Fully remote hiring can be a strange concept at first. After all, who we choose to work with is an important decision, and we like to weigh important decisions up carefully. We usually like to test drive our cars, view our homes and date our life partners but with things moving online due to Coronavirus, hiring remotely has become a necessity.

The emergence of remote working has made virtual interviewing an essential part of any recruitment process, but there are plenty of traps to try and avoid. We explore the nine most common mistakes people make when hiring remotely. Let’s dive in.

9 mistakes to avoid when hiring remotely

1. Failing to define your ideal candidate profile

Hiring remotely without having an ideal candidate profile is like setting out on a journey without knowing the destination.

Most hiring problems arise because of a lack of clarity, not a lack of effort; interviewers need to know what questions to ask and applicants need to know whether this is the right job for them.

Remember, if you’re honest and upfront about the responsibilities and expectations of a specific role, unsuitable candidates are more likely to deselect themselves. This is a good thing as when it comes to selection, you should prioritise quality over quantity.

For more information on how to design an ideal candidate profile – get in touch with our team.

2. Having a poor initial screening process

The most common way we screen candidates is by reviewing their CV. But this isn’t the most effective or efficient way of pre-screening large volumes of applicants. In fact for lower-skilled positions, prior experience is one of the least predictive candidate screening methods out there.

Asynchronous video interviews are time-consuming, costly and have poor completion rates. Manually-added candidate screening questions can be good to remove underqualified applicants, but they don’t measure a candidate’s ability, just their viability.

According to the largest study ever made on recruitment selection methods, the most predictive method of candidate selection is to use work sample tests. In fact, work samples have been proven to be 3x more predictive than CVs. Pre-hire assessment software, like ThriveMap, integrates real job scenarios to assess behaviour in your unique work environment. This is a way to quickly and fairly identify the most suitable candidates for a position at the start of the remote hiring process, saving your recruiters time and sanity sifting CVs.

3. Under-prepared candidates

Interviewers waste time explaining basic details about job and company history to candidates. This can be avoided if the candidate is properly prepared beforehand. A real-life job simulation assessment will do this for you consistently and fairly. This way you can spend less time explaining the job and more time determining the fit on both sides.

4. Under-prepared interviewers

You wouldn’t turn up to a job interview unprepared, so you shouldn’t lead one without preparing either. All interviewers should be familiar with the ideal candidate profile, what questions are needed to identify those attributes and what answers to look for as evidence of both displaying and not displaying that required behaviour.

All interviewers should have a scorecard with a rating for scoring responses (we use 1 to 5). It doesn’t need to be too detailed, just bullet points on what a good, bad and average answer would be. This will further streamline your interview process and make the most of the short time you have to determine the quality of your applicants.

5. Relying solely on virtual interviews

Since the coronavirus pandemic, most companies have taken their interview process online. However, technology doesn’t overcome the shortfalls of traditional interviews. Depending on the role, there are certain insights which only in-person interviews can provide; therefore you should use interviews and assessments in harmony to get the fullest possible picture of the candidate.

6. Forgetting about culture

In a market full of similarly qualified and experienced candidates, you need to know that your next employee is someone who will enjoy working at your company, and want to stick around. Our own research has found that 96% of HR leaders think that culture-fit is crucial. But only 11% were satisfied with how they were hiring for it (source: https://thrivemap.io/dreams-v-reality). This kind of insight on cultural alignment is usually gleaned through interviews, but this is increasingly difficult with virtual interviews for remote hiring.

7. Overvaluing personality

While hiring people like you may sound appealing, if you want your company to thrive, you need to hire employees from a mix of backgrounds and life experiences. The likelihood is that you’ll share an affinity with people like you because you share perspectives, heuristics, and, quite likely, backgrounds.

Many candidate selection tools can reduce this bias as it is totally impartial to everything that isn’t directly applicable to the role.

Download our e-book: Beyond gut feeling: a guide to fairer hiring for a low down of all the recruiter biases.

Beyond gut feeling: ebook

8. Failing to pre-board effectively

Pre-boarding is an essential part of your recruitment process. Luckily, this doesn’t need to change much when hiring remotely. You should use the time between accepting your candidate and their start date to get as much of the boring stuff (paperwork, forms, work email etc.) out of the way. Then, when they start they can dive straight into some meaningful work.

All of this can be done remotely with relative ease with the help of software such as DocuSign or by using a tool like Eloomi. Of course, nothing can better prepare your candidate for work better than selecting the candidate with the right capabilities, commitment and culture-fit in the first place!

9. Failing to onboard effectively

Remote hiring has made onboarding more difficult. It’s a lot harder for a new employee to ask for help with small details if they’re not sitting next to an approachable co-worker. When hiring remotely you should take more time to ensure your new hire is settling in and confident in the work they’re doing.

Failing to onboard effectively has costly implications: Forbes estimates that it costs between $3,000 and $18,000 to replace an employee depending on the line of work. It’s also estimated that in the UK and US $37 billion a year is wasted on unproductive employees who don’t understand their jobs. Nip this in the bud and get your employees on board from the start.

In closing

If you avoid these nine mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to making some great remote hiring decisions. If there’s one thing to take away from this list; it’s that you should embrace technology to make your remote hiring process more streamlined.

Candidate screening software can both speed up your recruitment process and deliver you the very best applicants. This frees up your time to invest in candidate relationships, candidate experience and effective onboarding.