Around a year ago, at the peak of the covid crisis, companies and media houses boldly declared that the future of work is Remote. Fast forward to today, and we can see the change taking place within every company and industry, both at the top of the hierarchy and down at the very grassroots level as well.
The world is increasingly shifting towards a remote working approach and everyone involved, both companies and employees, seem to be better off because of it. Recent research has found that working from home increases overall employee productivity as well as helps improve work-life balance. Given the advantages of such a workstyle, going remote for most organizations is a no-brainer.
However, new opportunities often come with their own unique challenges. Hiring the right remote talent can be tough, especially for companies that are new to remote working culture. Opening up to a global talent pool is always welcome, whether you are looking forward to hiring app developers or marketing experts, data analysts, or project managers. However, doing so may require an organization to spend a lot more time and resources filling up the same roles simply because they’ll be screening more applications than before.
Recruiters face a ton of challenges when hiring remotely. To help out your firm find the best global talent, we’ve outlined some of the major remote hiring hurdles and challenges, as well as how to overcome them:
Key Challenges (and Solutions) to Hiring Resources Remotely
Finding remote workers is easy; finding the good ones is an entirely different story. Here are a few tips and challenges that companies need to bear in mind before hiring remotely:
Effective Skill Testing
Obviously, your candidate needs the right industry-level skill set to be fulfilling a particular role within your team. On top of that, they’ll need some additional remote-working skills that can enable them to work in a remote environment effectively. The challenge here for recruiters is evaluating these skills during the hiring process.
The Solution: Say your company wants to hire mobile app developers from India. In addition to being well versed in skills like project management, UI & UX design, Agile methodologies, and performance testing, remote candidates also need to have strong soft skills like time management, discipline, and clear communication abilities.
As a recruiter, behavioral interviewing is the best way to test for these. Behavioral interviewing evaluates a candidate’s past experience based on specific examples of demonstrated behaviors and applied skills. Asking candidates to fulfill mini-projects can also be a good way of testing their project management skills before hiring.
Finally, both recruiters and candidates need to be prepared for a longer than usual interview and recruitment process since companies need to ensure they are getting the right talent on board, especially when in-person training isn’t an option. If recruiters aren’t thorough with the interview process, they run the risk of bedding to rehire a few months down the line in case they end up hiring candidates that aren’t upto the mark.
Language and Cultural Barriers
When hiring cross-cultural, international candidates, companies can be sure of encountering language and cultural barriers that can severely hinder productivity. It’s easy for team members to misinterpret each other, especially if they are working with people from different countries whom they’ve never met before. This is an issue that needs to be addressed during the hiring process itself since it can lead to miscommunications and delays later down the line.
The Solution: Let’s assume once again that you need to hire mobile app designers from around the world. Your best bet in a situation like this would be to simplify all of your corporate communication down to a point where it’s easy, even for non-native English speakers, to follow. You’ll also need to foster a culture of mutual respect and encourage team members to learn more about each other’s culture. Diversity in the workplace means nothing on a policy level and everything on a practical, cultural level.
Companies need to invest in assessing linguistic proficiency and soft skills just as much as they invest in assessing hard skills. Providing language classes for the candidates who need them, as well as training managers to handle remote teams, can all be great ways of bridging numerous gaps that typical remote setups may suffer with.
Accounting for Different Time Zones
Having an international team means having people work on the same project at different times. Accounting for time differences between different team members can be a huge challenge, especially when a lot of internal communication is asynchronous. Time-zone differences can lead to gaps in communications, lower overall productivity, and even cause delays in a timeline. These differences can even make the hiring process significantly more challenging.
The Solution: The best and easiest solution here is to structure and plan your hiring process around countries and regions where synchronous communication is possible. Since applications come in from all around the world, recruiters might need to sacrifice some of their personal time to conduct interviews at odd times. Although, it is extremely important to ensure each candidate gets a fair chance to present themselves, which makes minimizing the time difference all the more important.
Companies and recruiters that rely on HR softwares can utilize features like auto-scheduling to help teams and candidates pick appropriate time slots. Automating time management can help distribute the burden across the team rather than having a select few members work at unfair times.
Avoid a Poor Onboarding Experience
Many believe that a good onboarding experience is critical to retaining new recruits. When joining a new team, candidates may have questions, doubts, and insecurity that can lead them to be uncertain about the job even after offering their commitment. As a company, you spend a ton of time and resources scouting just the right candidates and would certainly prefer not to lose them over a poor onboarding experience.
The solution: The only thing worse than poor onboarding is no onboarding at all. Sadly, that’s exactly what most companies mistakenly end up doing when they hire a candidate and disappear till the joining date. Companies need to start with the onboarding process right after a candidate accepts the role, a process recently dubbed as ‘pre-boarding.’
Taking a few common steps, like introducing the candidate to the team and setting the IT support beforehand, can help new hires feel included and secure. Some brands hiring top mobile app designers or market analysts, for instance, go as far as dishing out personalized welcome kits. In reality, the sky’s the limit here; onboarding is about getting new hires to feel welcome and excited about working with your company.
As remote work becomes mainstream, almost every company will have to focus on improving its remote hiring strategy. It doesn’t matter if you are an app development agency or a marketing consultant; gaining access to a global talent pool is critical to surviving in today’s globalized markets.
How do you plan to boost your remote hiring strategies? Would you focus on improving your company’s onboarding process, or will you prioritize synchronous communication while building a team? Do let us know your thoughts below.