COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the way we work. In the corporate world, one of the biggest changes we had witnessed in the recent past is remote working. Overnight, the business was forced to switch to remote working. According to the survey, in the initial period (from March 12 to March 16, 2020), when the pandemic was at its peak in the United States and a national emergency was declared, two out of three companies shifted to remote work.
The remote working had become new normal for the business, so does the remote recruitment. If the firm plans to hire a new candidate, the recruitment and onboarding process can be remote as the offices are closed, and HR and talent acquisition are working remotely.
What is Remote Recruitment?
Remote recruitment involves screening, sourcing, and hiring candidates who are located remotely. The recruiters utilize technology such as video interviews and Artificial Intelligence tools like chatbots to connect and engage with the candidates anywhere they are stationed. The application of technology and Artificial Intelligence is the key to remote recruitment. It has become essential now as recruitment teams had moved to the remote, and hiring is picking up in recent weeks.
Remote Recruitment for Beginners:
Remote working is the new normal for the recruiters. But it is considered one of the most challenging jobs in the organization when you shift it to work remotely. For the first time in many recruiters’ careers, they cannot physically connect with the applicants. So for the first-timers, we have created a checklist that will assist them during remote recruitment.
- Getting in front of the camera and taking a Zoom interview will take time to adjust. Make sure you are watching the camera all the time while speaking to the candidate.
- While speaking to the candidate, make sure all the documents (resume, cover letter, and job descriptions) are accessible and save all these documents under the candidate’s name
- Prepare the checklist of questions that you are intended to ask the candidate. Before coming to the call, talk to the hiring manager and discuss questions that need to be covered by the HR team.
- Make sure you are dressed in formals and keep your phone away from the laptop and in the silent mode
- Lastly, start the interview on time. Remember that a remote interview is a different ball game and might encounter a few problems such as noise cancellation, video issues, and internet connectivity problems. Be ready to tackle these kinds of issues and be prepared with a backup plan (continue interview through phone call or reschedule another day).
Recruitment of candidates online is very much similar to in-person recruitment. The remote recruiters need to screen the suitable candidate in the database, shortlist candidates based on their skill set, connect with the candidates, and hire and onboard them remotely. This article discusses how to conduct remote recruitment and the benefits and limitations of remote recruitment.
Process for Remote Recruitment
The initial stage for remote recruitment is to have a plan and strategy in place. Planning for recruitment starts with understanding the open position requirement, craft a job description, and promoting it on different job boards. The HR team will not have any face to face interaction with the hiring manager, and creating a job description will be a tedious task in such situations and might need to take extra hours to craft a detailed job description.
Pro-tip is to have video interactions and email follow-up with the hiring manager to understand their needs and create the job descriptions.
Technology to Screen Candidates
The job is placed on different job boards, and now the candidates are sharing their resumes with the recruiters and talent acquisition teams. During the current phase, where there are too many job cuts, the number of applicants for the open position has increased drastically. As the number of applicants is growing, it is difficult for recruiters to screen all the candidates and shortlist them. Organizations do need to implement online recruitment technology and AI tools to fast track the recruitment process.
The lockdown has resulted in a drastic increase in video interviews, and even the big tech firms such as Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Google have moved to video interviews. During the pre-COVID days, the majority of organizationsconducted in-person interviews. However, video interviews are the new norm, and remote recruiters need to adjust to the change.
The remote recruiters need to engage with both one-way and two-way video interviews. The one-way interviews will replace the traditional phone interview session to screen the candidates, and the two-way interview will be an alternative for the in-person interview. The recruiters do need to be prepared similarly to a face-face interview and avoid bias while talking to a candidate.
The video interview process is recommended to set a few guidelines to assist the hiring managers and HR during the interview. Below we have listed some of the pointers that can be considered as a part of the video interview guidelines:
- Have a stable internet connection and check the camera and mike before starting the interview.
- A backup plan for the interview is necessary. Either the candidate or hiring manager faces any issues (power outage or internet gets disconnected), the interview can be connected through other means such as a telephone.
- Prefer facial and speech recognition software like Hirevue to judge the candidate’s body language, tone of voice, stress level, and more.
- Share the resume with all the interview panel members and ask them to prepare the question in advance.
- The person who will be working with the candidate must be part of the interview as they can judge whether he/she can fit the role.
- Discuss the interview time and give at least three different time slots to the candidates to fix the interview (remote recruiters must be aware of the candidate and interview panel time zone and schedule the interview accordingly).
- Lastly, to have a better rapport with the candidate, recruiters need to practice active listening and constantly view the camera during the interview process.
Communication is the key to hire candidates during remote recruitment. Recruiters need to understand that they are no longer in office and have a conversation with candidates face to face whenever possible. It is advisable to have different communication channels, and based on the need, the recruiters can use them. For instance, to send the interview schedule, recruiters can send emails, but sometimes it may land in spam, and the candidate might not check them. So plan B will be sending text messages. According to Gartner, more than 70% of potential candidates want text messages from recruiters. The remote recruiter should mix all communication tools that includes email, text messages, video calls, and fax.
One of the daunting tasks for the remote recruiters is to judge the candidate’s skills. As mentioned earlier, an online interview will be a one-way and two-way interview process, and it is challenging to test the candidate’s skillset within the stipulated time. One way to overcome this challenge is to consider work assignments based on the hiring teams’ real-life scenarios.
For the online assignment (a candidate needs to log into the website, complete the assignment ), schedule the timings according to the candidate’s convenience. On the other hand, if the assignment can be completed offline (example, PowerPoint presentation or creating a report), the assignment’s duration must be mentioned, and ask the candidate to share it through email or cloud storage (like Dropbox).
During the evaluation (performed by team managers or team leaders), recruiters must keep the candidate’s name and other details anonymous to avoid unconscious bias. On the other hand, recruiters must keep the candidate engaged by sending a follow-up email or having a chat over the phone to update the evaluation process for a better candidate experience.
Let us assume that recruiters followed the above process and hired a candidate. Now it’s time to onboard the new candidate into your organization. In a usual scenario, the first day in office set sthe tone for the rest of the tenure. However, given the current scenario and the restrictions in place, new employees will not meet their team members or managers in person. While this impacts employees, adaptability and agility have emerged as the cornerstones for performers. This task has now shifted online-enabled by virtual platforms.
Virtual onboarding is similar to traditional in-person onboarding, but the only difference is that the new hires are welcomed to the organization through a virtual live session.
The virtual onboarding process can be initiated through video conferences, webinars, and communication platforms like Slack. A new hire’s documents can be shared on different platforms such as email, cloud storage like OneDrive, and accessed through desktop or mobile anytime and anywhere. Virtual onboarding is not an easy task for the HR teams as it requires extensive planning. In the virtual world, HR teams can plan out an onboarding calendar for the employee/s using office productivity tools and sharing the updates. This can be used to set up calls, introduce to the team, set up meetings with HR personnel, people from the Admin and IT/Asset teams, etc. If the role/s requires handholding or initial training, then a plan incorporating this should also be designed.
However, there are quite a few challenges due to virtual onboarding and which we have explained in detail:
Lack of Human Connection
The lack of contact with other team members or HR teams is one of the most significant drawbacks of virtual onboarding. In the pre-COVID19 days, the first day of a new company job would be important as they would interact with the team members and HR, which would leave an impression on the organization and people working in it. Instead, the virtual onboarding would not leave behind any long-lasting impact on the organization or the team members.
Company’s Work Culture
Every company has a different work culture and core values, which are only visible if the employee is physically present. However, when a new joinee enters the organization and is virtually introduced to their team members, he/she might not feel the work culture or core values involved with the organizations, which can only be sensed if they are inside the company and talking to other employees on the floor.
Challenging to Understand the Roles and Responsibilities
During the virtual onboarding, the hiring manager will pass on tasks and responsibilities to the new joiner, but it is not enough to understand his/her job and execute them. During the normal onboarding, the HR teams and manager would explain the new joinee roles and responsibilities. The new joiners can know their task, work on it, as per the organizations and the team’s expectations. But when it comes to virtual onboarding, many questions are left unanswered, affecting new employees’ performance.
How to Become a Remote Recruiter?
We have now covered the remote recruiter responsibilities, how they work, and the challenges they face. So how can someone become a remote recruiter?
To become a remote recruiter, you don’t require any formal education. But the majority of remote recruiters do have a high school diploma or equivalent. In the real corporate world, most organizations prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in human resources, marketing, or business. Candidates with relevant work experience in the HR department or as a recruiter are highly valued.
The most valued skill for a remote recruiter is to have the excellent verbal skill to interact with the candidates regularly and work independently. The remote recruiter must have hands-on experience on LinkedIn, Github, and navigate job boards such as Dice, Monster, and Indeed. Industry knowledge will be an added advantage to the recruiter. Employees working in customer relations or sales can shift to entry-level remote recruitment as they do have certain skills in common such as communication and negotiation.
Remote Recruiter salary in the United States
According to Zip Recruiter, a remote recruiter’s average salary in the United States is US $59,474. Recruiter based in Richmond, VA, earned the highest pay in the United States (US $72,711) and followed by recruiters in Stamford, CT, and Bellevue, WA. Below is the list of top 10 where the typical salary for a Remote Recruiter job is above the national average.
Top 10 Cities for Remote Recutiters Salary (December – 2020)
|City||Average Remote Recruiter Salary (US$)|
|San Francisco, CA||68,205|
|Santa Carla, CA||67,215|
Remote Recruitment Best Practices
COVID-19 had changed the way how the business is operating. Across the world, business leaders and employees are working remotely and in self-isolation. The business leaders across the companies realized that outdated recruitment best practices no longer work for remote recruitment. Some outdated practices such as a handshake, face to face interview, interviewing candidate at a specific location are no longer possible. So business needs to create and follow new practices when it comes to remote recruitment.
Below we have listed some of the best practices for remote recruitment that could be implemented by organizations across the world:
Embrace the Technology
When all the recruiters work remotely, the organization needs to adapt to the technology supporting remote recruitment without any glitches. Technology tools such as video communication tools, messaging and calling apps, CRM, ATS, and AI tools. The right kind of technology will speed up the recruitment process, cut down the needless manual tasks, increase the remote recruiters’ productivity, and decrease the cost and time to hire a candidate.
Train Remote Recruiters on Sourcing Strategies
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the recruiters were already sourcing candidates using online Channels such as job boards and social media. However, working remotely without the senior’s help, it isn’t easy to find highly skilled candidates. Organizations need to train the recruiters on different aspects of a remote recruitment process, including how to face the camera in the video interview, coordination with the hiring manager, and virtual onboarding. The training teams can connect regular webinars with the remote recruiters to improve their communication skills.
When it comes to the job advertisement, recruitment process, and interview questions, organizations cannot discriminate against candidates based on their race, color, sex, disability, religion, and age. The organization uses traditional recruitment methods or virtual recruitment; unbiased recruitment will give a positive candidate experience.
AI tool is a bias-free platform and doesn’t choose the candidate based on their demographics, style of the resume, or reject the resume if it founds any typo errors. Rather the AI tool will judge based on candidates based on their skills, previous experience, salary, and other relevant parameters.
Remote recruitment is one of the challenging jobs in the HR teams. Overnight recruiters were forced to shift from traditional recruitment to virtual requirements, a completely new process. Working remotely without any team member’s help and sourcing highly qualified candidates requires support from technology and Artificial Intelligence tools. When it comes to hiring candidates remotely, it requires planning and adapting to new technology such as video communication tools and messaging apps.
As a remote recruiter, they face many challenges that include lack of contact with other team members, embrace a new culture, and, most importantly, understand roles and responsibilities for an open position without getting in touch with hiring managers regularly.
To start a career as a remote recruiter, the prospective candidate must have an HR degree (marketing or sales are also preferred). The prospective candidate must have excellent communication and negotiation skills. In the United States, the average pay for a remote recruiter is US $59,474.
Finally, to become an excellent remote recruiter, they must avoid unconscious bias. The recruiter must not judge the candidates based on their resume picture, name, age, gender, or even based on their hometown.