OutOfOffice #2: Remote Hiring

April 28, 2020
6 min read

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This issue we pivot to hiring in the remote-work world. 

The Opportunities 

Roughly 40% of companies have undergone hiring freezes as a result of the economic downturn, but those continuing to recruit and hire will need to consider how to do so in a remote context. For organizations who have the resources to hire, or can find ways to gather them, there are very compelling reasons to be hiring at present:  

  • Previously unavailable talent is now either available or open to hearing about opportunities.  
  • More people are open to contract work, which allows your organization to have flexible options in these uncertain times.  
  • Your employee mix pre-COVID-19 may no longer be the right mix for where your company is headed post-COVID-19. Now is time to consider what type of skills and expertise your team needs going forward. (Up-skilling and re-skilling may also be the answer, a topic we will be exploring in the future)   

For a more detailed rundown of the opportunities mentioned above, I recommend this article on workforce planning during COVID-19 by my co-worker at Teamit. 

Teamit | Agile Software Development Teams in Canada

Reworking Interviews 

Although much of the modern recruitment process is already conducted “remotely” via email, phone, and video calls, there are some nuances that are important when doing so fully remotely. We find Hired’s Complete Guide to Designing a Successful Remote Interview to be the most comprehensive and accessible resource on this topic. 

Even if you are planning on going back to fully onsite when distancing regulations are lifted, it would be prudent to consider any new hires as fully remote employees for the foreseeable future as timelines are still unknown. As such, it is important to add additional questions about remote working into your standard interview script. Here are a couple of decent options from Yonder’s list of 13 Remote Job Interview Questions 

  • How do you overcome a slump in creativity or productivity?  
  • How do you avoid miscommunication?  
  • Why do you think you will thrive in a distributed/remote company?  
  • What are some potential distractions in your workspace/home? What strategies will you use to address them?  
  • What skills do you think are necessary to be a successful remote worker? What concerns do you have about working remotely?

Teamit | Agile Software Development Teams in Canada

Onboarding, It's Never Been More Important 

Remember, remote employees, don't have the opportunity to shoulder-tap their neighbour to problem solve or mingle with their new co-workers over coffee and at happy hour. For this reason, I love Culture iQs recommendation of assigning new hires a buddy in their first couple weeks to act as their go-to person for questions about the company. Furthermore, consider an all-hands video happy hour when you bring new people on board, so they have the opportunity to meet everyone in a casual and social setting. 

If you are looking for a simple remote worker onboarding cheat sheet, check out this checklist by Workable. 

About the author


Teamit helps growth-focused companies recruit top talent, scale quickly and build high performing technical teams in North America and South America.