The pandemic has brought about a massive shift in workplace culture – the rise of borderless teams. Among all industries, IT has been the biggest beneficiary of remote work. By embracing new ways of working, the IT industry has managed to weather the pandemic impact. However, managing remote teams is not all sunshine and rainbows. Many IT managers face remote hiring challenges and find it difficult to source remote talent effectively.
We’ve noticed that several common challenges arise when IT managers try to hire remote employees, which can be addressed by adopting appropriate technology and management practices.
So let’s take a closer look at these remote hiring challenges and how to overcome them.
Too Many Prospects
Have you noticed how more and more companies are offering remote work opportunities these days? It’s not just great for employees who enjoy the flexibility of working from anywhere, but it’s also a game-changer for previously underrepresented groups who may have been excluded from office-based work due to disabilities or other reasons.
The benefits of remote work go beyond just inclusivity, though. By tapping into untapped markets, companies can find talent that they may not have considered before. This diversity is a big plus for any workplace.
But with the popularity of remote work comes a new set of remote hiring challenges for employers. With so many people applying for a single role, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the resumes and cover letters. While it’s great to have a larger pool of candidates to choose from, recruiters need to fill the position as quickly as possible to keep things moving. Time is money, after all.
It can be a Herculean task to sort through the overwhelming pool of applications and find the right candidate. But there are some strategies you can use to make the process more manageable.
One important thing is to be transparent and set clear expectations throughout the hiring process. This will help applicants understand what you’re looking for and help you narrow down the pool of candidates. You can also use AI-based applications to streamline the process and quickly identify talented candidates.
As a hiring manager, to overcome this remote hiring challenge you can also create a streamlined remote hiring process from the beginning. Start by being specific in your job posting about what you’re looking for, so you can weed out unqualified candidates early on. You can also enlist your team members to help with resume reading and shortlisting, and get their input on what qualities a new team member should bring to the table.
But manual recruitment is never the most efficient option, especially when dealing with a high volume of applications. That’s where technology comes in. By using recruitment platforms like CodeMonk, you can simplify the process of sorting applications, interviewing candidates, and tracking the hiring process.
Time Zone Differences
When you’re building a remote team, you have access to a vast talent pool from around the world. However, with professionals spread across different time zones, coordinating schedules can be a challenge.
The upside is that with team members in different locations, you can ensure round-the-clock coverage for your customers. For example, if you have a support team in multiple time zones, they can work in shifts to provide 24/7 coverage. As one team finishes for the day, another team can take over, ensuring seamless service.
On the downside, scheduling meetings, training, and other collaborative activities can be a nightmare. You can’t expect team members to be available at all hours of the day, just because it’s convenient for you. It’s also important to be mindful of spontaneous interactions. Sending a quick message to a team member in the middle of their night won’t help them stay productive, and it may even lead to frustration and burnout.
Even scheduling interviews across different time zones can be a real challenge. You might find yourself sending multiple emails or making phone calls just to find a time that works for both you and the candidate. It takes careful planning and extra effort to make it work.
To overcome these remote hiring challenges, you need to find ways to accommodate the different time zones while still maintaining effective communication and collaboration.
One option is to use scheduling tools like Calendly or Doodle, which can help you find a time that works for everyone without a lot of back-and-forth. You can also consider conducting interviews outside of regular business hours to accommodate candidates in different time zones.
Ultimately, with a little extra effort and some smart tools, you can overcome the challenges of scheduling interviews across different time zones and find the right candidate for your remote team.
Analysing Remote Skills
One of the most common mistakes in remote hiring that employers make is to ignore soft skills and just focus on the candidate’s tech expertise.
When you’re hiring for a remote position, it’s important to remember that your ideal candidate will need a specific set of soft skills to excel in a remote work environment. Of course, you’ll need to evaluate their industry-specific skills during the hiring process, but testing for their remote work skills can be more difficult.
Managing time effectively, staying focused despite distractions, and creating an organised workspace are just a few of the soft skills that are crucial for remote work. But how do you evaluate a candidate’s ability to excel in these areas during a remote interview? It’s not always easy, but it’s critical to ensuring that you’re hiring the right person for the job.
Communication skills, emotional intelligence, and self-management are just a few of the other soft skills you should be looking for in a remote worker. Without these skills, they may struggle to stay on track and deliver results. To evaluate a candidate’s remote work skills, you’ll need to assess their abilities based on the position they’re applying for. With a clear plan and the right evaluation tools, you can identify the best remote workers for your team.
As a hiring manager, finding the perfect candidate for a remote position goes beyond just technical skills. You need to evaluate other important characteristics like temperament, communication skills, and whether they’re suited for remote work.
Remote workers must be productive without constant supervision and collaborate effectively with team members spread across different locations. Evaluating these traits can be tricky during remote hiring, but it’s crucial to do so. Start by researching the skills required for the job and use the interview process to gauge the candidate’s responses and interactions.
Another great way to assess their capabilities is by giving them a small test project. It will show you how long they take to complete the task, how they use available resources, how they tackle obstacles like technology problems, how they communicate when a problem arises, and so much more.
You can also use custom skill tests to evaluate their expertise. These tests help you implement skills that are specific to the position, and the right tool can make the process much more manageable. Whether it’s communication skills or technical proficiency, custom skill tests can help you find the right candidate.
Among all remote work challenges for employers, the onboarding process is surely one that we should mention.
When it comes to remote employees, lack of engagement can lead to slower adaptation to their new positions. Starting a new job is daunting, and without the opportunity to meet other team members in person, it can be even scarier. The confusion and ambiguity of working remotely can be overwhelming, especially for new recruits. Not being able to meet their colleagues in person can create an added layer of anxiety for both the new hires and existing remote workers.
Additionally, it’s easier to communicate and seek help in person than when working from home. The lack of company culture and casual breaks also means new hires take longer to get acquainted with their work surroundings. And because not all team members are part of the hiring process, it can cause awkward video conferencing for new recruits.
In a remote working environment, onboarding is not the same as it is in an office. Without employees being physically present, it can be challenging to help them understand the organisation’s culture, work procedures, and the tools and technologies used. However, with the right tools and strategies, you can still make onboarding a positive experience for your remote workers.
To ensure a smooth onboarding process for remote employees, there are several key steps that you can take. First and foremost, start early by inviting the new hire to join the company communication group as soon as they come on board. You can use tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, and it gives them time to learn about the organisation at their own pace.
Don’t forget to send the new employee an Employee Handbook that outlines important company policies and procedures. This documentation should be digitised and easily accessible through your company’s intranet or internal wiki.
Creating a sense of belonging is crucial when it comes to remote work. Without the physical element of being in an office, remote employees can sometimes feel like impostors. To prevent this, IT managers should host fun onboarding activities that relate to employees’ hobbies and interests.
Encouraging video conferences is another excellent way to establish a personal connection with remote employees. During video calls, employees feel more involved and engaged in the work-related conferences.
Finally, facilitating collaborative learning is an excellent approach to building team collaboration. By giving new hires small assignments that require collaboration with other team members, bonds are formed, and employees learn while working. This approach benefits both the new hire and the existing team members.
Remote work brings with it a new risk that candidates may share fraudulent information. This can be a big problem, especially since degree and work history fraud is so prevalent.
When this happens, the company’s reputation is at stake, and they could end up hiring someone with a criminal record or someone who already works for a competitor.
To avoid these risks, it’s important to invest time and money in background checks.
With the right risk-based background screening and staying current with employment regulations, it’s possible to reduce the risk of fraud.
Fortunately, software can make background checks easier. It can provide instant access to background information and assessing results in close to real-time.
However, the gig economy presents unique challenges in screening applicants. To ensure the highest level of protection, it’s necessary to verify every possible job an applicant may have held.
It may seem like everyone has access to the internet these days. But having high-speed internet is not as common as you may think. This can pose a major challenge when it comes to remote interviewing. A stable internet connection is essential for conducting seamless online interviews.
Unfortunately, many of your interviewees may not have access to high-speed internet, which can make the interview process frustrating for both parties.
But internet bandwidth isn’t the only challenge that IT managers face when it comes to remote interviewing. Time zone differences and miscommunication are also common problems that can make it difficult to hire remote talent.
Let’s face it, remote interviewing is just plain weird sometimes. There could be awkward pauses and screen freezes due to lack of connectivity in the middle of the interview process. Participants may have to repeat the same thing more than once.
“Sorry, couldn’t quite catch you!” “Please come again?” “Pardon, can you repeat the question?
Adding to the awkwardness of remote interviewing can make the process even more nerve-wracking for both the candidate and the hiring manager. It’s a recipe for disaster and can lead to some panic attacks, especially if you have to conduct numerous interviews.
Have you ever been on an important video call, and then suddenly, your internet connection drops, or your microphone starts picking up noise from other sources? It’s frustrating, right? Well, the same can happen during remote interviews. Technical issues can create misunderstandings or cause candidates to give incorrect answers. These issues can also influence the overall impression of the interview process.
To avoid this, it’s important to have a backup plan in case your web conferencing technology fails. Always test your equipment and internet connection beforehand, and have alternative options ready. You can also reschedule the interviews if necessary and work on correcting the technical glitch. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to remote interviewing.
Adjusting to remote work can be challenging, especially when it comes to hiring new talent. It’s important to use your intuition and take proactive steps to address communication gaps and build strong teams.
With the right approach and following the best practices for remote hiring, it can be just as smooth as they were in the pre-pandemic world. Of course, let’s be honest, it was never easy to begin with! But don’t worry, you’ve got this.