remote hiring mistakes

Hiring employees, whether for onsite or remote positions, it’s always about taking risks. There are no guarantees someone will be as talented as they say on their resume. And you will never know for sure if a candidate is what you’re looking for until you give them the job. However, if you hire remote employees, the risk is even greater when you don’t have strong recruitment and selection strategies

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hire is at least 30% of the individual’s first year expected earnings. No organization wants to waste money and energy on someone who can’t do the job. So, how to ensure your next hires will be a success? By avoiding these 7 remote hiring mistakes. 

7 Remote Hiring Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making 

1.   Not Having a Remote Recruitment Process

One of the most common remote hiring mistakes that HR teams aren’t aware of is the lack of a solid remote recruitment process. Remote employees are not the same as onsite employees. And remote hiring is not the same as onsite hiring (this article explains it). You need a different strategy. Otherwise, you’ll end up getting the same type of candidates – or no candidates at all. If you want to expand your talent pool, make sure to:

  • Have the necessary equipment to conduct remote interviews
  • Write effective job ads
  • Post the job offer on different job boards and platforms 
  • Use an ATS system
  • Work in the way you conduct remote interviews (know what skills to assess and how to test candidates remotely) 

2. Hiring Based Exclusively on Their Resume

Resumes are important; they sum up a candidate’s professional experience, personality traits, and key skills. And when you have thousands of candidates applying for a position, interviewing all of them is a waste of time. 

However, thinking a candidate is the exact reflection of their resume is a big mistake. Why? Because most people lie when writing them. Checkster surveyed 400 people, of which 78% admitted lying in the resumes adding skills they didn’t have, working at companies longer than they actually did, having a higher GPA point, among other things. 

Not that you have to ditch resumes thinking everyone will lie, but it’s a mistake to believe that the best way to assess someone’s abilities is via a document written by them. Instead, besides interviewing them, you could (depending on the role) give them a task or a small project to test their skills. 

3. Hiring Remotely Only Because It’s Cheaper 

One of the benefits of hiring remotely is that you have a bigger talent pool. And consequently, you’re able to hire employees from countries where the cost of living is much lower. For example, countries like Ukraine or India are known for having a low cost of living. An average salary can vary from $300 – $600 a month, which in comparison to the U.S., is very low. And the disadvantage of this is that when your vision is clouded by the ‘’I’m paying less than what I pay for employees here,’’ you don’t realize that in some cases, you’re also paying for cheap results.  This is why, when hiring remotely, make sure candidates have the skills you need as well as fluent English, even if this means paying more than the average salary. 

4. Not Setting Clear Expectations About the Role 

When you don’t set clear expectations about the job, you’re giving space to misunderstandings between the candidate and the company. As a result, they might get the job, but it’s not what they were looking for and quit. Or the other way around, it can turn into a bad experience for the rest of the team, such that you end up firing the person. 

Therefore, before hiring them, take time to figure out challenges like:

  • Time zones: If you’re hiring people in different time zones, have a plan in terms of how you will be dealing with this.
  • Collaboration: How will the communication and collaboration process be like? Make sure to have all the necessary tools and technology for this. 
  • Schedule: A common misunderstanding that many remote candidates make is that working remotely means working on a paradisiac beach. Some companies allow that flexibility; others don’t so be sure to put all the cards on the table. As well as defining the hours you expect them to be online. 

5. Not Understanding the Difference Between a Good Worker and a Good Remote Worker

Remote work has been idealized by many. They think that it’s all about flexibility and the whole ‘’working in Pjs’’ concept. However, what most of them don’t know is that it’s also about being independent, having great communication skills, being able to deliver on time, among other things.

Also, one of the biggest challenges that remote workers have is to be able to set work-life boundaries. When hiring remote employees, you don’t want someone who works 12+ hours. Or that gets depressed by the lack of human interactions. When interviewing candidates inquire about their past experiences working remotely or autonomously. 

6. Not Knowing Where to Find Talented Remote Workers

Another of the most common remote hiring mistakes made by HR teams is to expect to hire talented employees from the wrong source. Let’s say you need a full-time remote designer; publishing the job ad on platforms like Upwork or Guru will only make you receive tons of applicants trying to work for you on a freelance basis. Make sure you’re publishing your job description in the right places. In this case, there are specific platforms to look for designers, such as 99design. In the case of other careers such as software engineers, or a remote QA team, you could try other freelancing sites, but if you want a full-time remote developer, you could even consider getting the help of remote recruitment agencies.

There are a lot of different options that can get you the talent you need. It’s a matter of narrowing your search into the places that will help you find the professionals that fulfill your requirements. 

7. Underestimating the Onboarding Process

The recruitment and hiring process is not over until you have the right onboarding system for remote employees. According to Click Onboarding, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience a great onboarding experience. 

Most companies tend to underestimate this process because they think onboarding is natural. You welcome the employee, show them their station, and explain a few things, and that’s it. But, in a remote environment, the onboarding process has to be intentional. New employees need to feel supported and welcomed. Onboarding is the first taste they have about a company’s culture, so before hiring someone, make sure you have this process structure focusing on the experience. Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure the new employee has everything they need for the role.
  • Introduce them to the team!
  • Go through all the necessary documentation (policies, contracts, etc.)
  • Create a checklist of their first tasks
  • Help them navigate through the new remote collaboration tools

The Bottom Line 

Remote hiring has become the mainstream solution for most companies looking to recruit top talent. It provides employees and employers with great benefits, from higher productivity to better work-life balance. However, finding talent is the main challenge. By avoiding these 7 remote hiring mistakes, you’ll be able to make your recruitment process more effective, and consequently, you’ll find remote candidates faster. It’s all about changing your mindset acknowledging that hiring remotely is completely different from hiring onsite.  

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels