Preparing to Hire Your Next Remote Employee

Preparing to Hire Your Next Remote Employee

Hiring new employees in a distributed company is completely different than hiring in a co-located company. Without meeting someone in-person, it might feel impossible to evaluate them on availability, skill, trustworthiness, and other crucial employee traits. But, don’t worry! Knowing exactly what to do during the preparation phase will ensure a smooth hiring process.

So, you’ve determined you’re ready to hire for a new position in your distributed or hybrid company, you need to get the word out about the job and prepare your team for what’s to come. Let’s walk through how to write the job description, post the open position, and select a hiring committee.


Step 1: Write the Job Description

It may be tempting to try to get hundreds of applicants for a job that you’re posting. The more, the better, right? Sure, having a large pool of candidates will give you a larger selection to choose from, but it also translates into a huge waste of time filtering and evaluating the applicants. We encourage you to focus instead on the quality of applicants you’re receiving. You can do this by starting with a very specific job description designed to help applicants self-filter when considering whether or not to apply. Getting hundreds of applicants is still great, but even better when the applicants you get fit the qualifications you’re looking for.

The content of the job description itself should be a reflection of the unique culture of your organization. Is your organization fun, casual, adventurous? Then write your job description in a way that reflects your company culture. Is your company is more formal and traditional? Then, be sure the language in the job description portrays that. For many candidates, the job description may be their first impression of your company, so it’s important to give them a clear picture of who you are right away.

Don’t forget to include other things that are important for candidates to know before they apply: What do they need to know about your company and the culture? What benefits and/or perks are included? Is the salary information something you can share up front?  Being transparent about these things will help weed out candidates if they’re looking for something other than what you have to offer. Here’s a list of things to consider including:

  1. The mission of your company and how this role contributes to it.

  2. What the culture is like at your company — what the applicant can expect from their day-to-day involvement with their team.

  3. The goals and responsibilities of the position.

  4. Which qualifications are “deal breakers” for you when evaluating for this position.

  5. The “nice to have” bonus qualifications that will help the candidate stand out from the crowd.

As you are listing requirements, consider carefully whether experience working remotely should be a “deal breaker” or a “nice to have.” Remember that there are a lot of qualified candidates out there who are eager to break into remote work. Requiring previous experience will limit your pool and eliminate perfectly suitable applicants.


Step 2: Post the Open Position

Once you have your job description ready, it’s time to spread the word!  You can start by posting the open role on your website and announcing it on your social media accounts. Then, you will want to post the role on a few job boards to increase your reach.

We compiled a list of 50+ online job boards that are exclusive to remote work. This list will help you get started. Keep in mind that the reach with these sites may be more limited than the larger known “conventional” job boards; however, the candidates you attract through these sites are much more likely to already possess the skills necessary for remote work.

If you’re looking to fill a role that is not remote-specific or an executive level position, you might want to consider also posting to non-exclusive job boards, such as Indeed and Monster.


Step 3: Select a Hiring Committee

Whether your company has a staff of 5 or 500, inviting a panel of team members to participate in the decision-making process is a good idea. Not only will collaboration ease the logistical workload and emotional pressure on any one person, but taking into consideration multiple perspectives will also provide a more thorough evaluative process.

Ideally, you want a variety of 3-5 employees on the committee who will provide a diverse range of perspectives and opinions. Here are some ideas for roles that could be involved in the hiring committee:

  1. The direct supervisor of the role to be filled

  2. A peer-level co-worker on the same team as the role to be filled

  3. An executive manager over the department

  4. A representative from another department (someone the new hire might occasionally collaborate with on projects)

  5. A completely unbiased employee in another department

When selecting your committee members, remember that this should not be overwhelming for anyone on the team. It is an opportunity for collaboration and team building that enables you to be very intentional when growing your company's culture.

Putting together these few logistical pieces before you start bringing in applications will help you find applicants who are a better fit. The more careful and considerate you are throughout this phase, the better prepared you will be (and the faster you will be able to move) when the applications start coming in.

Then, it's time to sort through the applications and move into the interviewing process.

Have you hired a remote employee lately? Do you have any tips to share about the preparation phase for hiring? Tweet us @yonder_io to share your perspective!