Who would’ve thought we’d come to hire someone remote without ever meeting them in person? It has become not only a trend, but I suspect it has the potential to become the norm moving forward.
Being ambiguous is the first point of failure. Without clarity at this point, there is no clarity when someone joins your team. It sounds simple, like something that every company does. Still, we’ve seen way too many managers jump right into hiring for a title, not a job responsibility, assuming they’ll be able to identify what they need when they see it.
Take your time to craft a real job description – this will also ensure you understand what activities exactly need to be accomplished and if the position is even required – talk to people that will work with the new team member and ask them what their expectations are.
If times’ a constraint, go straight to the job responsibilities. Add every responsibility that you want the new recruit to accomplish – be specific. Don’t stop there, add success metrics associated with those responsibilities to measure performance and accomplishment.
Managers might fall into the trap that creating a well rounded up description is a loss of time, but I’d flip that mentality around and say that by not taking time to do this, you are losing time when looking for your recruits.
The outcome is filtered profiles that know what exactly you’re looking for and what you want. You’ll get fewer profiles to look at, but more quality profiles to add to your interview process.
Shoot for the same cycle of interviews. Add several filters early on to spot folks that don’t fit your culture and your needs. Examples of this are 15-minute phone screens, requesting an email with more information, and a small, but specific action to include in the email.
Some might say that even if you’re not sending an email right, it doesn’t mean your skillset is not aligned with the job your applying for, and they’re right. However, if your position demands attention to detail and strict follow-ups, then this will weed out those who don’t fit that description – even if they have the skills.
Add a layer of skill demonstration in the form of a short project and presentation or real-world problem-solving during an interview (much like a case interview). This will show a hands-on approach to what they can accomplish and in what timeframes.
We love this approach because it tells you a lot about someone without ever having to work together:
Once you’ve decided who to hire, signed the paperwork, and set a start date, you have to jump to get them to full speed as quickly as possible.
Remember, at this point; you’re doing a FULLY remote onboarding process, which means plenty of video conferencing. So leave time in for resting in-between sessions. Don’t try to cram everything in the same session.
The success of onboarding remotely depends on setting the stage before day one. That means getting them a full swag kit shipped to them, getting their email and all their software credentials set-up, and sending an informative email about the process.
Once the onboarding process kicks off, be sure to over-communicate every bit of information about the company, the department the new recruit will form part of, and the individual area they will work on.
Without being in-person, many things can be lost if you don’t over-communicate as a manager. Try to pause now and then to resolve questions about procedures, goals, or company information.
Before the onboarding start date we do the following:
The two-week schedule takes them to step by step through a series of informative presentations and introductions through different dates:
Taking time to get everything together to provide a comprehensive onboarding while doing it remotely is key to get new recruits to full speed and feeling part of the company on day one.
Remote managers that try and do light onboardings and leave new hires to figure things out will soon realize that they will take longer to deliver results; they will not feel part of the company, and their isolation might result in double-work as they won’t understand what’s expected from them.
Previously on Remote Manager Series: Planning for success