“Success in a hybrid work environment requires employers to move beyond viewing remote or hybrid environments as a temporary or short-term strategy and to treat it as an opportunity,” says George Penn, Vice-president of Gartner, a business research and advisory platform.
While COVID-19 may have acted as a catalyst for many companies across the world to move to remote mode, it is likely that millions may continue working from home or choose the hybrid model even as the threat of the virus reduces. For organizations, this has meant transforming work styles to adapt to the new circumstances.
As a result, hiring too has had to take place remotely, with managers onboarding employees they may have never interacted with in-person.
Ideally, companies are built by people who can be friends outside of work as well, but that’s a utopia not everyone is lucky enough to be able to benefit from. Hiring remotely also poses another obstacle in terms of not being able to gauge the potential employee in person during the recruitment process. Conversing only over video or call can also add a layer of awkwardness while trying to understand if this person is the best fit for your team.
Here are some best practices that can help create a smoother remote recruiting process for your organization:
Incentivizing recommendations and referrals
A robust recommendation system within your company can generate great results in the long-term and promote employee retention organically. For instance, if Operations Manager Clyde brings his friend Toby onto the multimedia design team, and Toby is a good fit and stays for at least 3 months, Clyde is rewarded with a prize. Cash prizes are best because the investment is returned through employee retention as well as reduction of absenteeism and abandonment rates.
Recruiting incentivization will also help drive reciprocal motivation through the reward system. Clyde will do his best to help with the onboarding of his mate while Toby is likely to try to impress his friend and live up to expectations. It’s a mutually helpful system that I wholeheartedly recommend as it has worked for my team which works in customer service.
Especially in an environment where the tendency is to leave within the first 3 months — customer service, sales, accounting — incentivization of the recruiting process is key. Most employees will stay longer if they can integrate properly which becomes easier when new hires have friends in the company.
Look out for training hunters
Training hunters are a relatively new phenomena impacting company retention and culture throughout the tech industry. Relying on the fact that the first three months of a new job usually consists of paid training and instruction, training hunters will do everything to get qualified and leave once the real work starts.
We’ve had our fair share of training hunters in our remote recruiting projects and have quickly learned to spot them fairly early in the process. Individuals with several short-term corporate engagements in their resumes are a red flag. As such, when we had such resumes, one of the key discussions in the final interview - if they made it that far - was their inclination to short stays in organizations. We also made a point of asking about their personal ambitions and the goals they would like to reach within our company.
Workers who are truly invested in their careers tend to bring these up early on in conversations and are more likely to have justifications for moving around so frequently. These types of pointed questions will help provide better insights to the interviewers and help you spot red flags early on.