The virtual worker revolution is coming, and pretty soon your best people might be wearing sweatpants. From 2005 to 2011, telecommuting increased by 73 percent, and recent estimates predict 63 million American employees will work virtually at least part time by 2016.
Hiring a virtual superstar employee might be similar to getting a great person into the office, but there are some key differences likely to trip up employers and staffing professionals. After all, you need a different kind of personality and skill set to stay motivated while working on your couch.
Thankfully, tweaking your recruitment strategy to focus on cultivating great virtual talent shouldn’t take very long. In fact, it shouldn’t take you much more than 10 minutes. Here are some fast and painless hiring hacks, in order to ensure your company ends up with top virtual talent instead of digital duds:
Use One-Way Video Interviews
Think back to the last phone interview you performed where the candidate didn’t exactly blow you away. How much time did you spend on the phone with this person before you knew they were all wrong for the company? How much time did you then continue to spend on the phone, knowing the candidate wasn’t a great fit but unable to immediately hang up the phone?
The answer to this problem is the one-way video interview, and it can be a godsend for virtual hiring, especially in the early stages. In a one-way video interview, candidates answer your questions in short video answers, which can be viewed at any time and for any duration. These video answers allow you to get a better and more personal feel for the virtual candidates who will help the company grow.
Most importantly, however, they’ll save you precious time in the hiring process by ensuring you don’t waste your efforts on the wrong people. In fact, research by the Aberdeen Group shows you can watch 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes to perform only one single phone screen. Think of how many great virtual candidates you can evaluate in the time you’ve saved by putting down the phone.
Rewrite Your Interview Questions
Don’t use the same interview questions for your in-office talent as for your virtual candidates. Rewriting your questions shouldn’t take long, but asking the right questions in the interview can save you plenty of headaches down the line.
There are different skill sets needed to thrive in the virtual environment, and these skill sets might not be covered by the tried and true interview questions you ask in-office talent. Instead, look to use more behavioral-based questions to find out more about your candidate’s personality and potential cultural fit.
You need candidates who are self-directed and self-motivated, people who can turn away from the siren lure of the television or a nice nap in order to get the work done. Ask about a big project the candidate has tackled alone, and how they efficiently managed their own time. Ask about their ability to work as a team member, and ask for examples of their contributions to prior teams.
Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about the technology you’ll be using to track workflow and communicate with employees. Virtual workers have to be tech-savvy to keep up, so make sure your best candidates have the skills, personality, and passion to succeed.
Hone Your Social Media Talent Pool
Most applicant tracking systems and job boards will provide you with analytics to help you pivot recruiting strategies. Before setting out on your hunt for great virtual talent, take a few minutes to look over these analytics and think critically about your best candidates.
Which social media destinations are providing you top talent? What efforts do you need to redouble and what ways should you change your social recruiting methods in order to attract the people you need?
Sitting down with your analytics is a quick way to pinpoint the point-of-origin of your most effective social hires and can even help you jettison plans no longer bearing fruit. This can save you time to focus on the social channels providing the best ROI for your efforts.
Improve Your Job Descriptions
Improving your job descriptions doesn’t need to take more than ten minutes, yet it can save you untold time by weeding out unsuitable candidates. Ask yourself if your job descriptions are clear and action-based enough. Do they say exactly which skills are needed to perform the job? Do they mention specific software the candidate would need to use? Be as clear as possible, so candidates know exactly what they’re getting themselves into when they hit the submit button on the application.
As a bonus, specificity can help you include the relevant keywords the best and brightest job seekers are searching for when looking for positions. You need to attract the very best people, but first they need to be able to find your job descriptions. Once you’ve gotten a highly-skilled candidate into the virtual office, specific and actionable job descriptions can also cut down on onboarding by making duties clear from the beginning of the hiring process.
Tweaking your recruitment process in order to hire the best virtual candidates doesn’t have to eat up tons of time. By using these 10-minute tips, you can rejuvenate your efforts and hire the virtual talent your company desperately needs.
What do you think? What are some quick virtual hiring hacks you use? Share in the comments!
Guest author Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Learn more about using video interviewing to hire virtual talent and connect with Spark Hire onFacebook andTwitter.
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