Redefining Remote Recruiting in a Tight Labor Market

What do you look for in a new job? Benefits, a pay bump, maybe perks such as free office snacks and coffee, and definitely a flexible schedule. And given today’s tight labor market (the U.S. tech industry’s unemployment rate hit 1.9 percent in April, down from 3 percent just one year ago), you certainly have the upper hand.

While this may not have been the case even ten years ago, global organizations must adapt to the ever-evolving workforce landscape to ensure they’re hiring top talent to keep pace with a growing industry.

As digital transformation continues to reign (think modern tech such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality), hiring teams must find creative ways to fill these roles. Recruiting departments are discovering new ways to attract top candidates.

Lifestyle perks and supporting remote work are becoming key differentiators as tech companies compete for talent. This is the precise reason digital nomadism has become such a hit with top talent in recent years.

For many companies, especially for those accustomed to in-person interviews, recruiting people only via video chats and emails can become an arduous process. Remote recruitment is still relatively new, with little discussion on how to approach recruiting for this workforce. Here’s a couple of ideas on how to manage remote recruitment.

Matching KPIs with Remote Recruitment

Time to hire, cost to hire, and position acceptance rate are among the most important metrics to track in recruiting. This is because teams can quickly identify where they might be lagging in the recruitment process, see how fast candidates are dropping off, and define areas for improvement.

When teams identify these areas, and find targets aren’t being hit, they can begin to figure out why. Often, those who haven’t set KPIs in the past will begin to see that their entire recruitment process is not as efficient as previously thought. Perhaps there are issues in sourcing new talent, or there are too many steps in the hiring process, leading to an extended hiring period.

The Human Side of A.I.

A majority of companies implement A.I. at different stages throughout the hiring process. This helps expertly mix human touch points with automated flows to humanize remote processes.

While sophisticated A.I. undoubtedly helps speed up the process, the human element is crucial. Teams must not forget about opportunities for face-to-face meetings, even if it means a video chat in lieu of a phone call. The key is to provide the candidates with an excellent experience that’s on par with what they would feel meeting the team in a physical office.

The Digital Leadership Approach

With remote work environments at the fore of digital transformation, there’s a need for executives who can think and manage differently than those who lead employees in an office space. The same can be said for hiring managers who are tasked with building a winning culture and team—but this can be difficult in a completely digital setting.

Digital leaders must ensure they can place trust and autonomy in their teams. This translates to the hiring process, as it can be difficult to build trust with candidates (and new employees) who you’ve never met in person.

With constant changes in technology, we must admit as digital leaders that we don’t (and can’t) know everything. We must be open to new ideas and the fact that there will always be more efficient ways of working. A true digital leader will understand this and work closely with hiring teams to establish a strong working relationship, despite long distances. 

Out of Office” Takes on a New Meaning

Speed is critical in order to gain the best tech talent, and when the remote recruitment process is done completely through digital means, each touch point is more valuable than the last. Most remote candidates don’t have the opportunity to meet with potential teams in person, so the tips outlined here will help HR teams progress solid candidates quickly and weed out those who aren’t a good fit.

And if you think you can still hire people the old way, think twice. Remote work isn’t the future; it’s now.

Wiktor Schmidt is executive chairman of Netguru, the consultancy, product design, and software development company he co-founded in 2008.