The pandemic forced many companies to shift to an all-remote workforce. However, many businesses embraced a hybrid work model well before social distancing became the norm. Employees are working from home at unprecedented rates, and remote job positions doubled in the first few months of COVID lockdowns in 2020. Workers are also loath to relinquish the perks of working from home. A survey of remote workers found that 33% would quit if their employer revoked remote working, and 52% would consider leaving their job for a remote position.

Remote work isn’t a brief trend. The same survey reported that 82% of respondents believe working from home is the way of the future. Businesses can use the following steps to hire the best virtual employees for their open positions.

  1. Reevaluate job listings. Hiring from within is a common practice across several industries. However, writing a job description to entice an existing employee is a different matter than creating one to attract virtual talent. The same is true for hiring an in-house employee versus one that will work from home. Remote work requires different skillsets. For example, employees working from home need to be self-starters, independent, and excellent communicators. The job listing should emphasize the qualities required to prosper in the position, as well as any time constraints. Virtual employees may live in different time zones. They may not be a good match if the position requires them to work from 8 to 4 PST, but they live on the east coast.
  2. Post job listings in the right places. In-house positions dominate most traditional job board websites, and the job seekers browsing those listings may not have the necessary remote experience. People looking for remote work don’t typically check Indeed or LinkedIn for job opportunities. They’re looking on sites geared specifically toward remote work, such as We Work Remotely or Upwork. Post open remote positions where the remote workers are to obtain top-tier applicants.
  3. Hold a virtual interview. Seeing job applicants is just as important for in-office positions as it is for virtual employees. Businesses can gain insight into the candidates’ personalities and if they will mesh with the company culture. Prospective employees also often consider it a red flag if the company doesn’t want an interview before offering them the position.
  4. Ask questions that reflect a remote work environment. Employers typically ask prospective employees about their experience, strengths, weaknesses, and so on during a traditional interview. However, some of these questions may not be relevant for remote employees. Hiring managers may also overlook critical questions if they stick to their standard list. Reassessing interview questions helps maximize their usefulness. For example, consider asking questions about time management, how the individual structures their workday, how to remain engaged, and how they separate their home life from their work life.

Hiring virtual employees requires a different approach than filling an in-office role. Crafting clear job descriptions and asking pertinent interview questions are critical to hiring the best candidate. Working from home is an appealing benefit to many applicants, and it can differentiate a company from its competitors. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about discretionary employee benefits.