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7 Tips for Hiring Better Virtual Employees

Erin Iafelice

This year has seen incredibly rapid and widespread acceleration to remote working. Almost overnight, people have become virtual employees without ever applying for the job. Many companies have remote work plans in place through year-end and even Q3 2021. As a result, recruiters have the additional challenge of hiring virtual employees. If bringing well-qualified employees for virtual jobs into your organization is on your plate now, use these strategies and ideas to realign your hiring process.

The place to start is with your job description and employer brand content. Make sure you are clear in communicating not just that the job is virtual, but about: 

  • whether the position is partially or entirely virtual
  • expectations for regular work hours
  • typical interaction and response times
  • the remote working technology provided by your organization, and what virtual employees should expect to provide. 

Paint the picture of what it’s like to work as a virtual employee to attract high-potential applicants into your funnel. Don’t forget to include any virtual team-building or online social activities that happen in your company.

Next, focus on identifying high-potential virtual employees for the job. True, the job is virtual, but isn’t the priority to hire candidates with the job-specific core competencies to perform well? One of the most effective ways to quickly identify these candidates is with pre-hire assessments. Modern Hire’s pre-employment assessments integrate advanced artificial intelligence techniques with the best talent science in the market. They are validated to predict candidates’ on-the-job performance for nearly 60 specific job families. Modern Hire assessments can also be customized to indicate candidates’ performance against organization-specific success measures in particular roles. 

Here are a few more tips for adapting your workflow:

  • Try video interviewing. So much of remote work occurs via video these days, especially in highly collaborative positions, so video interviewing is natural for hiring virtual employees. There are many video interviewing options and tools to choose from in an enterprise hiring platform. If you’d like to use this technology to screen virtual employees, use on-demand video interviews. With on-demand, recruiters can screen candidates at scale, use the built-in rate and review tool, and add notes right in the platform. Get a sense of candidates’ on-screen communication skills and comfort, and forward short-list candidates’ interview responses to the hiring manager. 

Live video interviews are another option. Complete them using the enterprise platform, and you have access to tools like automated interview scheduling and interview recording to improve your efficiency with hiring virtual employees.

  • Adapt your interview questions. Delve into candidates’ experience as a virtual employee by asking about their communication style with virtual teams, the steps they take to resolve conflict remotely, and what they do and don’t like about working remotely. If your organization uses virtual collaboration platforms like Slack, Basecamp, or Dropbox, ask about their experience.
  • Bring virtual team members and the hiring manager into the process. Invite virtual employees who will be working closely with new hires to get more involved in decision-making. Colleagues and managers can participate in live panel video interviews. You can also get the hiring team focused, and all are moving in the same directions in a pre-interview meeting using the same technology. For more ideas on how to make your search for virtual employees more collaborative, read our blog
  • Vet your hiring process from a virtual employee’s point of view. Increasing collaboration in your hiring has many advantages, but it can sometimes add extra time to your process. Walk through your workflow from the candidate’s point of view so you can set the right expectations about when they will get updates and how quickly you plan to decide on the job offer.

Finally, think through your onboarding process. Even if your organization has already started using virtual onboard technology, there may be gaps in a process geared for onsite hiring that you now use with new hires for virtual positions.

Ready to learn more? The Modern Hire enterprise hiring platform can help you increase recruiting efficiency and reduce turnover and your interview-to-hire ratio with all types of hiring. Request a personal demonstration today.