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How confident are your staff to hire people virtually?

Nel Woolcott - Anne Corder Recruitment

Lord Sugar’s search for his next apprentice may be back on our TV screens –   but some employers still face challenges when it comes to telling remote candidates ‘You’re Hired!’

With working from home advice on, then off and now very much on again, employers and job seekers alike may be trying to shake off any January blues when it comes to filling new year vacancies.

Research by hiring experts Workable has found that candidate engagement, onboarding and evaluation are the three biggest concerns employers have about hiring remotely. But there has never been a better time to embrace the remote process and has a few tips to overcome the virtual hiring hurdles.

Managing director Nel Woolcott said: “We have all come a very long way when it comes to remote or flexible working over the past year. At first, companies who were new to the experience may have approached the working from home ethos with care and caution – and much the same is true of employers looking to fill vacancies without actually meeting the candidate in person.

“Fast forward 12 months and we can all put into practice the great deal with have learned during this time; particularly at the start of a new year when job seekers and employers alike are looking for something new and fresh.

“One of the huge benefits of hiring remotely is the greater access employers have to a much wider talent pool – as location is less crucial during these successful working from home times. As recruiters, we do appreciate that there may still be an air of caution when it comes filling a remote position.

“However, with some careful consideration and thought, the process should be plain sailing as we embark on a new year.”

Employers should:

  • Ensure the job application is thorough, specific and includes benefits being offered to attract the right candidate – and to make details of their working from home / remote working policy clear.
  • Make the virtual interview process as easy as possible for the candidate; giving them clear instructions on what online platform will be used, who will be present and send them the correct links to join the meeting.
  • Make it clear that there will be a thorough onboarding process; giving them details of what will be involved, who they will be reporting to and give them details about the company’s reporting structure and culture. Do not leave them to their own devices – make time for your new recruit.
  • Recognise the particular skill set they are looking for, ie someone who is tech-savvy, a good communicator, a problem solver, a self-starter and conduct your online interview to reflect your business needs.
  • Specify that the successful candidate should have a safe and quiet space at home where they can work to your company’s requirement. Many recruitment partners (including Anne Corder Recruitment) can also carry out a risk assessment on your behalf.
  • Embrace the fact that as location (for many) is no longer a prime factor, that there is a large untapped pool of talent outside of your immediate operating area. The office commute – and any issues that affect travel – are not a major concern.

Nel added: “As recruiters, we understand that there is an element of cautiousness; particularly if employers have already had to make difficult decisions about staff. However, it is only by looking ahead to what their business goals are that they can successfully create a match.

“This doesn’t have to come from permanent staff, temporary or part time staff may tick all the boxes and offer the business even greater flexibility. The needs of employers, staff and candidates may have shifted over the past 18 months, but the new agile way of working offers even greater possibilities and prospects.”

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