» How to Recruit Remote Workers


Talent recruitment for remote workers requires specialized strategies. To avoid the stress and expense of a mis-hire, try these five recruitment tips that are specifically targeted at remote workers.


Explain What Remote Talent Means to Your Company

Not all companies have the same expectations of remote workers, and virtual roles may be structured differently in different organizations. Because of this fact, Daniela Herrera, Director of Recruitment Operations and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at R/GA, recommends including a short explanation of what “remote talent” means in relation to your company and the position for which you’re hiring.

“For example, some organizations might be interested in hiring remote talent but can only do so in certain states due to tax restrictions,” Herrera said. “Others might want talent to be available to travel regularly, and others might have a global work-from-anywhere policy. The more information you give your candidates beforehand, the better.


Melissa Terry, who works in HR at VEM Tooling, agrees with the importance of explaining in your job ad what your remote role entails.

“The job description is a key aspect of attracting remote candidates, and how you talk about remote roles will differ in addition to where you facilitate an open position,” Terry said. “Be transparent about what you’re pursuing: is the job remote-first, remote-friendly, or mixed remote? Are you looking for employees to work in a specific time zone? Are there any trip prerequisites for team retreats or quarterly conferences?”

Include specific details about your remote work requirements in your job descriptions so that job seekers can clearly understand your remote work policy without having to read between the lines.


Use Inclusive Language in Your Job Descriptions

Herrera added that building intentional, equitable, and accessible talent-attraction strategies is the best and most inclusive way to attract, interview, and hire remote candidates. “Hiring remote talent will help you build more robust diversity recruiting strategies,” Herrera said. 

To make sure you’re reaching a wide and diverse pipeline of remote candidates, she suggests using inclusive language in your job descriptions.

“Add alternate text to any images you might have on your website [which is designed to make posts more accessible to users with visual impairments], add subtitles to any company videos, partner with organizations that elevate talent from historically excluded communities, and train your interviewers and hiring managers on inclusive hiring techniques,” Herrera said.

Advertise That You Don’t Micromanage 

Most people who work remotely do so because they want their own independence, according to Sergio Diaz. Diaz is CEO of the Keynote Speaker Agency, an entirely remote company that books business experts at conferences and meetings around the world, including remote work speakers. By making it clear in your job listing that you aren’t a micromanager, you may be able to attract more remote workers.

“People are tired of being micromanaged and forced to sit in on useless time-wasting meetings,” Diaz said. “Our philosophy is simple: get your work done on time. I don’t care how you do it or how many hours it takes you, just get it done.”

As an example of how his company takes a hands-off approach that helps recruit remote talent, Diaz explained that he has one employee who lives in Costa Rica and loves to surf. “So, he can spend all morning surfing and then work in the afternoons and evenings,” Diaz said. “Our employees love this philosophy because they feel like they are freelancing but with a steady paycheck.”

Offer Flexible Pay 

Along the same lines of flexibility being a draw to remote staff, Diaz points out that offering flexible pay can also help recruit virtual workers.

“While we provide a base salary, we offer a lot of incentives to our employees where they can earn commissions and bonuses,” he said. “Because there are a lot of moving parts in our business of event planning, there are lots of ways for employees—mostly agents and event organizers—to earn commissions. We empower our people to be creative and don’t ‘box them in.’ Whether they can help facilitate a booking or upsell a client with a service, we encourage and reward it.”

Hold a Working Interview

When Jordan Fulmer, Owner of Momentum Property Solutions, a real estate investing company in Huntsville, Alabama, needed to hire a remote worker, he knew the importance of ensuring the right fit. While most managers rely on the traditional method of hiring—posting a job, collecting applications and resumes, holding interviews, and making a selection based on that process—Fulmer recognized a limitation to this process for remote hiring.

“The problem with this approach is that you have to predict how a worker will perform based solely on their previous experience and how they conduct themselves in the interview, both of which can be faked,” Fulmer said. 

So, instead of relying on his own judgment when hiring a remote worker, he flips the interview process around and holds a working interview. In this approach, he brings in about a dozen prescreened applicants based on their resumes and experience levels. He then gives them all a task related to the job to work on for a week, pays each candidate for the work they completed, and makes his hiring decision based on their performance.

“This might sound too expensive, but it is actually very cheap compared to the money and time sunk into hiring and training the wrong person,” Jordan explained. “On top of that, not every candidate who starts the working interview will actually complete the task. Not only does this keep the expenses down, but it also helps you narrow down the candidates who are willing to work hard.”

Refine Your Remote Recruiting Practices

People targeting remote work have specific needs and preferences that distinguish them from traditional job seekers. At the same time, managers of remote workers need to practice due diligence to ensure authentic candidates. Be sure when you recruit in this market, you understand what these unique candidates are looking for—and then give it to them—while leveraging strategies that can help ensure that you make a solid hire.

For more information on best practices for remote companies, check out our Q&A with leading remote companies and virtual teams!

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By Robin Madell | Categories: Build a Remote Team

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