An effective candidate background screening is always a challenge, but can be even more difficult when hiring remote employees. Of course, right now, everyone you’re hiring will likely be working remotely for the foreseeable future.
It’s important to tailor your hiring process accordingly, because employees won’t be working under traditional circumstances. Adjusting your standard hiring practices is the only way to find the best person for the job without actually meeting them in person.
Four Tips to Effectively Screen Remote Candidates
Use Videoconferencing Tools
Phone interviews can be an effective first-round screening tool, but only if the next step involves meeting candidates in person. In this case, it’s much better to interview candidates using videoconferencing tools — i.e., Zoom, Skype — because meeting face-to-face is important. Having the ability to see the candidate and have that face-to-face contact will allow you to bond with them and better gauge their sincerity.
It doesn’t matter where employees will be working, checking references is always a must. Having the ability to talk with their former managers, colleagues, clients, or teachers is an incredible opportunity to learn what it’s like to work with them and gauge their skill level relevant to the position. If you dismiss this step as unnecessary, you might quickly regret it.
Conduct a Social Media Review
It’s almost inevitable that candidates have at least some type of public social media presence, so take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about them. Review their profiles for any red flags — i.e., rants, lying about qualifications, inappropriate content, poor spelling and grammar — that could indicate they’re dishonest or lack professionalism.
Administer a Skills Test
The last thing you want is to hire a candidate and quickly discover their skills don’t meet your expectations. Avoid this by creating a skills test and making it part of the application process. This is an easy way to see if candidates have what it takes to succeed in the position. It can also help you provide valuable feedback to those not selected, because you can tell them exactly what they need to work on.
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