4 Tips to Hire the Best Remote Employees

This post was written by Adam Masur, Credly's VP of Marketing. 

As a manager, the most important thing you do is hire the right people. The right people will amaze and inspire you. They’ll challenge and bring out the best in each other, and in you. They’ll contribute expertise, strategies, tactics and solutions that would have never occurred to you. And, they’ll make being their manager feel like a privilege you hope to someday feel like you actually deserve.

How do you find and hire those kinds of people? And, how do you find and hire them when you have to do it completely remotely? Today, we’re not only working remotely, and managing remotely, we’re doing the whole hiring and onboarding processes remotely, too. Here are some ideas as you think about your remote hiring processes.

Engage your team early in the process

Adding a person to the team always creates change and the key to managing change is communication. There’s no way you’ve thought of everything, and there will be questions about what the new person will do and how that might impact the jobs of everyone else. Of course this happens with in-person hiring processes, too, but eliminating ambiguity and resolving conflict are much harder when everyone is working remote. You won’t know all the answers, but encourage your team to ask the tough questions. The time you spend with the team up front will pay off when your interviewing and your onboarding processes go smoothly.

Interview for remote working skills and experiences

To hit the ground running, your new hire needs to have the skills and experiences that will make them successful in your remote environment. Is your team highly collaborative or more independent? Do you communicate via chat or are presentations the norm? Who are the key contacts outside the team and what skills (or tools) are needed to keep the communications flowing? You need a clear picture of what the candidate knows, what they’ve actually done, and what they need to learn once they’ve joined the team. Look for digital credentials that are verified proof of those skills, and use behavioral interviewing to make sure they have skills you need to enhance your organization.

Video. Video? Video!

Make it clear that you’ll be using video for your interviews and set your candidate up for success. Being a candidate is stressful enough, so give them the link and platform information well in advance. I once had a candidate show up unexpectedly in a meeting the day before their scheduled interview. They hadn’t used the platform before, so they wanted to make sure everything would go smoothly the next day. That’s a check in the plus column in my book. There was also the person who joined while walking across the front lawn to sit in the car with their phone propped up on the dash. They hadn’t arranged a quiet place to have the conversation. That’s a check in the minus column.

Panel interviews

I’m generally not a fan of in-person peer-panel interviews, but they can be very effective when the candidate and the job are remote. It’s critical to have a structured approach to interviewing, so you’re able to compare candidates, so we decide in advance which panelist will ask which questions and everyone is encouraged to follow-up.

A few days before, give the candidate a list of the interviewers, and tell them that they will have 5 minutes at the start to introduce themselves and to tell the group about what makes the opportunity and the company attractive to them. Then on to your questions, and make sure there is time for their questions.

Your interview process is a great opportunity for you to really think about what’s important to succeed in the job and in your company/team culture. How prepared you and your team are for interviews tells candidates a lot about what it’s like to work with you.  Remote interviews give you a great opportunity to make sure the candidate has what it takes to work remotely.

By Credly