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How Hotjar, NextMatter, and RemoteMore Build Their Engineering Teams
We already covered the topic of switching to remote hiring in our previous publications, like in this 4-step guide. But what we got in return were many more detailed questions on how to get the remote setup work in a specific case. To answer these, we invited our Talent Partners — Pragnya, Gabrielle, Daniel, and Martin — onto a virtual stage to further discuss the topic of transitioning to remote hiring. They also answered the audience's most pending questions. Here's a summary of our latest Talking Talent webinar.
You can also rewatch the webinar on our YouTube channel:
If your company is still optimising remote hiring processes, we are happy to help. We just launched a free Remote Hiring Audit to support companies in the crisis.
'Hiring by distance is not a new subject, especially for startup companies.'
All of the above is important for building a long-term relationship with the candidate.
'The current situation is a great chance to put in place a more professional, well-documented process that will work long term.'
The differences can cause biases. We should be aware of this.
'Our unconscious mind uses instinct and not analysis.'
For long-text communication, email is still a great solution. For a more direct one, Slack. For things that are harder to communicate via text, video or a phone call. It's important to mix these things and be flexible.
Action everything as fast as possible. Send calendar invitations and use tools such as Trello to have transparency in the interview process.
Ease into the interview with a non-work-related conversation. Note down all the questions they might have. Explain the agenda of the call beforehand so that the candidate has as much information on the process as possible. Over-communicate and check with the candidate that they got everything you said.
What makes a difference is to put the whole hiring team into the process. Explain all of the steps. There are a lot of chit-chats during the onsite interviews that won't happen. Also, make sure that everyone in the process knows what the next step is in the process.
Cultural fit is a wide subject on its own. Culture is passing through the people, not your office. Sometimes it's easier to understand the company's culture when working remotely. Have the candidates meet as many stakeholders as possible to achieve that.
Have as much information about your company as possible on your website. A company called Hotjar does this: they talk about their C-levels and provide information about their culture. Be as open before you even have an interview with someone. You should be getting a lot of people interested in the company more than just the role itself. Ask your current employees why they chose to work for you.
'Culture is passing through the people, not your office.'
Engineering is ahead in remote hiring because they have been working on remote for the past 20 years and they have processes that have prepared them for the current situation. In Africa, there are a lot of people working remotely for companies in the US etc. It's unique to engineering because that's how they work so that it happens naturally. In other roles, there was a perception that you need to do everything in person. People are currently discovering how much can be achieved remotely. A lot of traditional companies are rethinking what can be done online and what has to be done in person.
As much as they can. During the peer interviews, you ask a lot of questions that are not role-focused per se. You want a more holistic overview of the role. People who are doing the interviews shouldn't only ask generic questions. Peer interviews are an opportunity to answer key questions. In between stages, we assess the scorecard to see if we answered all the questions and what the progress of the interview process is.
They can be really useful for the cultural fit. You can ask them how they liked the team and the office — it's great for the candidate. But if the interview is for the company, you can easily get a wrong picture of the person.
'You need to understand that the candidate needs to know as much about the company as possible.'
'Try to make the process between the hiring managers and the candidates as smooth as possible. Give them a lot of feedback.'
Martin Janse van Rensburg:
We are facing an infrastructural problem. Think about the problem from scratch without trying to mimic the traditional processes. Rethink them entirely instead. Put in effort and investment to get these things to work.'
We have more great webinars ahead of us. Check our company page on Livestorm to sign up for the upcoming events.
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