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2022 is here. For a lot of companies, it may feel like a fresh, exciting start. But, don’t ignore the immense effect 2021 has had on hiring practices, potential employee expectations, and the need for versatility during the hiring process. One of the most significant changes that the recent past has brought is hiring remotely.
Many companies quickly adjusted to remote hiring back in 2020 and then never filled in the gaps left by a new, hastily built process. When done right, remote hiring can be a highly powerful and advantageous tool. Despite this, many companies are still playing catch-up; using ineffective hiring practices that leave the employer and candidate on an uneven platform.
So, how does one create an effective remote hiring process for 2022 and beyond?
If you’re going to have an effective remote hiring plan for 2022, it may be time to reassess your hiring process.
First of all, you need to revisit every step of your current hiring process. Where were steps added quickly to fill the gaps? Over-analyse and make sure that every candidate touchpoint is practical and necessary. Is there a better way to use remote recruitment to your advantage?
Take the time to create some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help you and your team understand how to improve or measure your hiring experience. For example, you could look at:
You can also create feedback forms for candidates to fill out after an experience (or look at your Glassdoor reviews) to find out more about how your hiring process could be improved.
Screening calls and initial interviews have been remote-based for years now, but it is the final-stage process that will need the real focus. The final interviews are usually the point where you and the candidate can get a real understanding of one another’s ideas, motivations, and priorities. This can be much more difficult in a remote setting.
Communication and consistency are vital to your hiring process, especially in the later stages. Without a solid, expected experience, many candidates will either feel uninterested or that your company is not worth the time.
Before opening the position, make sure to have a kick-off meeting. All relevant stakeholders should be present, ensuring that everyone has a fair input into the future role. Then, create a list of expectations to follow throughout the process. Need help with your list? Just use our meeting template:
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD OUR KICK-OFF MEETING TEMPLATE HERE
Along with creating a solid kick-off process, ensure that you continue that emphasis on communication throughout the hiring experience. For example, it is good practice to set up weekly sync meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page and has time to share ideas and feedback.
Not only does this help with alignment, but it also helps your team understand how the process could be improved. Secondly, it also allows you as a team to focus on your priorities and how to create a positive hiring experience for your candidates.
If you’re hiring remotely, the most important thing to maintain is communication. Everyone involved in the process must be aware of what is needed and how to achieve the best remote hiring experience. Place all the details front and centre to ensure your candidates know exactly what to expect.
Along with being clear on the remote hiring process, ensure that you explain your company’s communication style, rituals, and other opportunities. The more the candidate knows about how your team operates, the more they will be able to visualise themselves within the company. Explain how your team interacts:
By giving your candidates a better understanding of your company, it can help make them feel more comfortable in the hiring experience. This way, they will feel more open in sharing their own experiences, talent, and motivators.
It can be very difficult for a candidate to understand the environment and feel of your company in a remote setting. In a conventional interview, they can come into the office and get a real feel for the energy of your company. This can be very hard to get across in a remote setting.
In your remote interview, take the time to explain the core tenets of your company. Need help telling your story? Just read our guide here.
These are the things that will improve your chances of aligning with the right candidate and building a solid team with shared beliefs and values.
Not only is it vital that all your stakeholders are on the same page, but it’s also even more important to have a clear communication structure to ensure this continues in the long run. Use methods such as scorecards, spreadsheets, and open calendars to ensure that every relevant stakeholder can see the information and process of the hiring plan from start to finish.
To add an extra touch of efficiency, you can go as far as automating your ATS (Applicant Tracking System). This way, when the candidate replies, their message will show up in your Slack group. Use process automation to ensure that every team member understands their responsibilities in the remote hiring process.
Remote working and hiring can often feel distant or distracted. Take the time to add personal touches to help your candidates feel more comfortable and involved. This can span from sending them a quick message on LinkedIn to offering a coffee chat with one of your team members. This again will help candidates learn more about your company values, goals, and mission.
On a more foundational level, create a clear schedule for the candidate to ensure that they fully understand the process and how long it will take. If candidates feel as if they are being left in the dark, they will feel disinterested in your offer. Take the time to create a template message which you can send to each candidate, informing them of the entire process.
Make sure every team member feels comfortable with interviewing remotely. With this, it’s not just about them feeling comfortable in front of a webcam; it’s also about them understanding the uniform approach of the company on how to interview.
Create a database of set questions, approaches, tips, and methods to ensure that everyone involved in the interview is on the same page.
Also, ensure that the expectations of all those involved are the same. Take the time to host hiring workshops, letting your team learn more about the interview process and make the most of remote interviewing.
Interviewing candidates remotely and making a decision without meeting them could be a challenge for your hiring managers. Understanding why they want to move forward or reject a candidate becomes very important here.
A lot of times, people tend to make decisions based on a gut feeling and this is not the best-case scenario. To help you identify the difference between gut feeling and unconscious bias, you can read our full guide on it here.
A good practice here would be to ask a lot of why and why-not questions. Another solution could be creating scorecards and facilitating a discussion among different hiring managers based on their decisions.
Adding in KPIs, as mentioned before, can also give you an objective perspective on how the interview process is working and how to really measure the success of candidates. Make sure to factor in these when making key decisions with your hiring manager.
For your 2022 remote hiring plan, cover all the bases by creating an in-depth pre-interview checklist.
Core aspects of the interview process such as body language and eye contact can be really difficult to assess in a remote interview. A great way of overcoming this social difficulty is by taking 5-10 minutes at the start of the interview for just some relaxed chatting. This way, you and the candidate will be much more at ease and acclimated to one another before the interview begins.
As said above, it can often be hard to fully assess a candidate in a remote setting. However, one of the best ways of creating a shared understanding of your company is simply by sharing.
Instead of asking questions throughout the interview, take the time to share the values and ideals of your company. Your candidates should know exactly what it will be like when they start their first day of work.
An easily overlooked tip in the remote hiring process is small talk. In a conventional interview process, there is time for the candidate to chit chat with other candidates and employees to assess the situation. With a remote process, you need to create this yourself. Factor this into interviews or, if possible, create a virtual coffee chat event to learn more about the candidate’s likes, interests, and ambitions.
Rapport is everything in hiring. If your candidate feels they can be comfortable in a remote setting, they will be much more likely to show their true, candid selves.
It may seem like a given that everyone will have had some remote working experience by now, but that is not always the case. Ask your candidates about their experience with remote working and how it affected their style of working and efficiency.
Discuss the tools you use in-house, how your team socialises, and other intrinsic aspects of remote working to see how they can fit into your team.
This can also be a helpful way for you to learn more about their productivity, how they prefer to work, and their ideas on levels of communication and supervision.
Every hiring process is a learning experience. Document every step you take and every change you make throughout the process. Learn from your mistakes and, most importantly, ask for feedback. If a candidate rejects your proposal, try to find out why. After hiring a new employee, ask them to fill out a survey to learn more about their experience.
Also, don’t forget about your hiring managers. Every few months, send out an anonymous feedback form to all your stakeholders about hiring practices, interview methods, and things that need solutions. It’s easy to become blind to a process if you are too deep in it. Take the feedback you receive and use it to your advantage.
Remote hiring in 2022 is here to stay. However, creating an improved remote hiring experience could significantly increase your chances of acquiring top-quality talent. Communication is key in these situations - ensure that everyone involved fully understands the steps of your hiring process. From the screening call to the final offer, you, your candidate, and all other stakeholders should all be aligned.
Maintaining measurable and observable KPIs can also be exceptionally helpful in improving and analyzing your hiring experience. Over time, these can help you see what works and what needs improvement, continuously improving your remote hiring process.
Along with ensuring that everyone is aligned, don’t forget the cultural aspect. Take the time to share the motivations, ideals, and values of your company with candidates, ensuring that they know how they fit into that culture. This can be done upfront with a simple explanation, or in a more relaxed setting through coffee chats or messages with current employees.
Above all, be ready to improve. 2022 is sure to bring plenty of changes and surprises in the world of recruitment. Remain critical and observant of your hiring process, improving it with every possible opportunity.
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