7 remote recruiting tips to help you reach the right talent

Hiring & Onboarding

We give you a list of the only seven remote recruiting tips you’ll need to hire talent for the long-term and keep retention rates high.

Alexandra Cote
April 1, 2021

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

Remote recruiting isn’t essentially different from traditional hiring recruitment methods, but it does have its own particularities and challenges. When learning how to recruit remotely, you’ll want to pay attention to:

  • Where you find your candidates
  • If there’s any classic recruitment method you need to adapt to a remote setting
  • What factors [tools, relationships, processes, etc.] you should prioritize
  • What methods you can use to choose talent that will stick with your organization for 3+ years

Next is a list of the only seven remote recruiting tips you’ll need to hire talent for the long-term and keep retention rates high. We’ve also reached out to HR experts to see how they’re implementing these tips within their organization.

Reconsider your interviewing and evaluation process

Here’s some food for thought:

How are you shortlisting your candidate pool? What methods are you using to assess their skills now that you can’t meet face-to-face? How are you accommodating interviewing schedules with a global workforce outlook? 

“Remote hiring doesn’t mean you have to decentralize your process. Engineering leaders should work with recruiters to set clear guidelines around what competencies they’re looking for in candidates. This helps create a global hiring bar that ensures consistent candidate evaluation (and ultimately employee performance) across markets.

The best way to standardize your candidate process is by creating a structured, competency-based scoring rubric that every interviewer fills out. Scoring rubrics help interviewers identify what is most important for the role, and they require clear observations based on performance. This forces interviewers to justify their recommendations, reducing the opportunity for an interviewer to unintentionally insert their own bias into the process.

For example, if ‘technical communication’ is a relevant competency for your job, list it on the rubric with a predefined scale. This will help compare candidates from different markets and backgrounds on a level playing field based on what is important.” - Shannon Hogue, Global Head of Solutions Engineering @Karat

Use an Employer of Record to ensure global compliance with all labor laws

Expanding your team globally can be a burden due to extra expenses and loads of labor laws you need to follow. The paperwork needed reduces employers’ motivation so they end up sticking with available local talent, even if this calls for hidden costs. 

Enter the employer of record: a third-party entity that takes over your formal employment duties. This way, you won’t have to launch a new branch overseas or rack your brains for the best ways of staying compliant. An employer of record like Panther automates your law compliance and payroll so you can tap into worldwide top talent — at a fraction of the cost.

Create a connection with all candidates

Phone calls and custom follow-ups to keep candidates updated all contribute to nurturing the recruiter-candidate relationship. 

The point here is to maintain full transparency. If you’re hoping to get more applicants, tell the candidates who are waiting for a response that you’re planning on extending the process. This gives them enough insight into your own process and they’ll know exactly what to expect as the next steps.

Another point to consider here is how you can build a memorable experience from the start:

“A candidate's gut feeling about your company dates right back to their very first interaction with you. It's not just what happens when they meet with you for an interview – it's literally the very first moment they start to consider working at your job.

That means a stellar job description. An awesome careers page. An easy, clickable application process. A speedy turnaround time and a message thanking the applicant for their time in applying. There are so many touchpoints that are crucial to the overall candidate experience, and ultimately, the employee experience. A positive application experience can actually translate to a longer tenure with your company – reducing costs related to employee turnover.

Technology is a major asset here. Our own research finds that one-third of HR people struggle with remote hiring – which means candidates struggle with it too. As a recruiter, you're responsible for making a great candidate experience regardless of the situation.

Also, make sure you keep the lines of communication open in both directions. You're not only evaluating candidates – they’re also evaluating you. You're interviewing them and they're interviewing you, to see if you're both good fits for each other. Remember, you're both interested in a successful, long-lasting relationship in the end!” - Melissa Escobar-Franco, Global Head of People @Workable

Don’t stick to the classic job boards alone

Your typical Glassdoor, Indeed, or LinkedIn job board ad can get costly. They also make it more difficult for candidates to find remote roles suited for their exact situation.

Here’s a list of other remote job ad websites that let you clarify what your expected availability is and which regions/time zones you’re accepting:

But 70% of new hires aren’t actively looking for a job. This means you’ll need to reach out to them in the places where they spend their time. These can be Slack communities, Reddit threads, LinkedIn groups, or your own social media channels and newsletter — if you want to target talent that’s already accustomed to your product.

“Job boards still serve a purpose today for job seekers. However, the more experienced talent with the key skills needed to fill critical roles requires us to go search elsewhere. We leverage LinkedIn groups, MeetUp communities, and industry user groups on social media platforms like Facebook to source talent.  

Connecting with them is the first step. Convincing them to join you is where the real work begins. Talented candidates are much more selective on who they respond to or where they choose to work. This is because there are abundant resources online outlining companies and their internal culture they can make use of. If you don’t have your house in order, you will lose out on great candidates.

The sourcing option that generates the best results to this day is still employee referrals.  Employees feel a sense of pride and ownership. They often recommend top talent they previously worked with or know to help us grow our business.” - Carlos De Leon, Talent Acquisition Lead @Onit

Time to stick to that employer branding plan you’ve always needed!

Only 58% of recruiters are using social media for their employer branding efforts. This leaves you with plenty more room to get your work culture in front of potential candidates compared to cluttered job boards.

But employer branding isn’t just what you post on your social channels. Your Careers page, referral programs, and even blog posts or videos of your team all contribute to defining what your culture is all about.

“A powerful employer brand helps you attract top talent in the competitive global labor market. Leverage strategic and intentional employer branding to showcase your remote culture. Gain the attention of top talent by highlighting how your company is thriving in the remote-first landscape.

Turn your employees into brand ambassadors for your company too. Encourage current team members to share their experiences working remotely on social media and even via dedicated blog posts.

Don’t forget to take time to review your current marketing materials to ensure they reflect COVID and post-COVID differences. In the meantime, update your language to speak to how you’re supporting employees during these trying times. Be open and transparent when it comes to potential changes you’ll make in the future like switching to a fully-remote or hybrid office.” - Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES, Founder and Career Coach

Make sure that your information and job requirements are aligned with your team

The worst part of starting a new job is finding out you’ll have slightly different tasks than what you were promised. Well, that and finding yourself in a work environment that’s not exactly welcoming. So before you even write down the job requirements, get all the nitty-gritty facts from the people who will be working with the new hire.

“If you want to attract candidates who will excel at their role, do a good job writing the job description. Don’t just use a template job description you found on the first page of Google.

If your job description is the same as everything else they can find online, you'll attract the type of person that applies to every role mindlessly. Speaking from experience, you don't want to attract those candidates because that means:

  • More work
  • More testing
  • More interviews
  • More time wasted
  • Fewer quality candidates at the end of the line

Spend some time crafting a unique, fun, engaging job description that includes:

  • Information about your company
  • Who your clients are
  • The benefits you offer
  • Specific expectations and requirements
  • An inclusivity statement

We grew our team from 0 to 25 people in 12 months. One of the ways we managed to attract qualified talent is by approaching every role with a fresh set of eyes and a new job ad.” - Annie Jordan, People Ops Manager, ContentDistribution.com

Make video your priority

I remember I once had a first interview via a Slack conversation. The written kind that is. 

This practice makes it impossible for both the hiring manager and the candidate to attribute a face to the person on the other hand. This is why it’s all the more important to have your very first intro call via video.

“Video interviews can be nerve-wracking for candidates, especially since they're a completely new experience for most people. Your aim should be making those you speak to feel as comfortable as possible, giving them the chance to shine, and creating a process that allows you to find the perfect fit for your organization.

That starts long before the interview itself. Send an email way in advance with all the necessary information, ideally including a link to the meeting itself. You want candidates to have one document to work from rather than desperately searching through their inbox for a link. If you can’t provide that now, then at least make sure you notify them of the format you’ll be using, so that the candidate can be as prepared as possible.

Once you’re on the call, be understanding when candidate interruptions occur. These are unusual times and it's already a stressful experience. Pausing the interview to briefly talk to a child that has walked in front of mom or dad's laptop won't do any damage. This can actually sell you as an empathetic and understanding employer.

Finally, it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge the situation being unusual. One positive I’ve found from video interviews is that people are literally inviting you into their homes, which can often provide a much easier ice-breaker to get the conversation started. Rather than being a stilted discussion, the potential is there to make a much more personal connection with the person you’re speaking to.” - James Lloyd Townshend, CEO @Nigel Frank International

Chris Farmer, Founder and Leadership Expert @Corporate Coach Group, also emphasizes the importance of video when it comes to engaging candidates:

“Whenever business communications exclude people's voice tones and body language, they lose information about people’s emotional states, which is very often essential knowledge. Having your video on demonstrates that you’re actively engaged in conversations and can help you to develop connections with people far more easily than you could without seeing them.

The need for videos to be turned on is especially important when recruiting remotely. Having taken the time to prepare for an interview, candidates should be made to feel as though their potential employer has taken all measures to get to know them and assess their suitability for a role. 

For employers, seeing the candidate lets you assess their physical and emotional reactions to certain questions or challenges. Without drawing on these ‘personality clues’, it’s extremely difficult to make an informed judgement on how effectively they would carry out the job.”

Have your own remote recruiting tips to share? Tweet us at @pantherhr with your best recruiting strategies or fun experiences!

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