The global pandemic of 2020 has created an instant driver for change on attitudes toward remote working.  That’s not necessarily surprising as in history it has often been out of a momentous socially impacting situation that sweeping change resulted.

The Cold War fueled the Space Race, which in turn created mass acceleration of computing technology, which in turn has shaped the world we all live in today.

The World Wars of the twentieth century created a paradigm shift on the place of women in the workplace—giving women the opportunity to prove their worth in that setting and then the confidence to demand they retain it.

Only time will tell if the multi-national instant uptake of remote working necessitated by the 2020 pandemic will have such long-reaching effects as those examples, but for now, the smart money is on the concept that it absolutely will.  Once the Pandora’s Box of proving the case for remote working as a productive and also lower-cost model has been opened, it is going to be hard to close that lid again.

When it comes to hiring, the positive news is that as the “front end” of hiring processes—attraction and candidate management—moved to almost exclusively digital a couple of decades ago, the tools and technologies to support remote hiring are plentiful and powerful.

Where companies have struggled more, however, is with the concept of end-to-end non-contact hiring, i.e., getting through an entire recruitment process without needing to physically meet the candidate.

The great news for any leader looking to design, or redesign, their hiring processes to support a fully or partially remote model is that, whilst it takes a fair bit of work to successfully and reliably make that change, once it is done, a hiring model designed to support remote hiring can also be easily adapted to support “traditional” face-to-face hiring as well.

On that basis, unless you are absolutely certain you have no plans to hire remotely or semi-remotely, building your hiring process and model on a “remote first” ethos makes complete sense.

Standard hiring tools & practices

The days of putting an advert in the shop window or in the local newspaper and waiting for jobseekers to come in, limp resume in hand, are for the most part long gone.  Remote working or not, nearly every company & candidate today starts the front end of their hiring process digitally.

There are therefore a number of parts of the equation that make up your ability to reliably and successfully hire the talent you need which are identical whether you are managing your process fully or partially remotely.

In the lists below I have separated out the areas of your model you might want to think about as fit for purpose for a digital world.

Digital First hiring tools & practices (not differentiated for on or off site hiring)

  1. Your core recruitment technology
  2. Careers Site
  3. Employer branding
  4. Job advertisements
  5. Advertising channel strategy
  6. Direct sourcing of candidates
  7. Candidate management

Digitally differentiated hiring tools & practices (think about designing these as ‘digital first’, then tweaking as needs be for on-site hiring)

  1. Value proposition mapping & articulation
  2. Hiring manager training
  3. Candidate targeting
  4. Assessment & selection
  5. Offer & onboarding

The key to success in each of the above is thinking not just about what you need today, but what your candidates and hiring managers will need in 6 or 12 months from now. Maximise opportunities to use tech to make your process slicker, but NOT at the expense of your ability to get the right outcomes from your hiring journey.

As your need to hire increases in volume, all of these areas are easily scalable if you put a little bit of work into getting them set up properly at the beginning.