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How to hire people who adapt to the remote business culture?

Remote work has become, and will probably continue to be, a dominant arrangement globally. This is why you need to Hire people adapted to remote work.

That means companies will, and already have, face a major change in their business culture while in remote locations. 

This, of course, leads to an interesting question for recruiters: how do you hire people who fit into the remote company culture?

Table of Contents

Why cultural fit is important for remote teams:

As most recruiters know, hiring can be expensive and time consuming. 

Hiring the wrong employee for the job can be even more costly due to ongoing factors like lost productivity, negative impacts on workers, etc.

Many reasons can make someone the "wrong hire," such as frequent absences, poor communication, or an inability to do the job well.

Being able to naturally create connections in real time is a key component of company culture, which can be hampered by working remotely. 

The challenge, therefore, is how to replicate that culture in the office for a team of dispersed employees.

One way to do this is to hire people who can align with and nurture the kind of remote culture you're trying to foster in your team. 

That means people who share the same values or goals know how to communicate and work well remotely, and can build that same level of relationship while dispersed.

In other words, it means defining the remote culture you're looking to create and finding people who fit your needs.

10 tips on how to hire people who fit into the remote business culture

1. Show it in your employer brand 

Share information from employer brand about your company's culture, values, and goals online through your careers site, social channels, and through multimedia content such as videos and images.

Remote cultures often have a fairly global reach, for example. If that's the case for your company, then positioning yourself as an international, diverse, inclusive organization and workplace is likely to be attractive to like-minded candidates.

2. Share it in the job description to hire people adapted to remote work

Job descriptions and hiring ads are just as important as employer branding in showcasing your remote work culture. 

This is where the perceived benefits of remote work meet the realities of the job to be done, allowing candidates to self-assess their qualifications and desire for the job.

The goal is to make your job offer and your company appear attractive to candidates who share the same values and goals as your team, while keeping expectations clear.

3. Replicates internal communication in the selection process

An important requirement of remote work is clear communication through email, chat applications, and video conferencing. 

The interview phase is a great real-world test of these skill sets and will give the candidate an idea of what their day-to-day work life on your team would be like.

Create a structured interview process that includes a short series of 30 or 1 hour video calls with your team. 

Pay attention to how effectively the candidate can present their ideas and interact with your team via video, and how effectively they communicate via email between calls. 

In addition to the information you'll gain from the interviews themselves, you'll also get a clear picture of a candidate's abilities in a remote communications environment.

4. Clarify the "caves" of teleworking to hire people adapted to remote work

While showing the benefits of working remotely is important for generating candidates, it's also critical that you be honest about the caveats that come with this type of work.

Throughout the hiring process, you need to make it clear what the compensation will be for the candidate if they choose to work remotely instead of in an office environment.

5. Highlight your remote work processes

Lastly, it is important that you describe the processes you have in place for team alignment and communication on your remote team.

Again, this is an expectation-setting exercise. 

Communicating your processes and the apps you use to make them happen will allow you to gauge how comfortable the candidate is with that job, which will tell potential cultural fit.

Communicating the kind of remote culture you hope to build and being realistic about what remote work will entail will ensure that candidates enter the process with their eyes open.

6. Ask about their experience with remote work to hire people adapted to remote jobs

One of the best predictors of success in remote work is whether or not the candidate has done it before. 

That's largely because people who have worked remotely know what it entails and are aware of the positives and negatives that come with it.

Consider asking about remote work experience in the application phase and then expanding on that conversation during interviews, this will help you understand and learn more about their skills.

7. Ask why you want to work remotely

This question is directly related to the previous point. 

By directly asking the candidate why they want to work remotely, especially if they haven't done so before, you will be able to understand their motivations for applying to your position.

Do you want to be able to travel and work at the same time? Do they expect remote work life to be easier and more liberating? Are they being realistic about what remote working life entails?

8. Assess skills related to remote work to hire people adapted to remote work

Remote workers require a specific skill set to work effectively in dispersed teams. 

You must actively screen and assess those skills during the application, prescreening, and interview.

Some of these skills are communication, autonomy, specific skills of the job functions, discipline, maturity, organization, etc… E

This type of evaluation can be carried out using evaluation software.

9. Ask questions to find out the cultural suitability of the candidate

If you have gone through the process of defining and writing down the characteristics and personality traits you are looking for.

You should then be able to generate some polling questions that screen candidates based on those requirements.

Write a list of 5-10 cultural appropriateness questions that you will ask each candidate. It should be a mix of questions related to your company values and your remote team.

10. Use a high-quality video calling platform to hire people suited to remote jobs

The biggest drawback to working and assessing remotely is the inability to see a candidate or co-worker in person. 

This creates a kind of barrier between the two parties, regardless of how good teleconferencing technology has become.

Finally…

Many high-end video interview platforms come with the ability to record and analyze interviews after they've taken place. 

This allows recruiters to play the tapes at a later date to review the interview from a different angle. 

If, for example, you focused on the candidate's skills and work history in the live interview, you can reassess body language and communication skills in the replay.

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