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Adopting an Employee-First Hiring Approach in the Current Climate of Remote Priority

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For most of my nearly 25-year career in B2B software sales and marketing, I’ve worked as a remote employee. But when I started in 2000, this way of working was quite unusual. Those of us with remote jobs have learned to favor compromise for the same reasons many post-pandemic employees and companies advocate remote-first or hybrid work.

In a world where the core of a company thrived at its headquarters and in office cubicles, employers tolerated remote work not to increase productivity or improve employee satisfaction, but because, in some cases, , meant bringing in the right talent, especially in a leadership position. when a position could not be filled locally.

In other situations, locating a sales or customer service position in a certain geography was less expensive and provided better customer coverage than locating everyone centrally. Sales and support results have always been based on metrics; however, there was a lingering discomfort that employees who weren’t in the office might not be working as hard as they claimed.

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As non-office frontline employees without today’s tools, we learned to invent and adapt. Email, while cumbersome, helped us share information. When signatures were required, we delivered proposals and contracts overnight. We travel to meetings with clients. We fly candidates back and forth for job interviews. We successfully manage teams remotely with conference calls and in-person meetings at central locations several times a month.

Insightly is now a 100% remote business. This has been an ideal opportunity for me to apply my career and recent remote work experience to get a jump start on recruiting, onboarding and talent management in the midst of today’s talent wars and “The Great Quit”. With that said, here are my top five tips to help your business succeed in hiring great employees with an employee-first approach:

Match candidates with open roles before the first interview

Today’s talent wars make recruiting more difficult than ever. The services of reliable and experienced recruiters are invaluable. Don’t trust just one source, but don’t overbuy. An effective approach might be to have two recruiting partners, one specializing in local candidates and one with a national reach. Build relationships: The more recruiters understand your business and culture, the better candidates they will find. Don’t delegate completely. When the recruiter introduces candidates, research the candidate’s online personality on social media and job posting sites. If a candidate isn’t on LinkedIn, especially for tech or sales positions, that’s probably a red flag.

Use digital conferencing software to create comfortable and transparent interviews

Tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace and others are made for this task. When no one has to travel, it’s easy to pitch cross-functional managers from across the company. Present financial candidates to the director of marketing. Set up conversations between a senior sales person and the CTO. Introduce key contributors to C-suite executives, including the CEO. These virtual meetings can be specific and targeted. Job descriptions should show the personality of the company.

Related: 4 Ways to Strengthen Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement After the Great Resignation

Talk to candidates the way they want to be talked to. Share with them what they want to learn.

There is a focus and intensity to Zoom interviews. Use this two-way opportunity to really listen and be heard. Interviews are not just for learning about the candidate. These are ideal opportunities to share the company culture. That is very important for today’s candidates and for the reputation of the company. Conversational stories show the authentic heart and soul of the business. At Insightly, for example, our mission statement is to empower businesses to build lasting relationships with their customers. We tell candidates the stories our customers tell us—stories about how they used our products to help their customers.

Be direct about how your company views hybrid working

As my career illustrates, remote work is not new. What’s new is how quickly employees accept and expect it, becoming the standard rather than the exception. Remote opportunities grew from 4% of all high-paying jobs before the pandemic to more than 15% today. Removing geography as a barrier sets a company up for phenomenal hires.

A recent PwC study reports that nearly three-quarters of companies surveyed offer hybrid work schedules, which is vital to competing for talent because among workers who say they can work remotely, the majority want to continue that way. way. Not everyone likes spending money on cars, gas, new suits, or lunches. Employees have complex lives and appreciate flexibility. Many other parts of their lives are digital, so it seems only natural that work collaborations should be too.

Related: 12 Pro Tips That Will Increase Company Retention

Develop a deliberate and engaging onboarding process

Schedule new hires the first two weeks. Reinforce the cross-functional culture you introduced during the one-on-one follow-up interviews. Attract new hires to team meetings. Encourage new hires to set up one-on-one meetings on their own.

Have a plan in place to proactively mentor younger and less experienced employees – they will have less (perhaps none) business experience in an office environment. They will have less ability to read between the lines and prioritize. Be super clear and intentional in all communications. Remember that teaching is learning, and the youngest members of the team may be the most knowledgeable about certain things.

When the pandemic turned the business world upside down and remote work became the standard across the country rather than the exception, I was already a believer. Thanks to my personal experience working and managing remotely for many years when most of my colleagues went to the office every day, I have lived and learned the benefits of remote work first. During the pandemic, I was recruited fully remotely as Insightly’s CMO. I am more convinced than ever that the benefits of remote and hybrid work will produce a huge positive impact for both companies and matching careers.

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