Attracting remote candidates is more challenging than it seems if you aren't known for your remote work culture. You can't rely on your local presence, and competition for remote talent has never been fiercer.
The COVID pandemic shows how well employees can work remotely and reinforces remote companies' advantages over their office-bound counterparts. Companies are now scrambling to fill newly remote positions.
To attract new talent in a remote world, you need to take advantage of every channel you have. Just like you market your products and services and keep track of where good leads come from, you need to sell your company and track where you source good remote candidates.
Job seekers want to know your team supports remote workers, so it's essential to make this information accessible.
This article outlines how to attract remote employees, the benefits of hiring remote talent, and provides best practices you should follow to create compelling remote job ads.
Build a strong remote employer brand online
Attracting new employees who live in your local area can be easier than finding their remote equivalent. Local candidates have heard about your company, know an employee, or have seen your offices. They can see you're trustworthy and feel your company culture by visiting your office.
When you're hiring remotely, you can't rely on any of this. You need to build a strong digital presence to help potential employees learn about your company.
You can help candidates assess whether they'd be a good fit by creating an attractive and information careers page that:
- Describes your way of working: Fully remote companies tend to be asynchronous and hire employees worldwide. In contrast, other companies require remote employees to live in specific countries or work in standard time zones. Explain how your organization works and your flexibility in location and working hours. Give candidates a glimpse into what a typical day looks like for a remote employee.
- Includes remote employee testimonials: New employees want to know what other remote employees think about your company. Give team members the chance to tell their stories on your careers page. These stories serve as proof that your company understands and cares about remote work. Your remote employees are your best marketing channel. Learn how to keep remote employees engaged.
- Showcases in-person and remote activities: If you host annual company off-sites for remote team members to get together, show them off! Company retreats can be an attractive remote employee benefit as they let colleagues meet each other in person. If you use virtual team-building tools like QuizBreaker, that's another great thing to highlight. Remote collaboration becomes easier when people have strong social bonds.
- Outlines what values drive your company culture: People want to work at companies that align with their values. Be open about what you value.
- Provides information on your tech stack: Sharing tech stack information is a great way to attract relevant remote workers. We highly recommend making tech stack information accessible to potential candidates before applying. Think beyond your engineering team and share information about what your marketing, sales, and customer support teams use too. If you share your tech stack, you'll attract candidates who have deep expertise in the relevant tools to your business.
- Highlight the most important skills to you: Every company values different remote work skills at varying levels and every remote job seeker has their strong points. Make it easy for candidates to find employee-company fit by outlining what your ideal employee would look like.
- Share your remote employee benefits and perks: Offering remote work to employees isn't enough. The market for remote talent is increasingly competitive. Offering compelling benefits like flexible work hours, education stipends, or a four-day workweek.
You can create a free profile on Himalayas where you can tell your company's story to the world and shine a spotlight on your culture, tech stack, employee benefits, and the countries where your team lives. Our remote company profiles leave a lasting impression and get potential candidates excited to work with you, even before you've met.
Write remote specific job posts
Before you start sourcing candidates, get clear on the position. Don't put up a generic job description and call it a day. You need to help the candidate understand what it's like to work at your company. You don't have a local reputation to lean on, so it's up to you to sell the company and role to the candidates.
To clearly define a remote position, you need to understand the work the person will be reasonable for by:
- Doing the work yourself: When Basecamp hires for a new role in the company, they get their existing team members to do the work first. Doing the work first allows you to know what work you want the person doing and the skills and attributes you will use to assess candidates.
- Gathering information about the role and related activities: If you're expanding an existing function, ask the people doing the job about what they do. You'll want to understand their day-to-day, how the role interacts with other teams, and any critical qualitative or quantitative goals.
Understanding what the position entails means you'll have the information you need to write an accurate and compelling job description that defines how the new role relates to the company and its goals.
When writing a job post, your goal is to explain the role, how it fits into the company, and what your company does. This level of detail may turn some candidates away, but that's what you want. The applicants you get will be excited about your company and its culture.
If you need inspiration for your remote job posts, we've got over a thousand remote jobs.
Advertise on remote job boards
Consider advertising on job boards. Here are some good options:
Himalayas is the best place to hire remote talent. Our remote company profiles let you tell your company's story and shine a spotlight on your culture, tech stack, and employee benefits. Employers can create their free remote company profile, and their first two jobs are $50 each.
A flexible and remote job board that has been helping job seekers "have a faster, easier, and safer job search" since 2007. FlexJobs starts at $399 per month, which includes unlimited job posts. However, additional add-ons cost extra, such as social media promotion.
3. Remote OK
Nomad List founder Pieter Levels created Remote OK in 2015. Pieter shares the site's traffic publicly and receives 600-800k visitors per month. Due to its reach, it's the most expensive remote job site we've found for employers, with the price per job post ranging from $599 to $4,143 per post, depending on which add-ons you choose.
4. We Work Remotely
A large remote jobs website with over 3 million visitors per month, making it a great place to find and post remote jobs. It was founded in 2011 and offers hundreds of remote jobs from all over the world. We Work Remotely charges between $299 and $647 per post, depending on which add-ons you choose. Companies can create a company profile for free.
Remotive is a remote job board, remote work community, and newsletter with a comprehensive list of remote positions founded by Rodolphe Dutel in 2014. Jobs start at $299 but can go as high as $1,244 per post.
More remote job boards
Outside of remote job boards, you can also find success posting on sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, or LinkedIn as long as you specify the role as remote. If you want to recruit candidates in a specific country, it can be good to advertise job openings on local job boards.
However, you'll find the most success on remote-focused job boards.
Design a compelling and fair compensation policy
The remote workforce, much like their office counterparts, wants to be compensated fairly. Don't believe the myth that you can underpay remote workers. When hiring remote workers, you're competing against local companies and every remote company in the world.
You need to put effort into designing a compelling compensation package. If you can't compete on salary, consider offering other remote employee benefits like flexible work hours, a four-day workweek, stock option plans, or profit-sharing.
It's essential to ensure compensation is fair between remote and in-office employees. Some companies have even embraced location-agnostic pay. Location-agnostic pay refers to paying people doing the same job, the same salary, regardless of location.
Equal doesn't necessarily mean the same. The benefits you offer to office employees may be completely different from those provided to remote employees.
The most important thing is to be transparent with potential candidates, so they know what to expect. For example, Buffer has a public-facing page explaining how they calculate employees' salaries, increase over time, and differ based on location. Being open about salaries means potential employees can plug in their role and cost of living and see what they would get paid.
However, Buffer has announced that their long-term goal is to have location-independent salaries, so expect the trend toward "same work, same pay" to continue.
Showcase your remote work benefits
Beyond a competitive salary, what else can you provide to your remote employees? It's easy to impress a potential candidate when you have a nice office and great perks. However, remote workers get none of the benefits on-site workers enjoy.
Think about developing remote-specific perks like a home office stipend, learning and development budget, or company retreats.
Whatever you choose, ensure in-office and remote team members have equal access to benefits and opportunities. Here are a few ideas:
- Professional development: Remote workers, like all employees, want to grow professionally. Include them when designing career paths and training programs. Aim to give them more challenging projects and responsibility over time.
- Learning and development budget: Provide remote employees with a stipend to buy tickets to conferences, enroll in online courses, or buy books.
- Home office budget: A new (and regularly refreshed) laptop for work and a budget to set up or improve their home workspace can go a long way when attracting remote employees.
- Autonomy at work: A primary reason people are attracted to remote work is independence. If you want to attract talented remote employees, support autonomy.
- Work from anywhere: This is a great perk to highlight if your organization allows remote employees to work from where and when they want. Being able to live wherever you like is a massive benefit to most people.
- Company retreats: While remote work has its benefits, it can get lonely. That's why many remote companies get team members together in person once or twice a year.
- Paid vacation plan: Remote employees can end up working longer hours than office employees because they don't commute. They'll appreciate a generous vacation allowance or unlimited paid time off.
- Paid parental leave: When the time comes to welcome a new member to the family, remote employees love companies that offer generous and fully paid family leave.
- Health and life insurance: Employees who choose remote jobs often want to spend more time with their families. Offering health and life insurance plans for your employees and their loved ones is a great way to attract and retain talented employees.
- Employee wellness programs: Remote employee wellness programs are designed to bolster general employee health or target specific wellness goals like weight loss, stress management, nutrition, etc.
- Memberships to coworking spaces or coffee budget: Not every remote employee wants to work from home. For example, they might want to work in a shared office space or a local cafe. Either way, it's a great benefit if you offer to pay for some or all of the expenses related to working out of home.
Leverage your existing network
A great way to attract remote candidates to a new job opening is to reach out to former colleagues proactively. If you're thinking about reaching out, it's likely you enjoyed working with them and would enjoy doing it again.
Think about reaching out to customers, partners, investors, family members, and friends if you think they could introduce you to someone too.
People aren't often looking for jobs but will take a meeting if you reach out.
Attend and sponsor local meetups
Meeting people in person might seem counterintuitive, but a great way to fill a remote role is to find someone locally, and meetups are a great place to do that. Use Eventbrite or Meetup to find local meetups relevant to the role and attend. If you have the budget, consider sponsoring them. It's a great way to build a local presence.
Reach out to users
Suppose you have users. Make sure you tell them about any remote job opportunities you have. Former users are some of the best employees. They already know and are passionate about your product, understand your company culture, and, best of all, often know about tiny UX papercuts that aren't reported but are essential to fix.
Invest in content marketing
Content marketing isn't only good for marketing. It's a great way to attract remote employees. Zapier has found that almost every candidate they interview mentions their blog as one of the reasons they want to work there. In fact, 1 in 10 of their employees said they applied to Zapier because of what they read.
You can also write blog posts on your remote culture and interview your remote employees.
Ask for employee referrals
Your existing employees have networks you can leverage. Ask each employee to share the best person they've worked with for a specific role. You can even ask them to spread the word through their own social media channels.
Remember to let them know if you have a referral bonus scheme in place.
Your employees will be working with new team members, so it's beneficial to get them involved early in the process.
Reach out to people who left on good terms
Reach out to employees who left on good terms, particularly if they left because they wanted to move to a different city. You know these people are good workers, and they're already familiar with your company's culture and values, so they can hit the ground running.
Don't forget about social media
Share your open roles on social media. Leverage Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other channels you have to let people know you're open to hiring remotely. The more you do this, the more likely you'll find the right person.
The benefits of hiring remote employees
If you're on the fence about hiring employees, you should know about remote work's benefits to employers. Hiring remote employees benefits your organization by giving you access to talented employees who don't live within commuting distance of your offices.
Good talent is everywhere, and there's a good chance that the best person for the job will not live in the same city or country as your office. Yes, it's possible to get employees to relocate, but this is time-consuming and expensive for you and the employee. Not to mention that many job seekers now prefer remote teams over in-office roles.
And why wouldn't they? The prospect of relocating away from your community and suffering through a long commute isn't appealing when you can work from home.
If you don't support remote work, you're missing out on the following benefits:
- Increased employee productivity: The myth that remote workers are lazy is just that a myth. Employees who skip the long commute and open office plans can focus on their work and productivity increases.
- Lower costs: Global Workplace Analytics said employers who allow employees to work-from-home part-time save around $11,000 per year per employee. Think lower real estate costs and no transit subsidies, in-office perks, and everything else that comes with having a physical office space.
- Easier recruitment and access to a larger talent pool: By supporting remote work, you quite literally have the world's best talent at your fingertips. In other words, you can hire the best person for the job, regardless of geography.
- Increased employee satisfaction and better employee retention: Employee retention is one of the biggest problems for all businesses. It's common knowledge that the longer an employee stays at a company, the more valuable they become. By allowing team members to work remotely, you give them more work-life balance, leading to increased employee satisfaction.
- Better disaster preparedness: A remote workforce means that your business can continue to run even if there is a natural disaster, local or national emergency, or, say, a global pandemic.
- Better networked employees: Many professional development and networking opportunities are hard to juggle alongside a traditional 9-to-5 job. The flexibility that remote work provides makes it easier for employees to fit things into their schedules.
- Lower carbon footprint: Fewer employees commuting means less greenhouse gas emissions. By supporting remote work, you demonstrate that you care about the environment to potential employees and customers.
Remote work isn't all smooth sailing. You need to be aware of remote work's challenges.
Hire your next remote employees with Himalayas
If you're a remote company: Create a free company profile. Tell your story, build up your remote brand, and recruit the best. Share your culture, tech stack, and get seen by remote candidates looking to make a move. Then post a job and use our sophisticated job listings to specify time zone or visa requirements, and rest easy knowing that qualified candidates will see your job listings.
We'd also love for you to join our free remote work community.