One of the most important roles of the HR department at any company is to improve recruitment services, as bringing in talented workers is key to ensuring long-term business success. Recruiting effectively has become more challenging over time, as widespread technology has made it more common for people to apply for jobs in faraway locations.
Hiring is now dramatically different for both job applicants and recruiters in HR offices. There are now far more possibilities out there – candidates have more application possibilities to choose from, and recruiters have larger piles of resumes to sift through in their quest to find the best candidates.
Recruiting remote job applicants is especially difficult for HR. In most cases, they’re dealing with candidates they’ve never met, and it’s challenging to network with these people and interview them when evaluating their credentials. This makes it difficult to compare and contrast different options. How can recruiters give a long-distance applicant the same opportunities as someone who lives just around the corner?
Keeping the playing field level can be tricky, but it’s important to give all qualified applicants a fair chance. Workforce Magazine recently explored the challenges of remote recruiting. Matt Grove, principal consultant with Recruiting Toolbox, noted that no matter how attractive a job may be, remote or rural work locations won’t appeal to everyone. Recruiters need to place extra emphasis on attracting far-off candidates who might not turn their heads otherwise.
“Employ the ‘extra mile’ candidate experience,” Grove told the news source. “Employers and recruiters need to treat candidates like the rare commodity that they are. The candidate pool for remote opportunities is limited, so it is essential that there is a clearly defined strategy to go the extra mile. All participants in recruiting need to be trained and held accountable for executing on the recruiting plan.”
While remote recruiting is difficult, HR has several ways of making the endeavor more manageable.
Redefine the position
Recruiting for remote positions sometimes requires an entirely different value proposition. Instead of trying to sell the applicant solely on the job, you may also want to promote the benefits of the local area.
Focus on different applicants
When looking to attract people to remote job locations, you may need to find a creative angle to find talent. Grove has a few suggestions – HR can go after military veterans, or other people looking to “reboot” their careers. They could also seek out people who have lived in the remote area in the past. If someone grew up in a certain town, they might remember their childhood fondly and want to return.
While recruiting people remotely is difficult, technology can make it less so. Social media sites and other online resources make it easy to make initial connections with people, and video conferencing software enables HR officials to virtually meet candidates rather than waste money on travel.
Judge candidates on merit
Finally, companies should look to make their final hiring decisions fairly. Choose the best candidate for the job based on merit, not any other extraneous factor. Your ultimate goal is to find the candidate who will be the best contributor to the company.
Originally posted on the Ceridian HCM Blog