Accomplished coaches like Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney don’t restrict themselves to finding players within a 50-mile radius. They’d miss out on too many 5-star recruits. Let people work remotely. Untether yourself from location and access a wider talent pool.
3 Hiring Strategies for Businesses Looking to Recruit Remote Talent
I’ll admit, casting a wide net to find candidates can have its drawbacks. Unlike a well-paid college coach, you’re not taking private jets and meeting potential hires in their living rooms. And that’s okay. You don’t need access to a Gulfstream. Here’s how to find the right person –- anywhere they live.
1. Set clear expectations for the role
This guideline applies for any hire you make. To increase the opportunity for success, you need to know what you’re looking for before hiring. The best way to clarify what you want is to create the ideal candidate profile.
What are ideal candidate profiles?
Job descriptions are great but creating the ideal profile will improve your chance for success to get it right the first time. It covers basics including:
- Ideal requirements
- Training and onboarding plan
Then the ideal candidate profile will take your job description to the next level by adding some of these components:
- Company culture and values
- Story in the market
- Sourcing Strategies
At the end of the process, you will have an invaluable template to use for positions you need to fill immediately, as well as for future vacancies.
2. Find out what motivates them
Success is 80% mindset. A candidate who knows how to overcome obstacles pushes the entire company forward. Use the interview to get a feel for how your candidate will work in individual and group settings.
Consider using these questions:
- What keeps you motivated while working remotely?
- How do you interact with other members of your team virtually?
- What experiences do you have working from home?
- How do you keep yourself on track to meet deadlines and quotas?
Here’s a sample question you could ask a potential sales hire: When offices closed in 2020, how did you adjust your prospecting strategies since you couldn’t stop by and visit prospects, or follow-up in person?
See why executives trust ProActivate to find sales professionals.
3. Use video calls to qualify candidates
Don’t try to take your in-person hiring plan and plug it into a virtual interview. That’d be like a football coach running the same play on fourth down that they use for first. It’s a high-risk, low-success move. Instead, create a specific game plan that prepares you for virtual interviews.
Your remote interview playbook:
- Practice: Test your technology, including the video platform you’ll use to conduct the interview.
- Communicate: Let your candidate know it will be a video call and how to join. You learn more about a candidate in face-to-face interactions, even when they’re virtual. That’s why at ProActivate, we offer video interview tools to our clients. If you’re using a panel approach, share who is attending.
- Request: Make it clear to your candidate what they should bring to the interview, like digital copies of their resume or work samples.
- Arrive early: Show up a few minutes before the scheduled start so you’re there first and have a chance to make any last-minute adjustments.
- Act natural: Don’t let the virtual set-up change how you behave. Be as kind, warm and personable as you would in a face-to-face interview.
- Wrap it up: Let them know the next steps, including when and how you’ll be in touch.
Don’t forget to watch their body language!
This is a no-brainer when you conduct an in-person interview, but we all tend to watch ourselves on video calls. Make sure you’re looking at how the candidate reacts to questions and their expressions when they answer. Body language is another way you can evaluate their mindset and interest in the role.
Make Remote Recruiting Easy –- How to Be an Employer People Want to Work For
Of course, plenty of college coaches have unrestricted access to talent too, and don’t regularly win championships or get all-stars to join the team. Saban and Swinney have an intangible factor going for them. They represent institutions that attract highly talented individuals. If you want to hire the best, you need to have a culture in place that makes people want to work for you.
Digitally strengthen team bonds
An epidemic of loneliness was a problem before Covid-19. Lockdowns and physical distancing exacerbated it. Feeling alone isn’t only a mental health issue. According to one study, the risk of early mortality increases when people have weak social links.
Re-create the sense of togetherness with digital activities like:
- Zoom happy hours
- Virtual Ask-Me-Anything sessions with the leadership team
- Regular team meetings
- Company “breakfasts” where you give everyone a gift card so they can order their own meal and share it on a call, etc.
- Dedicated chat channels for “water-cooler” conversation
Set boundaries for working hours and conditions, but don’t micromanage. Trust your remote workers and offer a degree of flexibility. Let people start their workday early and then take a break to drop the kids off at school, or head to the dentist. Have an employee handbook that explains what is and isn’t allowed so everyone understands the boundaries.
Work with a talent acquisition company
Your reputation will spread by word of mouth, but it will probably be local. A talent acquisition company like ProActivate connects you with people who may not be aware you exist. We find candidates who aren’t actively seeking a job for our clients. They’re succeeding in their field, not applying for other roles, but open to new opportunities. Like an opening at your company.