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Hiring Tips & Insights: 3 Key Elements of Successful Remote Hiring: Mindset, Setup and Empathy
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3 Key Elements of Successful Remote Hiring: Mindset, Setup and Empathy

20 May 2020, by Jomiro Eming

In a fully remote environment, being intentional about your hiring process setup is more important than ever: You introduce new team members virtually and have to manage your first impressions through online interactions. That’s why we are asking tech leaders for tips on how they make this work in their own teams.

Here are some quick tips and insights from Vanessa Raath, Freelance Tech Sourcer, David Küsel, Chief Product Officer at Sanlam Indie, and Laila Kramer, Head of People at SPAN Digital Innovation, on:

  • Getting into the remote hiring mindset
  • Setting up your hiring team to win remotely, and
  • Leading with empathy


Vanessa Raath, Freelance Tech Sourcer: Getting into the remote hiring mindset

The one thing that’s been cemented for me during these unprecedented times is the importance of having a strong, trustworthy online brand. As everyone has been forced to work from home, and all business and human interactions are happening in the virtual space, it is more important than ever to have an online presence that positions you ‘head and shoulders’ above the noise, and above your competitors.

Your first interactions with new candidates are all taking place online. More so than before, people are ‘checking you out’. You need to consider what your online presence says about you: Are you worthy of someone’s time? Are you a recruiter who looks like they can be trusted with someone’s career?

Secondly, one of the greatest lessons that I have had in hiring remotely is the following: Above all else, people will remember how you made them feel - especially by assisting them during this time of a global pandemic.

Now is the time to be assisting people by giving them free advice, being a guest speaker on every podcast/webinar that approaches you, and generally being a good, kind person who is empathetic to other people’s situations and needs.

Sit back, take a deep breath, put yourself in other people’s shoes and see how you can best offer them guidance and support during these crazy times.

David Küsel, Chief Product Officer at Sanlam Indie: Setting up your hiring team to win remotely

Because of the lack in “real-life-interaction”, we’ve started to put together a hiring team for each role we advertise: Having a wider team involved lets us evaluate a candidate from multiple perspectives.

The hiring team is involved the whole way through the process, which means we get a good sense of culture and skills fit really quickly. The candidate management software we use also lets the hiring team rate applications and score the ratings remotely and asynchronously, so that we have better data on which candidates to pursue without complicating our hiring process.

Laila Kramer, Head of People at SPAN Digital Innovation: Leading with empathy

Once the process has been redesigned to make it online friendly, translating an onsite recruitment and onboarding process into a virtual one is relatively simple. From an organisational standpoint, I’d say that uniting under a common goal, and sharing a vision and mission, have both been imperative to our hiring efforts in these times.

It is not ‘business as usual’ and extra care needs to be taken in all our dealings with people. One of our guiding principles as a company is to treat our people with dignity and empathy and we extend the same to those who have yet to join our team, and all candidates we engage.

Our hiring managers take great care to ensure candidates feel respected and valued, especially during these emotionally taxing times.

Interview processes are stressful at the best of times, and are much more so now. We can all empathise with how difficult it’s been working under suboptimal conditions - from home whilst homeschooling little ones, or setting up your work space in the living room (or garage), or sharing a space with a partner who’s also working. Let’s extend grace towards our colleagues and candidates while we’re all trying to cope as best we can.

If you’ve had to hire someone remotely, let us know in the comments below what has helped you set up your team to win! We always love hearing from you, and would love to know if any of the above has been useful for you and your teams!

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