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Remote Hiring: The Unique Challenges and How to Overcome Them


March 4, 2022 ( Newswire) Welcome to 2022! Zoom meeting fails are not so awkward anymore. If your mic doesn't work, your cat jumps in your lap while you're holding an interview, and your neighbor makes all the possible noise you can make when renovating a home, no one will judge you for that. Why? Because everybody has embraced remote stuff and the differences they come with.

It's been tough for almost everyone to adjust to working from home. Kids are running around the house while you're reading emails, your refrigerator calls for you to have that one more snack before you start working, and the dog won't stop whining about another walk. It can be a complete nightmare when you're trying to work and find the TOP employees for your company.

But, working as a hiring manager in a world where "remote" is the new thing also comes with additional unique challenges, besides the not-so-fun parts of working remotely. This article explores the unique challenges of remote hiring experienced by hiring managers and how to overcome them.

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Testing candidates for emotional intelligence

We've already mentioned just a few of the challenges of working from home. So, truth be told, not everybody is made for that. Some people can handle this new working environment just fine and even be more productive than they would be in an office. Yet, some employees might not perform well while working remotely. One difference between these two types of people is the lack of specific soft skills, namely emotional intelligence and communication skills.

Remote workers need certain skills to do a fantastic job even in an environment where distractions are double that they were in an office. More precisely, people who work from home need self-awareness and self-management to stay focused and motivated on their tasks.

Think about it: imagine you're hiring for a tech position, and you've just found the right person that is a real technical whiz. Yet, when the employee starts the actual work, they struggle greatly to focus in a remote environment. Wouldn't you regret that you didn't take more time to discover if the candidate possesses attributes that will help them be amazing remote workers? We think yes.

So, even if the interview takes place online, make sure to focus on both how they answer technical questions about the position and how they interact throughout the entire process. For example, pay attention in the candidate follow ups afterward or if they say "Thank you!" for your call to share the next steps of the process. Such small actions can actually mean big as they prove that the candidate is familiar with proactive communication.

Dealing with a huge number of remote applicants

Hiring remote employees is a great benefit for companies these days as it allows them to access a greater pool of talent. Since the need to commute to a single office location is no longer on the table, companies are no longer restricted to hiring only people who live close to the office. This is a great benefit for companies and employees who prefer the comfort of their own home or other remote locations.

Yet, while access to a bigger talent pool is undoubtedly a major positive thing, it also comes with some logistical challenges for the hiring managers, including a considerable number of applications that need to be reviewed before landing the ideal candidate.

Today, there are a lot more people who want to work remotely. For example, a recent survey from Novo Executive Search found that 72% of executives who took part in the survey consider changing roles to a different executive position if it offered more flexibility in terms of working remotely or hybrid. That being said, know that remote jobs can gather hundreds of applicants, all requiring the hiring manager's attention, meaning YOUR attention.

So, how do you overcome this challenge of such a huge workload? One strategy is to create a streamlined hiring process that focuses on filtering out candidates who aren't suited for the role early on. Another idea is to create thoughtful job listings that are very clear about your most important requirements to discourage unqualified candidates from applying.

Tech failures

While super-advanced, technology can still fail us sometimes. Just think of how many times you couldn't hear or see a candidate or how many times that document you've sent just didn't get to its recipient inbox. So, yes, technology can sometimes simply not work. The challenge here is to make sure that you don't allow these unavoidable mishaps to cloud your judgment of the candidate.

Think about it: you're interviewing a candidate, and the mic keeps picking sounds from other places, making it hard for your candidate to hear your questions clearly. Or, this can happen the other way around. This sometimes can lead to questions being misunderstood and, obviously, answered incorrectly. If you're not being aware of the potential technical issues that may have occurred, this can skew the interview process.

The best way to overcome this challenge is to make sure that the candidate understands you well and that you clearly understand what the candidate answers to your questions. Don't be afraid to ask your candidate to repeat what they've said or clarify your question if you feel like the candidate is left confused.

Connecting people

No, this isn't an ad to the veteran of mobile phones Nokia, it's something that has been missing for a while since the pandemic started and people were sent to work from their homes: genuine connections between people.

As a hiring manager, your job doesn't stop when your final candidate agrees on your offer and signs the contract. You also need to help the new employee join the team and connect with the people they will be working with.

If you're a remote worker yourself, you know that working from home can sometimes feel isolating and demoralizing. So, make sure to add a few aspects related to connecting a new employee with the current team during the onboarding process. Even a Zoom meeting where everybody is invited can mean a lot for the ideal candidate you have chosen to join your team as they can learn more about the company's culture and the other faces behind the screens.

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