Hiring new team members that fit your company, department, and team culture is hard. Then when you add a remote hiring process and remote team to the process it makes it seem impossible. In a study by MIT Nine out of ten CEOs and CFOs believe that improving company culture would increase their company’s value. 80% of the same CEOs and CFOs ranked culture as one of the 5 most important factors driving their company’s valuation. Company culture does not only improve processes and lower turnover, but it also impacts the value of a company. Looking at company culture from multiple perspectives makes it’s importance clear. But are companies taking culture into consideration for all aspects of the organization?
Living your company culture every day means more than installing ping pong tables or having happy hours. It is driving the culture from the top-down and evaluating the cultural fit of every team member that joins the organization. On a remote team, this means taking the extra time to get to know a candidate’s cultural fit and readiness for remote work. Here are some essential things to consider when making sure that a candidate is not only a great cultural fit, but will be able to work in a remote company culture:
If remote work is new to you, the level of communication required will seem daunting. I am not talking about setting daily video calls. I am talking about an overall consciousness and understanding that over-communicating is the only way that a remote team will not only meet its objectives but build professional and meaningful relationships within the team. Make sure you take the time to evaluate candidates’ written and verbal communication skills. That might mean having a candidate provide answers to written questions or making a recorded presentation to the team. Just like at school, there are many ways to sample someone’s communication so that you can do a proper evaluation to be sure that it is at the level needed for your remote team.
2. Make Webcams Available
Similar to in-office interviews, you wanted to experience an individual’s facial expressions and body language. Usually, there are one or two phone interviews before a candidate would head into the office for an in-person interview. For remote teams, you want to get as many video calls with someone prior to giving them an offer. Of course, this is important for you as a hiring manager, but it is equally as important for the candidate to get a feel for the work environment. Getting to know an individual’s facial expressions and body language are equally important to experiencing their verbal and written communication skills.
3. Layout Your Values Clearly
Since there are no murals or game rooms in remote environments it is especially important to over-communicate your values. Telling a candidate what values are important in the job posting as well as during every conversation will reinforce what you expect from them. If their expectations are not aligned then there is no chance that they will be successful at the organization. No amount of industry experience or education can replace a remote team members ability to fit in and live the values of the organization for the long term.
4. Be Open About The Entire Hiring Process
The process should also be laid out from the very beginning. Let the candidate know that they will be expected to have an abnormally high number of conversations if needed. Or that they will need to complete a test or make a presentation. Inform them during the first conversation about what all the steps will be and make sure that they are okay with it.
5. Ask Them To Demonstrate Their Skills
Every role whether senior or junior requires certain responsibilities that can be demonstrated. This is often overlooked. If you have a technical role there are services that can evaluate skills. If you have a business development role you can demonstrate your communication skills in presentations or role-plays. You should not be hoping or guessing that someone can execute the requirements of the job. Giving candidates the opportunity to showcase their skills also helps build a relationship and encourages the right individuals to give it everything they have.
6. Create A Culture Elevator Pitch & Discussion
Don’t leave your culture discussion up to chance. Have a clear picture of your core values and the values that you are looking for in a new team member. Write it down in a speech if you have to. Every team member that engages with the candidate should have access to the same script to deliver a clear message to potential team members.
7. Look At Ways To Test Personalities
There are proven personality tests like the DISC personality test that help managers understand how team member personalities will impact the team and company. Some companies create their own test or personality types. Others use proven models. Either way, it is an extra step that can set up a new hire for success or failure.
8. Take Your Time
There is always a level of urgency to fill a position. Usually, that position is budgeted because there is a very clear need for a specific skill set or experience TODAY! Fight the urge to get the position filled quickly. If you have candidates that meet the functional requirements of the position then take the time to make sure that the candidate meets the cultural requirements. Have the individual have live video conversations with a variety of team members including the talent team, leadership team, department lead and team lead. Have open discussions about the candidate’s ability to meet the remote work requirements and cultural expectations.
ChatFox is a Slack chatbot that builds remote teams and culture. Remote teams that only engage through projects, tasks, and deadlines do not foster a culture around shared values and goals. Build a strong remote team culture, improve remote team productivity, and eliminate team member isolation. Use ChatFox Icebreakers to build rapport with team members, use ChatFox Coffee Chats to have meaningful conversations with people across your organization, or use ChatFox Shout Outs to recommend a colleague and endorse their skills. Unlike other remote team solutions, ChatFox looks at remote team culture from a strategic perspective and has created engaging chats for your team that provide management with insights into remote team engagement, skills, contributions, and mobility.