Every business comes to a time when they have to hire someone new. When looking to hire a remote worker in another location, the process could be different than your typical hiring process. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult, only different. And with the right processes in place and a little practice, you may find it easier and more cost effective than before!

Here are three tips on how to hire a remote worker without meeting them!

Job Applications

When crafting the job description and application requirements, be sure to include specific instructions. Not only does this provide the job seeker with needed information, but will also show whether they pay attention to detail and can follow specific directions. This is also the place to set the tone of the organization. Our Director of HR, Carol Cochran suggest to be genuine and set realistic expectations from the beginning.

By now, most organizations have been collecting applications and resumes in a digital format; mainly email. To hire a remote worker and handle the large influx of applications, it’s important to have processes and tools in place to stay on top of them. Using a project management tool or a well-organized database can help with logging and tracking applicants. Additionally, it’s more time effective to send rejections promptly rather than let them linger.

Another great piece of advice from our Director of HR is to build in some sort of exercise or test into the application process; usually after finding qualified candidates. The exercise shouldn’t be lengthy, but should be enough to provide the applicant with a real feel for the job while providing HR departments with enough information to make decisions on who to seek out for an interview.

Interviewing

Technology has come a long way and thanks to the numerous video technologies available, interviewing can be a cinch. Even pre-screening employees before an interview can be completed using voice or video recordings. The first interview should be quick, roughly 30 minutes, to get a conversation started and ask a few good questions. Cochran suggests using this time to gauge an applicant’s interest and professionalism. If all goes well the first go around, and the profile you have established for the applicant reads well, it would be time to consider your next steps, which could include a video interview.

When it comes to video interviews, initially applicants and HR professionals or hiring managers will probably meet one on one to get a real sense of each other. However, working on a remote team means applicants must be able to work remotely with their teammates. Towards the final round of interviews, it can be helpful to hold a group interview where the applicant can meet with the team they will be working with. Not only does this provide more people to give feedback, it is also a great way to see how the applicant will fit in with the established team.

Onboarding

It’s hard to imagine new job orientation being held while the conference room is empty. But, thanks to technology, onboarding a new employee can be just as effectively done in a virtual environment as if you were face-to-face in an office. Document sharing tools are essential to creating a collaborative and real-time process. Video and voice technology can create an interactive environment where everyone can “meet” each other.

Cochran suggests having an established platform to introduce the new hire to the rest of the team, “We use Yammer, and it’s a pretty impactful experience to have so many welcome messages come your way on the first day.” It’s also helpful to assign a virtual partner to new hires as a way to feel connected to the team while also having access to someone who can answer questions or provide direction.

During the orientation, Cochran stresses the importance of giving a virtual tour of the organization. Give new hires a tour of the company by explaining the different platforms that are used, reviewing technology, and going over any administrative points.

Finally, make sure to set up a process for monitoring progress. Cochran suggests checking in after one to two weeks, then again around four to six weeks. After those two initial check-ins, it’s good to touch base around 90 days (a typical trial period) to provide feedback to them as well as gain feedback about the onboarding process.

Hiring a remote worker is very similar to hiring in-office workers; the platform for doing so is simply different. By setting clear expectations from the start, keeping communication open, and providing ample resources to be successful, hiring a remote worker can be just as easy.