Written by: Bart Turczynski, Writer, Uptowork

Hiring remote teams is making its way out of tech and into other industries. If you’ve never done it, it might be a bit difficult to figure out how to go about it. Here’s all the advice you need to give remote recruitment a shot.

There are three things you’ll have to pay particular attention to:

1) Figuring out where to look for remote hires,
2) Leveraging LinkedIn for your recruitment process,
3) Working out how to communicate with remote workers.

Hiring freelancers is big in the start-up world, but any company can reap the benefits of working with talent (nationwide or even worldwide). Here’s some things to think about to get started.

1) Where can I find candidates for remote work?

Since time might be of the essence, it’s best to avoid major job boards. Sure, you get a lot of candidates, but this also means there are large numbers of irrelevant resumes to sift out.

Here’s where to look instead:

Previous applicants

There’s a chance you’ve met a few great candidates but turned them down because of location-related constraints. Now, things have changed and you might want to revisit their candidacies. Not keeping track of all your previous and current applicants? You should. Set up a database of candidates and updated it regularly. Make sure you keep track of their preferences concerning part/full-time employment and remote/on-site work.

No dice? Ask around among your employees. According to hr and recruitment stats, employees who come from referrals are more likely to stick around for longer — up to 50% stay with the company for three years or more. For candidates hired through job boards, this number is three times lower.

Job boards for remote workers

There are a number of valuable job boards catering to the remote working crowd. Here’s a list of ten covering professions across the board:

Job boards for remote workers in your niche

Here’s a more direct approach — focus on job boards for talent in your industry or niche. Some websites might have fairly stringent posting rules and might want to review your posting before publishing. Don’t waste time being idle… you’ve already gained access to hundreds of valuable experts. Start reaching out to them personally.

Here are a few examples of such boards:

It’s easy to get caught up in a search for a website that would match your expectations to the letter. So, don’t forget you’re already on LinkedIn. You can start reaching out to talented individuals through your regular, or better yet — recruiter account. If you’ve never done this before, let’s work with a specific example. Say you want to find someone who could write in English and French. Moreover, you don’t need an expert with decades in the industry — four years will suffice. Also, since they’d be publishing their pieces on a WordPress blog, you want them to be familiar with the platform.

Start with a standard keyword search. Use a recruiter account if you can (you’ll have access to more data). In our example, you’ll be looking up these keywords:

  • writer
  • remote
  • remotely

Now, let’s really make use of LinkedIn and do an advanced search.

  • Skills: WordPress
  • Experience: 5-10 years
  • Languages: English + French

Alternatively, you might want to make use of LinkedIn groups. Search around for local and remote employee groups and post your job offer there. Joining a global group makes sense, too. You are looking for a remote worker after all.

2) Tailor your job offer to remote workers

The job offer you write for remote workers won’t be all that different from your regular ad, though you should be a bit more specific about your setup. Information about employee benefits and salaries will make the offer more attractive and help it stand out. Most job seekers want to know salaries before applying, so it would be best practice to disclose this information in all ads. It will also help you save time and resources you’d otherwise waste on candidates who might not be interested in salaries below a certain threshold.

1) Be sure to describe the company, work culture, and the team. You want to make sure your new hire is going to thrive in an environment with little face-to-face interaction.
2) List the apps and tools your team uses. Candidates will know what to expect. Moreover, since you probably want to hit the ground running, you’ll limit the number of candidates who would require time to figure out how to use them.
3) Include skill development plans and describe your recruitment process.
4) Give potential candidates a timeline for the recruitment process: describe each step and make it clear when it’s scheduled.
5) It makes perfect sense to ask your candidates to provide you with a sample of their work, do a pilot project, or participate in a trial run. Make it clear in the posting that this extra effort is part of the process. Also, tell the candidates when they’d be paid.

3) Communicating during the recruitment process

Testing how tech-savvy your candidates are is easy. Just make use of apps you use in work. For the interview, use your go-to video conference tool. Skype? Google Hangouts? Pick the app you use with the team. If you use some instant messaging tool to communicate, e.g., Slack, use the IM app while the candidate is working on their test project. This will make communication a breeze and will help you gauge how well they’d do in your work environment.

Key takeaways

As you can see, the recruitment process for hiring remote workers isn’t all that different from on-site recruitment. The main difference is that — due to the nature of remote work — you need to be perhaps more proactive, specific, and faster to respond. However, the more work you put in at the very beginning of the process, the less work you’ll have to put in along the way and once the new hire comes on board. Plus, you will tap into incredible talent!

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