The Rise of Remote Work: Adapting IT Recruitment Strategies for a Remote Workforce

A remote work setup can also offer opportunities that would not be available to companies that don’t allow employees to work from home. With remote work, you can tap talent outside your city, state, or even country. This enables you to find specialized, talented workers even as the IT industry faces a talent shortage. Furthermore, allowing workers to work from home can boost your employee retention rate. Statistics show that allowing employees to work from home can decrease your attrition rate by 50%. What’s more, over 80% of workers who have flexible work options are more loyal to a company than workers who aren’t allowed to work outside the office.

At the same time, the rise of remote work requires IT companies to not only adjust their work methods but also their recruitment strategies. Knowing how to reach and attract the right IT employees can spell the difference between a successful company that’s able to grow by leaps and bounds and one that struggles with chronic IT staffing issues. Following are some tried and proven ways to recruit the right remote workforce.

Know Who You Want to Reach

With remote recruitment, you can hire anyone, in any part of the world. However, you still need to word your job advertisement carefully to ensure you’re reaching the right people. Is a degree important, or are you looking for someone with X amount of experience? Do you need someone who has used a particular program before, or are you open to training someone who has some experience but needs to expand his or her skill set? You don’t want to make your ad too narrow, as you could discourage potentially great employees from responding to your job advertisement. At the same time, if you have some definite requirements, spell these out so you don’t get applications from people you aren’t interested in considering.

It’s also important to take time zones into account if employees need to meet virtually on a regular basis. Overcoming a three to five-hour time difference may not be too hard, but trying to arrange a virtual meeting or discussion with employees who are ten to twelve hours apart isn’t realistic.

Ask for a Video Recording

Ask candidates to record a short video of themselves and send it in along with a written resume. The recording doesn’t take the place of a video interview, but it does give you and other decision-makers in your company the chance to get to know clients before deciding on which ones to consider. Are potential job applicants dressed appropriately and sitting in an organized office area, or are they in pajamas, sitting on a bed and sipping coffee as they talk about their work ethic? Does the applicant show specific interest in your firm and its goals or does the video look like a generic response that’s been sent to multiple other firms? These clues give valuable insight into what you can expect from a potential applicant.

Prepare in Advance for a Virtual Interview

Once you have a shortlist of candidates to interview live, it’s time to prepare for a virtual interview. Bear in mind that this isn’t only about ensuring you have a list of questions to ask potential applicants. Naturally, you do need a list of questions, information about your business, and a clear job proposal if you determine the applicant is the right one for the position. At the same time, job applicants are using the interview to find out if they want to work with you. Thus, you need to make sure your interview is designed to attract people to your firm and make them want to work with you.

If you’re the only person interviewing the client, explain who you are, what your title is in the company, and what they can expect from the interview. If others will join in on the interview, explain this in advance and give the applicant the name and title of each additional individual. If you’re administering a skills test during the interview, give the applicant information about this test in advance. Your communications should be professional but also engaging and friendly so potential candidates will look forward to meeting and working with you.

Make sure your office has a professional appeal, even if you work from home. You want to show people that they’re joining a successful venture and can expect the best from you. Dress appropriately; you don’t need to be wearing a three-piece suit, but business attire is advisable as it shows people you’re serious about your firm’s success. Check equipment in advance to ensure everything is working well. Clear sound and video are a must if you want to attract top talent.

Ask the Right Questions During the Interview

It can be challenging to get to know someone online rather than in person. You won’t be able to see body language that can offer clues about the person’s ability to be a good fit for your firm. However, if you ask the right questions, you should be able to get to know potential applicants well enough to choose the right ones.

Ask scenario-based questions to see how potential job applicants would solve challenges and problems particular to your company. Doing so helps you gauge an applicant’s experience and training. It also enables you to see if the applicant has valuable soft skills such as creativity, innovation, and good communication skills. If the job position requires employees to work with others on your team regularly, ask questions about the applicant’s experience working with people in other countries and from other backgrounds.

If the applicant has prior work experience or is currently working at another company, ask specific questions about his or her on-the-job experience. First, you want to find out what the applicant does at the company and the ways he or she has contributed to the company’s growth and progress. Next, you want to find out why the applicant is looking for another job. In many cases, there are legitimate reasons why a person may want to switch jobs. These can include a desire for professional growth, the opportunity to work from home, or even a higher salary/more benefits. However, beware of applicants who are only switching jobs to make more money. Such applicants likely won’t be loyal to your company long-term. You also want to avoid candidates who badmouth a current boss and/or colleagues. Backbiting employees can ruin employee morale even if they’re not in physical contact with other employees in your company.

Offer a Trial Period

Once you’ve found what appears to be the ideal employee, you may want to hire him or her immediately. In some instances, this is a wise move, especially if the interview shows the individual would be the perfect fit for your firm. An immediate job offer is also advisable if you’re looking for someone with an uncommon, specialized skill set. On the other hand, if you’re almost sure you have the right people but want to get to know them better before making a final decision, you can always offer a trial period. Write up a clear contract defining job responsibilities, duration of the trial period, pay, benefits, etc. Not all great job applicants will be a good fit for your company. A trial period helps you see if hiring a person long-term is a good idea.

Partner with Professional Recruiters

Developing the right virtual IT recruitment strategy can be challenging. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. The Innovar Group is a Denver IT recruitment firm with more than twenty years of experience matching companies with the right IT employees. We offer access to unique candidates to help you find specialized talent faster and easier than would otherwise be possible. We provide market data to make it easy for you to create a pay/benefits offer for potential employees that will attract top talent without busting your budget. We also provide professional guidance during the hiring process to help you connect with the people who would be the best fit for your company. Get in touch with us to find out more about our professional services or to start the process of hiring the remote employees your company needs to reach its business goals.