7 Mistakes to Avoid In Virtual Recruitment

mistakes to avoid in virtual recruitment

Let’s face it. Virtual recruitment mistakes are common even under the best of circumstances. COVID-19 restrictions forced most companies to switch to a remote model. To adjust to this sudden remote world, team leaders not only had to adapt to distributed teams. Managers also had to start implementing virtual recruitment strategies to welcome new hires during the pandemic crisis.  

Even when remote hiring happens in the same country, adding a faceless candidate might feel like playing the Russian roulette to some. The truth is, remote employment offers a lot more advantages than disadvantages when done right. But, which are the mistakes to avoid in virtual recruitment?  

7 Common Virtual Recruitment Mistakes  

Mistake #1: Hiring Without Meeting the Candidate

The first virtual recruitment mistake is avoiding video calls. We hardly ever hear about candidates being hired without at least one face-to-face interview in traditional work environments. So why should virtual recruitment be any different? Granted, the geographic distance may not permit a face-to-face interview. But free tools such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime, and Zoom can help employers achieve the same goal: assess if a candidate would fit. For example, arranging a virtual meeting will give you the opportunity to see if the candidate is punctual (which hints at the candidate’s general attitude towards time). 

During a video call, you can gauge if the candidate’s personality would match your management style. If the candidate is from a different country, you’ll get to assess if there might be a clash in culture between the candidate and your company. Or a language barrier. Much of the candidate’s body language during the video call will provide clues if the candidate matches your organizational goals and values.

Mistake #2: Not Inquiring About Work Organization Methods

Remote work doesn’t mean working alone. But it means working with less supervision. And sometimes it means working in different time zones. Your bet on remote work is doomed from the start if your new hire hasn’t the right attitude for this type of organization and structure. And it is your job to establish this before hiring. 

Because of the nature of remote work, your candidate has to be able to manage themselves with minimum supervision. Ask questions such as what time their workday starts and how they prioritize and handle tasks. Find out the tools they use to keep their remote projects neat and tidy to determine if the candidate can deliver on time without getting lost in a sea of work.

Mistake #3: Not Doing Background Research on Candidates

Every candidate has a history. A record that speaks of their achievements, ethics, social behaviors, temperaments, attempts, and failures. Especially in virtual recruitment, employers need to be savvy in gaining this information through every means at their disposal. If you aren’t hiring with specialized recruitment agencies, checking the candidate’s background must be your first concern. 

When searching for a candidate, it’s best to start with your network of friends and professional connections. It’s less risky when a candidate comes highly recommended by someone who has experience working with them. When a candidate does not come through recommendation, do a general search in Google, Facebook and LinkedIn to get a feel for the candidate. You just might avoid employing serial procrastinators and substance abusers.

Mistake #4: Not Communicating Company Expectation 

The essentials here refer to your company’s expectations, its remote policies, procedures, and internal documentation. Just because you don’t have 100% visibility over your virtual teams, it doesn’t mean employees don’t have to follow the company’s rules. If a new hire is not aware of how sensitive information must be treated, they may not install the required infrastructure or take necessary precautions. Likewise, it is impossible for an employee to excel without clear expectations. 

Mistake #5: Hiring Candidates With the Cheapest Rate

By doing this, you risk hiring someone with no experience or not prepared to offer the full service. Either way, you are not going to get stellar performance here. This is ok if you are willing to invest further time tweaking your recruit’s work, but know that your time is also money. 

This isn’t to say that you can’t go wrong with the most expensive candidate. But you need to find a comfortable balance between pay rate and quality. The best way to achieve this balance is to assess each candidate’s past work and measure its worth against your company’s goals. Hire a remote candidate who can give the best value for your budget on a trial run before employing them full-time. Just don’t set a dirt-cheap budget because it’s a remote position. You get what you pay.

Mistake #6: Lack Of  a Pool of Remote Workers

Technology has brought us very far from where we were a decade ago. And COVID restrictions widen our geographical limits. Still, we aren’t still robots, and as humans, we need inspiration and connection to feel motivated. So, we have to make peace with the fact that even remote employees may lose motivation, experience burnout, or change their minds about working remotely, resulting in declining work quality. This can be a problem for your company, especially when it is expanding or preparing for an important event. You want to have a backup plan for these situations by establishing a pool of remote workers ahead of time instead of relying on one or two employees. 

Mistake #7: Hiring In a Hurry

Hiring in a hurry is never a good idea, especially in virtual recruitment. No matter how pressed you are for a remote employee. You will forego the points above in your selection process or turn a blind eye to blaring warning signals out of desperation. 

By the time you realize the candidate is unable to perform the task you had urgently hired them  for, you would have lost precious time. In the end, you will have to go through the entire process again to get the job done. You might as well get it right the first time by spending a bit more effort and avoid wasting everybody’s time.

Improve Your Virtual Recruitment Strategies With DistantJob

These are the mistakes you should avoid when hiring remote employees. Will it guarantee your next team member will be a perfect match for your company? Probably not. And there are many dynamics at stake in the employer-employee relationship. If there is just no chemistry between the two, no amount of due diligence can make it work.

If you want to make sure to hire the best candidate for you, not only for the role, we are here to help. As a remote recruitment agency, we have over a decade of experience in virtual recruitment and remote companies. We are people dealing with people, and we know how the remote world works. Get in touch!

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Rosemary Anthony

Rosemary Anthony

Rosemary Anthony is a content marketing manager for a Swiss company, freelance writer and author of two mystery novels recently featured in the Vulcan Post. She revs up whenever someone says ‘no’ and feels zero guilt over devouring entire boxes of chocolates.