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Global employment is remote employment — but what does that mean for the people finding, hiring, and onboarding those remote teams?

When you bring structure to your hiring process, your hiring team can be more effective and provide a more consistent and equitable interviewing process for everyone involved. You'll learn how to establish scalable recruitment practices to consistently attract and hire standout candidates.

Creating a remote-first recruiting experience 

Applying to a job is stressful and often frustrating for applicants. In most cases, the balance of power is strongly skewed towards the employer. This means people interviewing are typically not the best representation of themselves. Success in interviewing does not necessarily predict success on the job.

To remedy the issue, recruitment teams, HR leaders, hiring managers, and individual interviewers should develop specific remote-first recruitment practices to create a fair and comfortable experience for your candidates. Doing so helps to create a stronger connection between the interviewer and the interviewee. When you make interviews more comfortable, you are better able to sustain and scale recruitment of the highest quality candidates from all around the world.

At Remote, we strive to create a recruiting process that is straightforward, lean, objective, and transparent to candidates and hiring teams. That process is guided by our values at every single stage.

These values inform and define our approach to attracting talent, including:

  • The hiring process for each candidate
  • The ways we interact with candidates 
  • The process for conducting interviews
  • The training we offer to our recruiters and hiring managers
  • Our strategy for achieving sustainable company growth

The Remote recruitment team owns the entire recruitment process, which covers every open position at Remote. We take this responsibility seriously, as we are in many ways the core guardians of Remote’s values and company culture. Our recruiting team strives to build a genuine sense of belonging and connection across a fast-expanding, truly global remote-first team.

Why documentation and transparency are critical

Remote-first organizations thrive on documentation. Without publicly accessible communications, people in different time zones cannot work together effectively. This practice is one part of asynchronous working, and it’s a large reason Remote has been able to scale our global teams so quickly without compromising on talent or fit.

Transparency demands that every conversation not containing sensitive data be available to every person within the organization. Of course, Remote is vigilant about candidate privacy, limiting interview notes to secure platforms and not discussing individual hiring processes in public channels. However, everything else — process changes, problems and fixes, questions from employees, etc. — happens in public forums, like open Slack channels or Notion documents.

Why the focus on documentation and transparency? Because without that vigilance, critical information gets lost in private DMs. It’s like hallway conversations at companies with offices. The participants may know the information, but no one else does, and that information is rarely disseminated properly. Insisting on documentation allows our recruiting team to scale a fair and transparent hiring process in countries all over the world.

Use an applicant tracking system to scale global recruitment

Remote uses Greenhouse, the world’s leading applicant tracking system (ATS), to simplify compliance with international employment regulations and data protection legislation. 

We use Greenhouse to:

  1. Open and post roles at Remote.
  2. Keep track of the hiring process by scheduling interviews, submitting scorecards, and adding private notes to candidates.
  3. Capture our communication with candidates and between interviewers (for example, by tagging a user in the notes/private notes sections).
  4. Extend offers and start the onboarding process.

Greenhouse allows our ever-expanding team of recruitment professionals and hiring managers to protect candidates’ privacy and align with GDPR and other country-specific legislation. We have structured and repeatable processes detailing how we use Greenhouse documented in Notion. Guidelines are available to all team members, and Greenhouse serves as the single source of truth at Remote for all of our recruitment-related activities.

In fact, Remote and Greenhouse complement each other so well, we officially partnered with Greenhouse to make international employment easier for everyone!

Clarity, documentation, and transparency help us continually hire exceptionally talented new Remoters who share our core values as we expand to all corners of the globe. A perfect fit between position, candidate, and Remote can be found only if the process stands on the shoulders of our values. If we can consistently see in the candidate the skills, attributes, and attitudes that reflect our values, then we are hiring the right person.

Tactics to improve interviews in a remote environment

Documentation is critical to the recruitment team’s success, but how do you make an interview better in practice? Here are a few tips.

Add preparation time to your calendar.

Add 10 minutes to your calendar before the interview to make sure you are organized, composed, and prepared. Check the resume, check other peoples notes, and focus on what you need to achieve in the interview. 

Double-check the call link for your meeting and make sure the candidate has access. If not, your 10-minute buffer provides enough time to email the candidate directly with updated call details. And make sure you are logged into your meeting software!

Add feedback time to your calendar.

Add 10 minutes into your calendar after your interviews to give you time to fill out a scorecard or write notes about the interview. Submit your feedback as soon as possible. If you don’t have back-to-back meetings, you should be able to handle this task within the hour. Even if you need to wait a bit, set a minimum agreement internally that feedback is documented the same day as the interview. 

Greenhouse automatically saves your notes if you take them live. You can enter notes directly into the platform during the interview, but try to mute yourself as you type to minimize distraction for the interviewee.

Make the interviewer accountable.

Bookending the interview with preparation and feedback time is a helpful start. To successfully scale recruitment in a globally-distributed environment, though, take this one step further by clarifying a company-wide expectation as part of your recruitment process: Assign ownership of all aspects of the interview process to the interviewer (not the recruiter). 

The interviewer should assume full responsibility and document feedback and next steps as soon as possible. The onus should not be on the recruiter to chase the interviewer (or the hiring manager if other interviewers are involved). Everyone involved as an interviewer must be proactive and help the team move forward quickly by providing timely feedback. 

You can’t afford to miss out on a superstar candidate because you neglected one step of your recruitment process. Without in-person interaction, documentation can be the difference between snagging your desired candidate or losing someone to a competitor.

How to develop a stronger remote-first hiring process 

We have a simple goal at Remote: hire great people for every role. In light of that goal, hiring managers at Remote are bound by a few key responsibilities:

1. Document the role upfront and get clarity around leadership involvement.

Define the hiring process upfront to share externally with candidates as well as internally. Always ask department heads to determine their desired level of involvement. Candidates should know exactly what the process looks like from beginning to end.

2. Proactively seek a more diverse pool of candidates.

Talk about the role internally, in public channels, and ping people who might be interested in contributing in some way to the hiring process. This is also the moment to ask for references/referrals. Seek out any channels, tactics, or opportunities to expand the search for more diverse candidates. Never close a position until you have sourced a sufficiently diverse pool of applicants.

3. Respect the location and preferences of your candidates and interviewers.

A candidate is always welcome to ask for a time more suitable to their time zone. Work internally to see who in your team has the closest availability if you have no overlap with the candidate's time zone. Don't encourage the candidate to schedule in the middle of their night; this won't be a good experience for them or you. Plus, doing so could create an unfair advantage for others interviewing for the same role at normal hours.

Facilitate belonging, inclusion, diversity, and equity (BIDE)

We believe that the collective sum of our life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent makes up the core of our company culture. We fully embrace employees’ differences in age, national origin or ancestry, race, color, ethnic origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability status, medical condition, religion, marital or domestic partner status, and the multitude of other areas that make us all so unique.

This is not an ideal. This is a non-negotiable belief that all Remoters hold dear.

We are constantly working to find more tangible ways to develop practical processes to enable belonging for all. Everyone at Remote is responsible for striving to deliver on this mission, which must manifest in proactive tactics and strategies that scale with us as we increase the speed of our hiring plans.

How do companies benefit from proactively seeking BIDE?

Facilitating BIDE can lead to a stronger company, but it is important to note that such gains do not happen automatically. Leaders cannot treat diversity as a set-and-forget metric and expect to see financial gains, increased innovation, or a boost in employee retention through passive improvements.

Instead, businesses must acknowledge that the benefits of BIDE arise when the company rethinks the core of its hiring philosophy. It is not enough to add more diverse voices to the mix: companies must empower those individuals to have a say in the company’s direction. That means hiring with BIDE in mind for every role, including the most senior positions. 

Further, companies must consider how their benefits plans facilitate BIDE. Does the company offer equal parental leave? Do leaders set the right example for their teams in taking advantage of their benefits? Employees from traditionally marginalized groups often feel pressure to perform at an outstanding level to be treated as equals. By making BIDE a priority not only in hiring, but also in leadership and culture, companies can realize the incredible benefits of a global and diverse workforce.

Establishing a sustainable and supporting global team

At Remote, we value our differences. We want to ensure all individuals have equal opportunities and feel a sense of belonging within our organization. 

Please view our stance on BIDE in our public handbook for more information on what BIDE means at Remote and the steps we are taking each day to learn, grow and improve. We welcome your suggestions and invite you to explore further at hiring@remote.com.

Here are a few final hiring tips you can borrow from Remote’s recruiting philosophy:

  1. We ask everyone at Remote to respond to direct outreach regarding open positions (via LinkedIn, social media, or email) with only the link to the position on our job board. This helps us stay inclusive and avoid the traps of bias that can be difficult to spot in the moment.
  2. If we have an open position but find that those applying are in some way homogeneous (e.g., only male and/or only white candidates), the hiring manager must actively seek out a more diverse applicant pool. Consider posting a job on a site for female engineers or a site dedicated to people of color. Make it clear to your team that it’s not a barrier if these practices cost money.
  3. Avoid becoming complacent about the effect of group identity. The people on the hiring committee should represent the people you are looking for whenever possible. If you can’t accomplish this, it’s likely a sign that you should redouble your efforts to bring in a wider applicant pool.
  4. Regarding gender and sexual orientation, be aware that people have different personal pronouns. If you are unsure, it is okay to ask, preferably ahead of the interview in a friendly written format. Doing so not only respects our differences but builds trust and community. Likewise, use gender-neutral language, such as "salesperson" instead of "salesman." You want everyone who comes to work at your business to truly feel welcome and invited to bring their full selves.

Recruiting mindfully to build a stronger business

We hire all over the world, with hundreds of employees in dozens of countries. We have seen the benefits of a people-first, action-oriented approach to recruiting for ourselves, and we encourage other organizations to see for themselves how valuable a more thoughtful strategy can be.

To see our open roles, visit our careers page. If you have questions about our philosophy, you can always email us at hiring@remote.com.

Don’t forget to sign up for Transform Your Hiring Practices on October 13th!