Remote hiring has gained ground over the past decade as technological improvements make collaborating easier across distances. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shelter-in-place measures made it even more apparent that many jobs can be done remotely.
Today, 68% of workers report preferring the remote option. Companies are responding accordingly, with many big names in business switching to hybrid or fully remote models: Spotify, Lyft, and 3M are just a few brands that have made the jump.
Going remote can benefit your company in many ways, giving you a wider talent pool thanks to the lack of geographic limitations.
That said, remote hiring processes must take into account unique considerations. If you're wondering how to hire remote workers, address these 11 points.
What to keep in mind when hiring remotely
1. Confirm the role you're hiring for can be done remotely
Location may be a factor if you have in-house jobs advertised that you're having trouble filling. As mentioned, many workers now prefer remote. On top of that, specifying a geographic location automatically narrows your candidate pool.
However, before opening up a role to remote workers, ensure the position in question can be done remotely. Ask yourself:
- Can the relevant tasks be performed off-site?
- Is it possible to carry out coworker or client meetings virtually?
- Can the software, technology, and other tools needed to do the job be accessed off-site?
You might also want to see what your competitors are doing. If they're going remote for similar roles, they may enjoy a competitive hiring edge.
2. Ensure your perks and benefits are appropriate for remote workers
Securing exceptional talent requires more than a decent salary these days. You also want to consider whether your benefits are sufficient and meet remote workers' needs. Popular benefits for remote recruitment include:
- Medical benefits
- Flexible work
- Four-day weeks
- Retirement planning
Ensure that perks only enjoyed on-site are adapted for remote use. For example, if you operate a hybrid workplace and you offer catered lunches at the office on Fridays, remote workers can enjoy a voucher for food delivery instead.
3. Make the remote work expectations clear in the job ad
Employers recognizing the demand for remote work increasingly advertise jobs as "remote" to attract job seekers' attention—even if the job isn't fully remote.
For example, there may still be some expectation for partial attendance in the office. Alternatively, the job may be geographically limited to certain countries, states, or time zones. Misleading job ads can be confusing and frustrating for job seekers, leaving them to wonder: Does remote really mean they can work from anywhere?
Clarify what "remote" means to your company in the ad, considering whether the role is 100% remote or hybrid. A fully remote role should enable employees to work from anywhere without visiting the office regularly.
4. Remote interviews require a different approach
Interviewing when hiring remotely is different from an in-person process. First, there's the technical side. Test run your interview tools, like video conferencing tech. The candidate is assessing you, too, so you want to offer a seamless remote experience from the start. Tech glitches won't look good.
If more than one person is interviewing, have everyone login from their own device, even if they're in the same location. The best remote experience has everyone sharing in it the same way, equally. When two or more people log in from the same device, it can make the individual on the other side of the screen feel more isolated.
You'll also have to adapt to what you're looking for in the interview process. The ability to maintain productivity remotely is a skill that you have to assess when hiring for a remote role. Relevant skills range from time management to collaboration.
Oyster Academy's Distributed Bootcamp can help new employees learn these skills. There's also a Distributed Bootcamp Coach designed for team leaders.
5. Don't limit your talent pool to a single location
You might be tempted to start small if you're beginning to hire remotely. Many companies dip their toes into the water by hiring "remote," but only within a designated city, state, or region. Others may place limitations according to time zones or counties.
When you create these parameters, you're not getting the full benefits of remote recruitment. If you broaden your parameters, you can access a global talent pool. That means you can truly find and hire the best of the best, regardless of location.
6. Establish a remote onboarding process
Remote hiring is just half the battle. Once you've established your dream team of remote employees, you want to integrate them into your organization. A remote onboarding program will differ considerably from an in-house onboarding program.
Keep these points in mind:
- Administrative needs: Prepare secure digital versions of contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and any other paperwork so electronic signatures can be used. Also, prepare digital copies of essentials like employee handbooks.
- Technology tutorials: Remote teams may use tech like chat apps, project management software, and video conferencing tools. Prepare remote tutorials for using these tools. For example, Loom lets you create videos of your computer screen, perfect for showing how to use a specific program.
- Social aspects: Your new hires can't bond over workplace lunches or water cooler chats. Create other avenues for team members to bond. You might host virtual happy hours, start a remote book club, or designate a Slack channel for non-work-related topics.
Check out how Oyster makes the remote onboarding process easy for new hires based anywhere in the world.
7. Create learning and development opportunities for remote teams
Remote workers may face a lack of learning and development opportunities. This can translate to a lack of advancement opportunities later, leading to frustration. Tackle this before it becomes a problem.
Look at your existing learning and development opportunities and see if they can be done remotely. For example, can in-person seminars be completed online instead? You can also entice remote workers with a fixed budget for personal education purposes, which they can use for remote learning.
If you’re concerned that remote workers won’t have the necessary skills to collaborate and communicate remotely, consider encouraging them to take a course to improve their remote working skills.
8. Check your technical setup—and theirs
Before you start the remote hiring process, make sure you have the bandwidth—literally. Talk to your IT team to ensure your internet can handle the increased stress of more video calls, for example.
You also want to make sure that software programs you use in-house can be implemented externally. Is your technical setup enough to take on remote employees and make them feel welcome? Check with your IT team and consider bringing in more software to help.
At the same time, make sure your remote workers get the equipment they need to do the job. Many remote employers provide budgets for tools like laptops and monitors. It's also become standard to give remote workers a budget to furnish their home office with comforts like an ergonomic chair and standing desk.
9. Address security issues
When talking to your IT team about technical setups, take the time to address security concerns too. For example, employee home networks should be appropriately set up with firewalls and similar security controls.
It's also essential to teach remote workers best practices regarding security. Educate them on common threats like phishing and other email scams and how to secure their home wireless networks with strong passwords and VPN connections.
10. Consider hiring a head of remote
As your remote team grows, keeping track of all the above points can be tricky. From ensuring your remote teams are taken care of in terms of benefits to making sure they're following off-site security protocols, there's a lot to remember.
If you plan to hire many remote workers, you might want to designate a head of remote. This can be someone within your human resources department who focuses on remote teams' needs, ensuring they stay caught up.
They can also help remote workers integrate seamlessly with hybrid or on-site teams, creating a more equitable and enjoyable work environment. Learn more about what a head of remote does.
11. Ensure compliance with local labor laws
Every country has labor laws governing minimum salaries, vacation days, and benefits. You don't want to break any of these laws.
Some countries even have legislation about what you're required to post in job ads: In Austria, for example, it's mandatory to post the minimum salary offering according to the relevant "collective bargaining agreement" for that role.
As you can see, compliance with employment law starts even before you hire someone. It can get complicated, especially if implementing a remote hiring process in multiple countries. For help with compliance in remote hiring, among many other things, you can trust Oyster.
Oyster makes it easy to hire remote talent in more than 180 countries. The global employment platform enables HR leaders to find, pay, and manage a distributed workforce while complying with local laws.
Wondering how to hire remote workers? Discover how Oyster can help.
Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.
Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.