In the last year, the work paradigm has completely changed. In the past, remote work and remoting hiring was not too widespread. Some companies engaged in remote work, but many companies had doubts about its effectiveness.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has meant that workers worldwide have needed to work from home, many of them for the first time. Many companies have been pleasantly surprised at how people have adjusted to remote work.
The devastating drops of productivity that many of the naysayers prophesied never came to fruition. This means many companies are totally reconsidering the way they do business.
Many companies are considering working with remote teams no matter what happens with the coronavirus crisis. This article lists some remote hiring mistakes that you absolutely need to avoid if you want to succeed.
1. No Proper Interview Process
One of the biggest mistakes when hiring remote employees is not having a proper interview process. Generally, the interview process should involve getting an accurate measure of how someone is going to perform.
Most companies have standardized interview systems for hiring workers conventionally, but many companies haven’t applied these principles to their remote working hiring process.
Many companies have simply hired remote workers based on work samples without conducting any “face to face” interviews. This is a mistake because without seeing and communicating with a potential employee, you have no idea what they’ll be like to work with.
For example, you might not get a good measure of how they’ll handle high-pressure situations. You also might not get an accurate idea of how they’ll fit in with your company culture.
There are also other subtle ways that you can evaluate a potential employee during video interviews for candidates. For example, do they have a good workspace set up? How is their audio and video quality? These are things that can show you how seriously a candidate is going to take work from home.
Also, it will help you to pick out candidates who are scammers. Some people will take a remote job and then outsource the job to someone who will do it cheaply. Usually, people doing this get caught eventually, but if you do video interviews for candidates, it’s more likely that you’ll catch it early.
Usually, someone who does this kind of thing won’t be able to answer basic questions about the job and their field. Doing a proper interview through something like Zoom or Skype ensures that you won’t get caught out.
2. Hiring Remote Workers for the Cheaper Rate
Doing business is all about making money. One of the big ways that many companies try to make a profit is to reduce their costs. Many companies are attracted to hiring remote workers as it allows them to hire people at a cheaper rate.
This can work well if you hire workers from certain countries. For example, if you’re a company based in the USA, you can hire a remote worker from the Phillippines for a very cheap rate.
Many companies find these kinds of savings too alluring to resits. The trouble is that you’re sacrificing a lot by going for the cheapest possible rate. The cheapest remote workers might not have the kind of skills you can get by hiring someone locally.
In a lot of cases, hiring the cheapest possible option can end up costing you more money. For example, if you hire someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language, you might have to do extensive edits to make their work readable.
This means that you need to pay a seconds worker to fix the work of the first worker. It makes more sense to pay a little more to hire a reliable remote worker who can get the job done right the first time.
3. Not Properly Training Remote Workers
Another big mistake is when you don’t properly train your remote workers to do the job. This is often an issue with not having the right processes in place. Many companies are pivoting to dealing with remote workers for the first time, so they haven’t adapted their training programs to work with remote employees.
In some cases, companies simply try to apply their normal training principles to remote work. This is usually a mistake as the training doesn’t translate well when it’s done over the internet.
There are two possible approaches you can take when hiring remote employees and training them. You can come up with a new training system that works in an online setting. The other option is to have remote workers come into your physical location for training before they start working remotely.
Of course, if you require people to get in-person training, this limits the people you can hire. With this option, you can only work with people who can physically make it to the office.
Generally, in-person training is a lot more effective than doing it over the internet. With that said, it’s certainly possible to provide effective online training; it will just take a lot of work to get it right.
4. Lack of Clear Communication
With remote work, clear communication is essential. Unlike in a traditional office setting, remote workers are not immediately visible. This means that mistakes and miscommunications can have a lot more of an impact.
If someone is doing something wrong in the office, it’s likely that someone will notice and correct them. On the other hand, if someone is doing something incorrectly remotely, it could go unnoticed for weeks.
The only way to avoid this is to have clear channels of communication. For example, you might use a chat client such as Slack to stay in touch with your remote workers.
Not only do you need to use something like Slack, but you also need to encourage remote workers to participate. This helps to ensure that mistakes are not going unnoticed.
It’s no exaggeration to say that communication channels like slack are literally the lifeblood of your organization when you’re using remote workers.
5. Lack of Written Resources
You should always have an employee handbook that workers can look at to answer frequently asked questions. This is especially important when you’re working with remote workers.
Unlike conventional employees, remote workers might not always have someone around they can ask for help. This is especially true if you’re hiring remote workers internationally.
Let’s say you have a company based in the USA, and you’re hiring remote workers based in Asia. These remote workers will likely be active during the middle of the night in the USA. This means if the remote workers have a problem, they might not be able to get an answer from a manager for hours.
A well-written employee handbook is invaluable in this situation if a remote workers can refer to the handbook to answer any of the questions that they might have about their work.
This can result in less wasted time as they don’t need to wait around to talk to a manager.
6. Not Integrating Them With Your In-House Team
If you have an in-house team, your remote workers should work together with them rather than acting as a completely separate workforce. It’s vital that your entire team shares the same goals and objectives.
If wires get crossed, and different teams start working towards different things, it’s likely that you’ll end up with mistakes and wasted time. The question is, how do you integrate teams who are working within completely different paradigms?
It’s important that both teams can relate to each other well. This means that having personal relationships between in-house and remote team members can be extremely beneficial.
It could make sense to participate in quarterly retreats in which the whole team gets together. This can help to create professional relationships as it gives remote workers that all-important face-to-face time with the rest of the office.
You might also consider keeping the workspace open in your office so that remote workers can come in periodically to work in person. This can work well as a lot of work can easily be done at home, but some tasks can really benefit from in-person interaction.
7. Consider Sound and Video Quality
A lot of the problems associated with regular team meetings online are related to audio and video quality. Having poor quality audio can seriously detail an online meeting.
Poor quality audio might be caused by a poor internet connection. When the connection is slow, audio and video quality is automatically reduced to reduce the strain on the network. In some cases, this can result in almost incomprehensible audio.
Poor audio quality can also result from using poor-quality microphones. Generally, built-in laptop microphones don’t provide the necessary audio quality for online meetings.
If you want online meetings to go smoothly, you really should require your remote workers to have a good quality microphone.
If you can afford it, you might consider giving a high-quality webcam and microphone to your workers as part of the onboarding process. This can also help deal with any technical issues as you’ll know exactly what equipment your workers are using.
8. Make Use of Technology
When hiring people for a remote position, you should make the most out of technology as best you can. For example, you can use software to conduct the interview process for you. Check out sites such as https://workbright.com/verify-i9-remote/. Sites like this can make the recruiting process so much easier.
Using these kinds of sites, a lot of the process is automated. This means that you can consider candidates from all over the world without using up valuable time conducting interviews and reviewing documents.
9. Consider How They’ll Fit the Culture
When hiring workers, you shouldn’t just look for people with the right skills. You also need to look for people who will fit into the office culture. For some companies, this is a natural part of the process that they don’t really need to think about actively.
Unfortunately, figuring out if someone is a good fit can be a bit more challenging when conducting video interviews for candidates. You might need to take more of an active approach in figuring out if someone fits the culture or not.
One of the disadvantages of online interviews is that it makes things like telling jokes a lot more difficult. You’ll need to make more of an effort to figure out someone’s personality than you would in an in-person interview.
10. Consider Their Setup
Before hiring anyone to work remotely, you need to figure out what they’ll need to get the job done. For example, some jobs might be quite difficult if you don’t have two screens to work on.
Other applications might require that you have a powerful computer to run it properly. The last thing you want is to hire someone only to find out that they don’t have a computer capable of doing the job.
You should make evaluating whether or not a candidate has the necessary equipment an integral part of the hiring process.
Remote Work Can Work Well if You Avoid These Remote Hiring Mistakes
As you can see, there are many remote hiring mistakes that you’ll need to avoid if you want remote work to be productive and profitable. With that said, the paradigm surrounding remote work is really changing for the better. There’s never been a better time to hire remote workers to work at your company.
You just need to adapt your hiring process to suit remote work. Trying to do things too conventionally might lead to suboptimal results. If you want to learn more about other work-related topics, check out the rest of our blog posts.