The remote work trend shows no sign of abating and for good reason: study after study shows us that a remote workforce decrease costs and increases productivity. According to Flexjobs.com, remote work grew 115 percent among U.S. employees during the past 10 years.
As a result, HR professionals everywhere are having to adjust our approach talent acquisition. Hiring a remote team is quite a bit different. We’re having to solve for different skill sets over and above what the typical role requirements are. Plus we have to factor in the reality that the employee isn’t going to be shoulder to shoulder with their boss on a daily basis.
Here are six skill competencies remote job applicant should definitely have:
After you’ve made the adjustment to your candidate requirements, it’s time to think about your talent acquisition strategy. For any remote role, you may get 500-1500 applicants. Out of that number, 80% won’t be a fit right off the bat.
First, create a killer job description. An excellent remote job description has all the qualities of an in-house role plus specifications around the amount of flexibility, hours, company policies, travel, schedule requirements, etc. Is this remote-friendly or remote-first? Is there an on-call element? Does your applicant need to be in the US? Be clear now to avoid confusion later.
Second, a pre-assessment is a must. Given that the employee won’t have the benefit of being coached in-person, it’s critical to test for hard skills. Additionally, make sure they’re capable of operating effectively from afar. That’s why eSkill has over 600 standard tests, 5,000 combinable topics or the option to create your own content. If it’s your first time building a skills assessment, our Assessment Experts will help you through every step.
In addition to weeding out those individuals who aren’t a good fit, this process also bubbles up your best candidates. Here’s where you really test their remote skills—things like responsiveness, organization, and communication. You can do this using a small project or a submission of some sort. It’s also helpful if they’ve worked remotely before. SHRM has some fantastic examples of interview questions to integrate into this process.
In a world where a huge percentage of people *think* they want to work remotely, your talent acquisition process has to be deliberate and your job description well-defined. The best way to ensure you’re consistently offering up the best talent pool is to ensure you’re finding candidates that are technical fit and a remote culture fit.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.