17 Actionable Tips to Improve Your Remote Hiring Process 
If remote hiring wasn’t already on the rise, a global pandemic certainly pushed it to the forefront of HR-related conversations.
Like many HR professionals, you likely had to adapt your hiring practices to accommodate a remote workforce.
This overnight global shift in hiring practices means that you may be recruiting and hiring without ever meeting your candidates face-to-face.
To help you better navigate the remote hiring process, we compiled a list of the 17 best and most actionable tips to get you started.
Let’s jump right in.
Tip #1: Discover Untapped Talent with Virtual Hiring Events
Simply put, job fairs are no longer a viable solution for most organizations.
If you are hiring several employees at once for a say, a new store opening or seasonal positions, consider hosting a virtual hiring event.
There are many virtual job fair platforms, but two of our favourites are Indeed and Brazen.
Indeed’s Virtual Hiring Events allow you to recruit, pre-screen, interview, and communicate with candidates in a completely online environment that mimics a traditional hiring fair.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Sign up for Indeed Hiring Events.
- Create your virtual hiring event and configure your settings.
- Choose your video interviewing platform. You can use Indeed’s platform, a third-party video conferencing solution (i.e. Zoom), or the phone for conducting interviews.
- One day before your event, you will have access to the interview lobby where you can invite other interviewers and set custom greetings for your attendees.
- When your event starts, visit your waitlist to see a list of the candidates who have checked in. Use your chosen communication method to conduct your interviews.
- At any time during or after the event, you can see a summary of the candidates and their status, along with contact information to follow-up.
Brazen also offers a platform for virtual hiring events.
One of the key differences that sets Brazen apart is their “booths”.
Brazen’s booths are designed to give your candidates more information about your organization and its culture. You can fill the booths with photos, videos, text, or other media.
Brazen’s chat technology also makes it super easy to interact with candidates during your online career fair.
Here are some basic steps to get you started:
- Sign up for Brazen’s Virtual Hiring Events.
- Create your virtual hiring event. This will automatically generate landing pages where candidates can register and sign up.
- Customize your candidate registration form to collect résumés and basic candidate information. You can also include knock-out questions to narrow your qualified candidate pool.
- Set up and customize your booths with text, videos, and links about your company.
- On the day of the event, candidates will join the virtual hiring event lobby and gain access to your booths. When they select a booth, they will have the opportunity to review the information you posted and connect directly with a recruiter or hiring manager.
- Candidates can connect directly with a recruiter using Brazen’s text-based chat function. At any time, the recruiter can invite the candidate to a video chat.
- Following a completed chat or video interview, recruiters can assign the next steps, email the candidate, or forward the candidate’s information to a colleague.
Virtual hiring events are truly that easy.
In fact, we think that they’re so convenient and save so much time, that in-person hiring events might be a thing of the past.
Tip #2: Encourage Originality by Accepting Video Applications
Candidates want to set themselves apart.
Let them showcase their personality with a video résumé.
Video applications are a great way to get to know your candidates, especially for creative positions or those that are customer-facing.
Include these 4 instructions when asking candidates for video résumés:
- List your requirements. Include a list of any specific topics that you want your candidates to talk about during their video résumé. For example, ask them to focus on their relevant experience, education, qualifications, and personal attributes.
- State the minimum and maximum video lengths. Generally, 1-2 minutes is long enough for candidates to introduce themselves and their qualifications.
- Specify the format. Tell candidates if you want video résumés completed on a specific platform or if you can only accept certain file formats (i.e. MP4, MOV, WMV),
- Indicate the maximum file size. Check for any maximum upload sizes on your application form. Ensure that your application form has an upload field that can accept large files.
Just like that you can accept video applications and get a better idea of the candidates behind the qualifications.
Tip #3: Develop Your Employer Brand to Recruit the Best Talent
So, you want to attract high-quality candidates?
Then you better be prepared to take the time to develop your employer brand.
With remote hiring, potential employees don’t have a chance visit your office or location, so you need to show them what your culture is about.
Here are our Top 3 ways to build your employer brand online:
- Include lots of photos on your Careers webpage.
- Create videos with current employees describing what it’s like to work for your company.
- Invest in a virtual office tour of your office. Many real estate photographers can do this for you, or you can use one of the many software options online.
Also be sure to monitor your reviews on sites like Glassdoor.
Tip #4: Rewrite Job Descriptions with Remote Work in Mind
If you’re hiring a remote worker, you want peace of mind that they have the skills to succeed.
Maybe you’re hiring remote workers for positions that were previously on site.
Or perhaps some of the positions you’re hiring for include flexible work-from-home options.
Either way, working from home requires a unique skill set and your hiring criteria needs to reflect that.
Review any job descriptions for positions that involve remote work and add these 6 critical work-from-home core skills:
- Excellent Written and Verbal Communication
- Takes Initiative
- Ability to Work with Minimal Supervision
- Strong Work Ethic
- Time Management
Look for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and gig economy workers as they are most likely more accustomed to working from home and motivating themselves to achieve success.
Tip #5: Prep Your Candidates for Success with Etiquette Guidelines
Video interviews are a great alternative to traditional in-person interviews.
With that said, it’s important to keep in mind that video interviews may be a new experience for many of your candidates.
You want your candidates to succeed so help them prepare with a list of expectations and video interviewing etiquette tips.
Here’s a detailed step-by-step process for creating your etiquette tips document:
- Create a new document. Open your word processor and save a new document titled “What to Expect for Your Video Interview”
- Write an introduction. In 2-4 sentences, briefly describe and introduce candidates to your company.
- Outline the hiring stages. Provide candidates with a quick overview of the various stages in your remote hiring process.
- Tell candidates what to expect. Identify what candidates can expect during their video interview. Who will attend? How long will the interview be? When will they hear back or when should they follow-up?
- List 5-10 etiquette tips.
Here are some etiquette tips you could include:
- Test your internet connection and software prior to your interview.
- Join the call with both your video and audio turned on.
- Dress as you would for an in-person interview.
- Choose a quiet location without any distractions or interruptions.
- Ensure that your background is clean and well-lit or select an appropriate virtual background.
- Arrive early for your interview. Our host will let you in when the interviewer(s) are ready for you.
- Have a copy of your résumé handy.
- Have a pen and paper ready if needed.
Here’s a sample of an email to a candidate containing video interview tips.
Send your etiquette tips to candidates at least 24 hours prior to their video interview.
It will put your candidates at ease and result in a smoother video interview process.
Tip #6: Ask Remote Hires the Right Interview Questions
When interviewing candidates for a remote position, you need to ask the right questions.
It’s not just about job fit, but will your candidate be successful in a remote environment?
Isolation is a major barrier for many remote workers and those who lack time management skills may not be cut out for work-from-home jobs.
Include at least 3 questions in your remote hiring interviews to gauge whether your candidate will flourish in a remote work environment.
Here are 10 questions you can ask during interviews:
- How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
- What tools do you use to manage your schedule?
- How do you start your day?
- Tell me about a time when you took initiative.
- Tell me about a time that you solved a problem.
- What do you feel will be your biggest challenge when working remotely?
- How do you prepare for meetings?
- What skills do you think are most important for remote workers?
- How do you prioritize your tasks?
- What potential distractions do you have at home and how would you deal with them?
Pick 3 questions from the above list or write your own and add them to your interview question set.
You could also send these questions to candidates in advance to use as a pre-screening tool prior to scheduling interviews.
Tip #7: Save Loads of Time with One-Way Video Interviews
It’s no secret that hiring managers have turned to video conferencing to interview candidates.
But one highly underutilized interviewing technique could cut your interviewing time in half and turn you into a productivity wizard – the one-way interview.
One-way interviews provide candidates with a list of questions, to which they record a video response.
Not only does this provide candidates with the ability to construct thoughtful responses, but it allows hiring managers to quickly evaluate candidates and move them to the next stage of the hiring process.
There are a variety of platforms available to employers for one-way interviews including: Cammio, VidCruiter, and SparkHire.
Follow this 5-step process to start saving time with one-way interview:
- Sign up for your chosen one-way video interviewing platform
- Create 3-5 interview questions
- Invite your selected candidates to complete video responses
- Review responses with your hiring team
- Invite successful candidates to a two-way video interview
One-way interviews can be a great way to narrow your candidate pool and reduce interviewing time throughout the hiring process.
Tip #8: Host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) to Solve Candidate Questions
Remote hiring isn’t a brand-new concept.
But, it may be a brand-new experience for your candidates.
Your candidates will undoubtedly have questions about your remote hiring process.
- Are there system/software requirements for the video interview?
- Do I have to have my camera on?
- What comes after the interview?
- When should I follow-up?
Save yourself some time by offering an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session for your candidates.
Not only will you be able to answer common questions in one place, but you can use your AMA as an opportunity to scope out the talent.
Keep an eye out for any standout candidates who demonstrate enthusiasm or ask thoughtful questions.
Host your Hiring AMA in 8 simple steps:
- Determine how often you need to host a Hiring AMA. How long is your typical hiring process? How many candidates do you hire per month? How many candidates are in your talent pipeline at any given moment? If you’re not sure how often, start with bi-weekly sessions and then decide if you need more or less.
- Block out time in your schedule. Allow enough time to prepare and host your Hiring AMA. Add 30 minutes on either side so you can test your technology, arrive early, and stick around to answer any lingering questions.
- Set up your video conferencing software. Choose a common platform such as Zoom to reduce technical barriers for your candidates.
- Identify any special guests and invite them to participate. Determine if you want to have any other guests from your company on the video conference to answer questions. This could be the CEO or the manager of a department you’re hiring for.
- Invite your candidates to the Hiring AMA. Email your candidates an invitation to join your Hiring AMA. You can also ask candidates to email you their questions in advance.
- Arrive at your Hiring AMA. Sign on 15-20 minutes early to check your connection and moderate any early arrivals.
- Kick off your Hiring AMA. Thank your candidates for attending, introduce any special guests, and address any questions that were emailed in advance. Then open the floor for any questions from attendees.
Record your Hiring AMA sessions to use in the future as a valuable hiring resource.
That’s it! While it might take a few sessions to get the hang of it, it is sure to save you some time in the long run.
Tip #9: Take Your Shortlisted Applicants for a Test Drive
We all know by now that the cost of hiring can be substantial so hiring the right person the first time is vital.
One trend that has been gaining traction is running a paid work trial prior to extending an offer of employment.
This is a great way for both the employer and the candidate to get a better feel for the compatibility.
Find out how your candidate would perform in the role without committing to an employment offer.
Here are some basic steps for setting up a work trial:
- Provide your shortlisted candidates with an opportunity to perform some basic tasks over the course of a week or two.
- Provide a candidate with a customer service email and ask them to write a response.
- Ask the candidate to enter data into a spreadsheet and total the columns.
- Have the candidate write a sales proposal for your core services.
- Pay the candidate an hourly training wage to complete the work.
- Hours should be minimal and not reflect a full employment day. For example, you might choose to give your candidate a project that will take up to 3 hours over the course of a week.
- Since candidates may be working another job, keep the hours flexible and allow your remote candidate to complete the work during evenings or weekends if needed.
- Evaluate the candidate’s work and determine if he/she will be successful in the role.
- Pay candidates for their time and thank them for completing the project.
Trial projects provide valuable insight into a candidate’s ability to do the job. Consider implementing one for your next hire.
Tip #10: Virtually Verify Identification with the Convenient LiveVideoID
Criminal record checks in Canada require verification of the candidate’s identification.
Traditionally, ID verification was completed in-person by the hiring manager.
As you can imagine, this poses a major problem when hiring candidates remotely.
While there are some remote options available, such as Electronic Identification Verification (EIV), the process still often requires a physical verification.
This means that you must send your candidates to a local police service for fingerprinting or a local identification authenticator, such as Canada Post.
But, what if we told you that there’s a solution that doesn’t require your candidate to step foot outside their front door?
Enter ScreeningCanada’s LiveVideoID.
When a candidate is unable to complete their EIV, they can connect with one of ScreeningCanada’s Customer Success Representatives via LiveVideoID to have their identification authenticated.
The process is so simple, it’s almost not even worth writing down the steps.
- Sign up with ScreeningCanada.
- Invite candidates to use LiveVideoID when they are unable to complete the EIV.
- ScreeningCanada takes care of the rest.
- That’s it! Receive your criminal record check results next business day.
If that isn’t convenient enough, LiveVideoID is available 7 days a week so not even a weekend can hold up your hiring process.
Tip #11: Sharpen Your Screening Process with an ATS Integration
Applicant Tracking Systems can be immensely helpful for hiring managers.
Make them even more helpful and simplify your screening process with an ATS integration.
By integrating your ATS with your background screening provider, you benefit from a more seamless remote hiring process and reap the rewards every time you screen a candidate.
Here’s how you can start the ATS integration process:
- Reach out to your account representative at your background screening provider.
- Find out if they integrate with your specific ATS and what sort of turnaround time you can expect.
- Provide any information required to complete the integration, but usually the background screening company and ATS will bear the brunt of the work.
It’s really that easy!
Tip #12: Measure Your Candidate’s Work Personality and Aptitude
Any hiring manager will tell you that sitting across the desk and having a candid conversation with a candidate is the best way to get to know them. When it comes to remote hiring, that’s just not possible.
Candidate assessments can help fill in some of the blanks, not just in terms of aptitude and ability, but they can also provide insight into a candidate’s work personality.
Consider introducing assessments as part of your remote hiring process. You can gauge specific skills like typing speed or more generic attributes such as trustworthiness.
Some of the candidate assessment tools you might consider include:
- Personality Assessment
- Job Knowledge Tests / Job Simulations
- Integrity Tests
- Cognitive Ability / Aptitude Tests
- Technical Ability / Skills Assessments
Start by determining what skills and qualities are important to your organization and request demos to evaluate potential providers.
Some assessment tools, such as TalentClick’s Core Bundle (AVP) will take care of the heavy lifting for you by combining pre-hire assessments into one convenient candidate survey with multiple report outputs so you can analyze your candidates’ assessment results faster.
Tip #13: Ace Your Video Interviewing Skills by Practicing with a Colleague
Video interviewing isn’t just awkward for candidates, hiring managers may also be uncomfortable with video conferencing.
One of the best ways to improve your video interviewing skills is to roleplay with a colleague.
Not only will this help you polish your skills as a remote interviewer, but you will also have an opportunity to get more comfortable and proficient with the video conferencing software.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Reach out to your colleagues or manager to request help with your video interview roleplay.
- Schedule the video interview as you normally would.
- Ask your colleague to prepare some questions that a candidate might ask during an interview.
- Treat the practice video interview as a real interview.
- Focus on your greeting, introduction to the company, and asking questions professionally.
- Have your colleague ask their questions.
- Close your interview by explaining the next steps in the hiring process.
- Finally, reconnect with your colleague and ask for feedback and advice on both your video interviewing skills and the process in general.
Do this anytime you feel your interview skills might need some work. It’s also a great way to train new hiring managers on video interview techniques.
Tip #14: Don’t be Shy, Ask for Feedback on Your Remote Hiring Process
The best way to evaluate your remote hiring process is to ask for feedback.
Find out if there are any obstacles in your remote hiring process from the candidate’s end.
Ultimately, you want a smooth and simple hiring process for your candidates.
Afterall, this is your opportunity to make a good first impression and you don’t want to lose quality candidates to the remote hiring process.
The best way to identify any challenges or opportunities for improvement is to ask your candidates.
Collect feedback fast with these straightforward steps:
- Create a hiring survey to send to candidates after their interview.
- Use any built-in feedback tools for software (i.e. video conferencing software).
- Gather responses and pick a time to review the feedback (i.e. monthly or quarterly).
- Make the surveys anonymous so candidates provide you with honest feedback.
We realize this sounds incredibly simple. That’s because it is! But it’s amazing how many employers don’t seek candidate feedback to improve their hiring processes.
Tip #15: Be Mindful of Data Protection and Privacy Legislation
Remote hiring relies on the use of technology more so than traditional hiring practices.
While technology has its benefits, it also comes with risks.
When adding technology to your hiring process, you must ensure that it complies with all applicable privacy and data protection laws.
Conduct a review of your remote hiring practices and identify any aspects that may put candidates or your company at risk from a legal perspective.
For example, do you plan to record your video interviews? How will you store video applications?
We recommend that you consult your legal team or representation to ensure your remote hiring practices are compliant.
- Document your hiring process. Create a detailed workflow to illustrate your hiring process and the steps taken at each stage.
- Identify data collection points. Highlight any steps where you collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as name, birth date, SIN, address, etc.
- Review your suppliers. If any PII is collected via third-party suppliers, ensure that their platforms comply with all applicable legislation.
- Send to legal for review. Provide your legal counsel with the information above so they can confirm that your practices are compliant.
Video interviews are likely one of the biggest changes in your hiring process. VidCruiter is a Canadian company based in Moncton, NB. Their data is collected and stored in Canada so that organizations remain in compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Tip #16: Boost Remote Hire Success Rates with Team Communication Platforms
It’s a no brainer - new hires are more likely to succeed when they have access to resources and mentors who can help answer questions and guide them.
For remote workers, this can be challenging as they often feel isolated and on their own to navigate their new position.
Rather than relying solely on email and phone, implement a team communication platform such as Slack.
Slack, and other team communication platforms provide a casual environment for workplace conversation and collaboration. Think of it as the new break room or water cooler.
- Research team communication platforms (i.e. Slack, Flock, Microsoft Teams, etc.).
- Gain buy in from management and departments.
- Engage your technology team to set up and configure the accounts.
- Create channels for the various departments and new hires.
- Include information on how to use the team platform in your new hire package.
Consider creating a channel just for new hires to ask questions. Lean on the managers and leaders in your company to help provide answers and guidance.
Tip #17: Take Your Welcome Package to the Next Level and Wow Your Remote Hires
Employers often provide their new hires with company swag or a welcome package to help get them started.
While it might seem like a small gesture, don’t skip this step for your remote hires.
Make your remote hires feel like part of the team with a welcome package chock full of goodies, supplies, and swag.
Here’s how you can create a swag bag that rocks:
- Grab some paper and a pencil and make a list of what new hires are usually provided with on their first day.
- Identify any items that are not relevant for a remote position, such as parking passes or key cards, or any items that are too big to ship.
- Think about any items that might make working from home more comfortable or any supplies that your remote worker will need to be successful. For example, a headset for taking calls or a company padfolio for storing notes.
- Add at least one fun item that will catch them off guard. Here are a few examples we like: iTunes or Spotify Gift Card, Gourmet Ground Coffee or Premium Tea, Unique Snack Boxes (like those from SnackNation)
Your new remote hires will appreciate the thoughtful welcome package and feel instantly closer to the company and their team.
That’s a wrap! If you’ve made it this far, you’re well on your way to improving your remote hiring process.
Remember, every organization is different so don’t feel that you have to employ every tactic on this list.
It can be daunting at first to revamp your hiring practices, so start by picking just one tip and take action today. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to change the way you hire remotely once you get started.
What is your favourite tip on this list?
Do you have a great tip for remote hiring that wasn’t listed? We’d love to hear about it!