Recruiting the Right People for Your Remote Team

As well as finding the best talent, it’s also key to find candidates who fit with your company culture. Although you’re building a team, it’s still important to develop your company culture. It doesn’t take care of itself (more on this in Chapter 8). Finding candidates who are both skilled and match your company culture can be a challenge and requires spending time talking to candidates to assess whether their personality will mesh with the rest of the team. While nothing beats meeting candidates in person, with remote work this isn’t always possible. The next best thing is a video call which is 90% as good and gives you a good idea of their personality. This would be your normal mode of communication on a daily basis anyway, so it’s good to see how they react to the work environment. Use a video call for the second stage interviews and consider adding a small on-the-spot test to check their technical abilities. For example, ask them to do a screen-share using Skype while you are in the video chat. In many ways, finding the candidate who is the right cultural fit is even harder than finding the candidate with the best talent. Again, being able to access a larger pool of candidates will make this much easier.



One thing to keep in mind here is that by opening up your jobs to a remote audience, you may end up receiving hundreds of applications (especially if you’re hiring globally). This can be counter-intuitive as processing these applications could become a massive strain on your business. Many companies who hire remotely combat this problem by making the application process more complex for candidates by asking them to complete a small project. This deters uncommitted candidates and helps you find candidates who really want the job. You can then judge candidates based on the results of this test instead of trawling through their CVs. Once you’ve created a shortlist for the second stage, you can then look at the candidate CVs for more information on their past experience etc. If you take this approach, don’t make the test/project in the application too difficult as you don’t want to restrict the pool too much. Take a look at what other companies are doing and try to emulate them in order to strike the right balance.


This is an excerpt from "Distributed" by @joshua_tiernan



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