The hybrid workplace model looks like it’s here to stay. In 2020, there wasn’t a choice. Whenever possible, employers had to switch to remote work. We’re now in a much different place, and hybrid work seems preferable from the employer and employee perspective.
According to Garner, 74% of companies plan a permanent shift to remote work at some level. McKinsey finds something similar in their research.
At least from the employers’ perspective, the idea is that results matter more than spending time at a particular desk in a specific building.
Some challenges still need to be addressed, of course. For example, IT teams are starting to address the challenges that come with employees who are working from different locations.
Another issue arising is filling talent gaps in a new work environment. You’re not just managing employees remotely—you may also be transitioning to hiring them this way.
There are advantages. For example, so many businesses are struggling with the burden of not sourcing the talent they need. When you can expand your talent pool outside of geographic boundaries, you may have a better shot at hiring great employees.
With that in mind, the following are some tips to strategize and hire high-quality remote or hybrid workers in the new year.
Be Strategic and Plan Ahead
Before you start the actual process to hire remote workers, you should have in mind what you need, and you should be ready to address certain things.
For example, how will you manage payroll, especially if you’re hiring in another state or even internationally? Be aware of hiring laws wherever you plan to source talent.
You’ll also want to think about how you’ll calculate compensation. This is an issue a lot of employers are dealing with right now. It’s more relevant if you’re hiring for an exclusively remote position versus one that’s hybrid.
Another financial and logistical concern to keep at the forefront of your mind is how you’ll classify your employees. There are risks of misclassifying employees as contractors, so remember this as you define specific job roles and an employee’s relationship to the company.
Before you’re hiring for any position, you should make sure that you’re set up in a way that’s going to promote hybrid or remote work success. For example, do you have specific, written remote work policies? Are you prepared in terms of cybersecurity?
Will the Role Be Hybrid or Truly Remote?
If you’re hiring for a hybrid position, the process and considerations will be quite a bit different than they would be if you were hiring for a genuinely remote position.
In a truly remote position, you can quite literally hire someone from anywhere on the planet. In a hybrid position, you’re going to be hiring locally or at least semi-locally because the person will e expected to be in the office sometimes.
Define your expectations for the position. Before hiring an employee who will work in a non-traditional way, you want to have metrics for performance and policies that define your expectations. You’ll need to be able to measure productivity and outcomes.
Write a Compelling Job Description
Employees are in the driver’s seat in many ways right now. Employers are the ones who are struggling to find good talent. You need to look at your job description as marketing content because essentially, that’s what it is. Take your time and create an accurate job description that reflects the duties that will be fulfilled and the type of environment and remote or hybrid expectations.
Ensure that your job description aligns with your more comprehensive remote work policy.
The job description should include details about the equipment you’ll provide and the hours of availability the person will need to follow. The more you can manage expectations from the start, the better when it comes to hiring any employee, but especially one who will work in a non-traditional environment.
Consider Remote Skills In Addition to Job Skills
While hiring for a remote position gives you some advantages, including a larger talent pool, it can also create complications. You’ll need to find someone that has not only the technical and soft skills for the job itself but also someone who’s going to thrive in a remote setting.
You want to learn more about a candidates’ organization skills, time management, and proactivity.
If you can find candidates who have worked remotely before and done so well, that’s optimal.
A successful remote worker is someone who’s fine working independently and who can focus on the tasks at hand and meet challenges and outcomes, sometimes in relatively unconventional ways.
Be Mindful of Possible Red Flags
There are certain things you can spot early on if you’re looking that will serve as an indicator to you that perhaps someone isn’t an excellent fit for a hybrid or remote position.
For example, if you set up a virtual interview and they have a hard time figuring out how to log in, this is a big red flag. No, it might not be the only thing you base your decision on but being tech-savvy and able to communicate remotely is big.
You also need to identify why someone likes to work remotely. Some people prefer the productivity a remote work environment gives them. They can work in a setting free of office politics, and their focus is on the job at hand versus things that would otherwise take away from their productivity. However, if the applicant talks too much about running errands during the day or traveling while they work, these can be red flags.
Finally, since you aren’t necessarily going to even get to meet a remote employee in person, you might want to set up an assignment or task where you can assess their skill on the job. Make the task as similar to something they’d be doing on the job as possible.
By Susan Melony