep the experience engaging and effective for everyone involved.
6. Always keep candidates updated, even those you end up rejecting
We’ve all been on the receiving end of sending out applications and never hearing back. Give your applicants the courtesy of updating them about the status of their application and reply if they reached out to ask first. By doing so, you can still reach out to other equally good candidates from the pool if it doesn’t work out with your first choice or if you decide to expand on the team. You don’t want to be the company people around the world start hating because of your poorly organized system for following up with rejected candidates.
7. Make your new hire feel welcome
Now that you’ve hired your first virtual employee, the next goal is to make them stay. Hold regular team meetings to ensure they have enough support during onboarding and make them feel valued and welcomed as a new addition to the team. These are also good opportunities to spot bad fits for the team early. Otherwise, it can be hard to tell who’s happy and productive or not in your remote team, and issues can fester. All of our new hires complete a slide deck where they present an overview of the company and analyze day to day situations. We don’t expect perfection as they are still learning but those who complete a great slide deck usually turn into great employees. Another benefit of the slide deck is there is no need to have another team member training them full time for the first few weeks. They also complete a quiz on company procedures which helps to reinforce what they’re reading about in the company procedures document.
Remote teams shouldn’t be seen as a ‘slightly less good’ version of an in-office team. They can be more productive than office-based teams, especially if you find people who know how to stay productive remotely. If you’re looking for tips to become a remote technical writer, be sure to check out my recent guide on this topic.
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