Recruiting for remote positions

Hiring
hiring-for-remote-positions

As a remote company, you're accessing a talent pool that's a few magnitudes larger than the one of co-located companies. Not only that, but you're also bringing opportunities to regions where not a lot or no other opportunities are available. If you're offering generous benefits and an competitive salary, brace yourself for a lot of applications.

Where to post job adverts

Job boards like remoteok.io and weworkremotely.com are great for giving you high visibility on your job adverts, but they will also carry weight and noise. If you decide to spend the cash and post on one of these sides, be prepared to go through hundreds, if not thousands of CVs.

A much saner approach is to work through professional networks and communities. AngelList tends to bring good candidates to startups, Linkedin and Github are great for searching potential candidates, and communities like Dribble and similar are great to get honest recommendations.

Cold-hearted filtering

Let's assume you have 100+ CVs in the pipeline for a single position. You likely won't have the capacity (and shouldn't spend it) to interview every single one. Don't waste anybodys time. If you think that somebody doesn't fit, reject right away with a personal message. Don't let your choice be biased, use a pre-defined criteria sheet instead. This could include:

  • Certain skills that have to be met
  • Prior experience in working remotely
  • Samples of work are compelling

Boil your choice down to a set of candidates, which would be suitable to interview (20min chat) in the next few months. Don't be too harsh and reject everyone, but also be somewhat cold-hearted when it comes to filtering unsuitable candidates out, instead of wasting their time. Then, proceed with your interview process with these people (we'll talk about some best practices there in another article)

Alternative: Skip the vacancy

Possibly the best way to hire, if your candidate pool is almost infinite, is through recommendations. These might either come from your existing team, or from targeted and small communities. Both are great options!

When asking your existing team, keep in mind that you will somewhat bias and possibly un-diversify your team. Your candidates will likely come from similar regions, have gone to similar universities or worked at similar companies. It's good to get an outside view, so don't solely rely on recommendations.

Community-based outreach may be a great option. It helps you bring opportunities to people who might go under in a huge candidate pool, or might simply lack the confidence and/or time to apply through that way. Also keep in mind that you can't solely rely on a single community. Diversify and give back!

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