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How to Screen Remote Workers

Rangam Aug 7, 2023 5:56:18 AM
In the context of a blog on screening remote workers, an image features a woman working remotely

While remote work has been around for many years, it has assumed an entirely new meaning over the past 1.5 years. Recent global events, particularly the Coronavirus pandemic, have led to the rise of remote work. An increasing number of organizations that were probably not prepared to make the transition are now embracing it.

This trend has opened up a new horizon in recruitment. Hiring is no longer limited to any geographical location. Talent is being recruited from all over the world, regardless of where the brick-and-mortar office is actually located. It has also caused some challenges with screening candidates who can’t be interviewed in person.

Here are six ways to screen remote workers before hiring them.

  1. Have a value-added application process

The conventional resume-based hiring process is passé in many companies. Organizations are increasingly adopting a value-added application process that provides information about the company to the candidate while simultaneously educating the interview team about the person they want to hire. For instance, when seeking talent for a business developer position, an employer can add questions about the partner duties involved in the job role. Answers to these questions will help interviewers understand how a candidate will approach key responsibilities.

  1. Use hiring tools

Communication is often asynchronous in remote hiring. It’s important to create a common spot where everyone is on the same page regarding the status of the recruitment process. Hiring managers, using cloud-based screening software, can easily see which candidates are moving along the hiring process. Insights from the software can be used to zero in on opportunities, and if required, tweak the process. The software can also track what has happened or will happen to the talent pipeline. This frees up valuable time for the HR team to focus on hiring strategies.

  1. Video interviews

After reviewing job applications, hiring managers can call the selected candidates for a video interview. A rubric could be used for evaluating those candidates. They may be evaluated on a scale of 1-5 on parameters like attention to detail, persistence, knowledge, empathy, and ‘culture fit’. In the video interview, hiring managers may ask questions to determine whether the candidate would be successful in a remote working environment. Since effective communication is a key factor in remote work, the HR team must pay special attention to how the candidate communicates. There could be signs that a person may or may not be a great fit. Potential red flags include delayed response to emails, forgetting scheduled interviews, and inflexibility to attend calls in case of different time zones.

  1. Give a test project

Having selected the right candidates, hiring managers need to put them to test. They may devise a moderately difficult task which is indicative of the daily activities that the candidates will have to perform. For engineers, it could be adding a new service. For online marketing, it could be writing a new blog post in collaboration with a team member. The test project step can be skipped, however, if it isn’t necessary. But it’s often a good way to get a feel of working together in a remote working environment since it requires the candidate to interact with other members of the team.

  1. Check references and making an offer

Before making a formal offer to the selected candidate, do a reference check. This will help in getting an honest feedback on the candidate.

  1. Meeting the whole team

Once the candidate is hired, they can be introduced to the whole team via a video conference. Existing team members can introduce themselves to the new team member and get to know each other better.

The future of work is flexible and remote work is here to stay. This means that the number of work-from-home (WFH) positions will grow in the coming years. While WFH has an undeniable flexibility, at the same time, it’s critical for the organization to hire people who perfectly fit the remote working scenario. And towards that end, having an effective screening system is extremely important.

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