Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, most people with white-collar jobs were commuting to the office daily. Many companies require their employees to come to the office as they operate under the assumption that telecommuting is only suitable for contractual employees. However, did you know that 4.7 million Americans are currently remote workers?

That’s 3.4% of the U.S workforce developing software, meeting sales goals, or servicing customers, etc., remotely rather than in the office!

The trend of remote working is nothing new and will only continue to grow, especially as the coronavirus outbreak makes venturing outdoors undesirable for the unforeseeable future. By having the tools and expertise to hire remote employees, you can ensure your business is capable of identifying, recruiting, and retaining the superstar talent it needs to succeed.

Here’s more…

Benefits of Hiring Remote Workers

First things’ first, let’s take a closer look at a few reasons why hiring remote employees is good for your company:

Work from home increases productivity

Remote workers are more productive than their office-going counterparts. According to a recent survey by Airtasker, telecommuters work 1.4 more days per month (or 16.8 days more per year) than those who work in the office.

When a person is working from home, they can avoid the daily distractions that occur in an office. They aren’t bombarded with unplanned meetings or casual conversations. Instead, they can focus on the task at hand without any interruptions.

However, let’s face it – since not everyone is created equal, there will always be some individuals who aren’t as productive. This is why it’s extremely important for your business to hire the right person for the job. .

Save on office space

Obviously, your company will save real estate costs – but that’s not all! There are other overhead expenses associated with keeping your employees on-premises as well. Line items such as janitorial services and office furniture/supplies are reduced.

You’re also able to decrease the number of call-ins (employees who are likely to call in due to sickness or inclement weather conditions) with a remote workforce. Mind you, impromptu absences like these can cost businesses thousands of dollars per employee every year!

Access to a pool of global talent

By hiring people who need to commute to work, you’re essentially limiting your accessible talent pool to a certain geographical area. You won’t be able to take advantage of the top-notch talent beyond your commuting boundaries.

Are you running a tech startup in Wichita, Kansas? With remote hiring, you’ll be able to recruit software developers in New York or San Diego. Similarly, if you want A-plus talent without breaking the bank, you may find a capable full-time digital marketer in India for a fraction of the salary you’d pay to an in-office employee.

Challenges Faced When Hiring Remote Workers

Many companies believe hiring remote employees creates hurdles in terms of developing relationships with potential candidates. It becomes more difficult for an interviewer to form genuine and meaningful connections with interviewees while having a screen in between them.
As for the candidate, they face a harder time seeing, hearing, and feeling the culture of your company.

Besides that, standard conference call issues can lead to mishearing and talking over one another, which makes things more confusing for both parties.

Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome by encouraging the candidate to:

• Get familiarized with the platform (like Slack, Skype for Business and Office 365) and secure all communications by using a VPN.
• Test their device and Internet connection ahead of time.
• Begin the interview by establishing rapport.
It may take time to get used to the adjustment, but there are a plethora of tools available through which you can build relationships with remote employees.

Traditionally, video and phone interviews are common in remote hiring. But as technologies continue to develop, they can give your hiring managers the support required to make faster, fairer, and better recruitment decisions.

Technology Can Improve the Remote Hiring Process

If you have a careers page on your company’s website, you can make use of conversational chatbots like Mya to assist job seekers in finding relevant positions. With such an augmented experience, you might experience a rise in candidate conversions.

All candidates should also be invited to take an online interview, where (using scalable and comprehensive AI-powered technology) recruiters can assess the skills of each candidate and focus on the ones that match the role’s requirements.

This would not only diminish bias but as well as instill trust early on in the candidate – a vital component for a successful remote working relationship! Additionally, you’ll also be able to filter out candidates who aren’t quite interested in the given role.

Wrapping Things Up

There are so many tools available to help companies adjust their hiring processes to recruit remote workers. And with the coronavirus situation forcing companies to embrace remote working and hiring, we could very well see it becoming the new norm once the lockdowns are lifted!

Author's Bio: 

Faizan Haider is a tech expert with many years of experience in the tech industry. He enjoys writing about information security, ethical hacking, IoT and anything related to technology.