5 Remote Hiring Practices Job Seekers Need to Know

5 Remote Hiring Practices Job Seekers Need to Know

If you’re a job seeker who’s stepping outside the bounds of traditional work and looking to find a work-from-home position, now might be a good time to re-examine your job search strategies. Keeping abreast of remote hiring practices, which sometimes differ from strategies used to hire for traditional jobs, is in your best interest.

Remote.co questioned 108 companies on a series of topics, including their practices for hiring remotely, to gain a broader understanding of how they find the best job candidates. These “best-in-class” employers told us they use a wide range of remote hiring practices to locate, recruit, hire, and retain top-tier candidates for remote jobs.

What are some of the remote hiring practices that worked for them? Read on for tips on how these companies established great remote hiring practices, and how you can use their insight in your favor as a job seeker.

Here are five remote hiring practices job seekers need to know:

1. Multiple rounds of interviews are common.

As a job seeker, steel yourself and be prepared for lots of interviews, both virtual and perhaps face-to-face as well. It has become standard practice for hiring managers to set up a series of interviews for prospective job candidates, usually ending with a “clincher” interview with the CEO or other top-ranking manager.

For companies hiring for remote positions, this practice seems to have solidified, with some employers telling Remote.co that using platforms like Skype, Google Hangouts, or BlueJeans offers more opportunity for interaction, more often.

In the interview process, the information exchange can work in both directions. Managers at Edgar told us: “We hold multiple video calls in order to expose applicants to a diverse cross-section of our company. This gives us a more well-rounded idea of who they are and allows them to better understand who we are and how we work from different perspectives.”

The Upshot: Study up on how to interview for remote jobs.

2. Job candidate testing is a standard practice.

Many companies hiring for remote jobs use skills tests to winnow out candidates fairly early on. While some employers told Remote.co they use third-party tests or measurements like those offered by the FlexJobs skills tests, several companies said they use their own internal skills assessment standards.

Every tech candidate has to complete a questionnaire including a code challenge,” managers at Eyeo GmbH said. For (some) other positions we ask for completion of a case study. However, we do not believe in personality tests.”

You might be asked to complete a test project in lieu of an interview. “Our hiring process generally starts with some small ‘interview project’ we ask candidates to complete related to the position, often in place of an interview,” managers at Incsub said. Take heart: some hiring managers said their use of skills tests might depend on the position—if they even use such tests at all.

The Upshot: Brush up on relevant skills, which might include learning new skills online.

3. Employers want to know if you’re a good “cultural” fit for their company.

At TNTP, understanding whether a potential employee has a grasp of the challenges of working remotely is key to remote hiring practices. “We look to see that candidates are engaged, and ask questions related to culture, training, and work that may be unique to working remotely,” TNTP managers said.

The “culture” component was echoed by several employers.

“A good culture fit is much more important than geography!” Batchbook managers said. Hanno managers told us: “Our top priority is culture fit, and we usually introduce the new hire to the wider team as early as possible if we feel they’ll be a good fit.” At Formstack, supervisors said, “When candidates act too cool to answer the questions or like the culture portion isn’t worth their time, it’s generally a sign they won’t really mesh with our team.”

The Upshot: Be prepared to talk about—and show—how you’re a fit with the company’s culture.

4. Employers want reassurance that you understand the challenges of remote work.

At The Cheatsheet: “A heavy emphasis is placed on whether working remotely will be a good fit for a candidate,” the company said. “People tend to either love or hate working remotely, and it is important that we make sure each candidate understands the benefits and challenges of our remote work environment before joining the company.”

That’s not to say that you need remote work experience to get hired for a remote job, though some hiring managers said such experience is helpful. “Although we have hired employees who have never worked remotely, it helps if the person has had experience working remotely,” said managers at ThirdPath Institute.

The Upshot: Do your homework and figure out the skills you need to work from home.

5. Sometimes employers take their sweet time making hiring decisions.

Hiring remote workers can be a real long-term process, some employers told Remote.co. At Simple[A], the hiring process “has multiple stages and takes a long time,” the company told us. “We believe no matter how good the interviews and tests are, you really don’t know somebody until you work with them. … We want to make sure there’s a good long-term match before we jump into hiring anybody.”

“We have a relatively extensive hiring process for such a small team,” representatives at Melewi said of their remote hiring practices. Melewi’s process includes two rounds of interviews, a paid one-week trial working with the entire team, and a six-month probation for new hires.

The Upshot: Be patient and maintain your true self in your job search.

Looking for a remote position? Find remote job opportunities in the most recruited categories.

Readers, are you a hiring manager with great remote hiring practices that you’ve developed over time? Share your tips in the comments below!


By Adrianne Bibby | October 7, 2016 | Categories: Remote Management


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