When working virtually, it can become all too easy to rely on internal networks for seeking out new job candidates. This approach, however, is highly problematic. While they can often offer reliable prospects, what they don’t necessarily ensure is a wider variety of remote professionals.
To reach beyond your own or your team’s networks and to communicate your desire for greater inclusion is something of an art—but an incredibly worthwhile endeavor.
Here’s how you can widen the talent pool when hiring for remote jobs:
Own the Term “All-Inclusive”
It works great for vacation destinations, and it’ll work wonders for your business, too. GitHub’s distributed team thrives on the concept. “Monocultures are dangerous, and hiring people from different locations naturally helps you avoid them by giving you a huge injection of diversity,” they told Remote.co. “When your teams have a wide range of cultural perspectives to draw from when approaching problems, your company will do a much better job of navigating challenges.”
So having a more diverse team isn’t just an educational experience for employees; it’s a serious competitive advantage, and as this translates into a much deeper understanding of a broader customer base, it’s also clearly a smart business move.
To do it well, it’s recommended that you establish values that reflect the type of culture you’re seeking to build. Incorporating cultural competency, knowledge of best practices in accessibility, and transparent communication will be critical as you embark on your journey. Bear in mind that inclusion is not a one-and-done; there’s no box you can tick once hiring concludes to ensure that your team is truly inclusive. It’s an ongoing effort that requires openness, thoughtful interactions, and listening to one another’s ideas and perspectives—something that is totally possible with virtual colleagues!
Get Creative to Get Creatives (Among Others)
You won’t snag a top-tier remote team with the same old blasé job posts. Today’s “no-collar” employees are looking for a company that is as outside of the box as they are. Add phrases to your job description that shine a light on the company culture and help applicants get a feel for your company and its brand. Be sure to use clear, inclusive language that expresses your support for people from all walks of life. Sensitivity to pronoun usage with regard to gender identity is important.
Also, pay attention to the types of benefits you offer: caregiver stipends or paid parental leave that includes adoptive parents are an attractive option for those who are caring for immediate family members, while professional development incentives and gym and coworking memberships could serve to benefit even more teammates.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask applicants to embrace a Google form. These can serve as a litmus test of sorts for prospective employees. FlexJobs has developed a process that enables them to assess an applicant’s ability to communicate effectively, think critically, and display attention to detail by using “a practical exercise…that gives the candidate a good look at what kinds of things the job really entails and us a sense of their ability to do the work.” (Longer forms are more challenging and time-consuming, but if folks jump ship before completion, their lack of commitment is an important signal.)
The Bird In Your Hand Could Be Worth Two New Employees
Today’s mobile professionals are everywhere; they’re not just scouring job boards or talking with headhunters. Look to social platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Fishbowl, where you can reach global audiences and network with industry influencers. Promoting jobs on Twitter and Instagram is fairly straightforward, as a relevant hashtag could have folks coming to you versus the other way around. Additionally, you can hop onto various ongoing chats to expand your knowledge of critical topics regarding diversity and inclusion in hiring, such as #HRZdiversitychat.
Try searching “#remotework” or “remotejobs” in combination with #inclusion and see all the positions that are currently available; one of those could be yours. An app like Fishbowl is a slightly different story—no hashtagging necessary there. Simply log in and explore the many bowls available to you: copywriters, account managers, UI and UX designers, and the all-encompassing freelancers bowl are filled with talented people trying to network themselves into a new position.
There’s no doubt that today’s workforce is farther flung and more diverse than ever before. You’ve already done the best thing possible for your company by going remote. Now all you need is a highly diverse crop of pros with great ideas (rather than groupthink). Time to tap into some unconventional spaces, get a little wordy, and embrace the variety of candidates that comes your way.
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