How to recruit remotely: 10 tips from expert headhunters

Making an offer without ever having met the person face to face seems like a strange idea at first but then so does having a team meeting hosted from a colleagues bedroom as their cat rests on their laptop and children are singing in the lounge or crawling beneath their feet. Sometimes you have to roll with the times or risk missing the moment.

How to recruit remotely

It may come as some surprise to many of you that whilst Covid-19 has been wreaking havoc on the world, the team at ORESA have continued to deliver on assignments for multiple clients. It hasn’t been easy, why should it, after all trying to poach people out of comfortable positions to join other companies is never easy – not least when better the devil you know is often the order of the day.

In the acknowledgement that you can’t use us to run every search (!) we thought it might be useful to provide some tips on how to make appointments secure. Our advice is particularly important when you’re recruiting with the strong likelihood of not meeting the person face to face, either because of lockdown or travel restrictions.

Here are our 10 tips for recruiting remotely

1. Invest upfront: There is no substitute for hard work and we believe that it is essential to ensure that you have thoroughly examined your requirement before entering the fray. Don’t make the mistake of recruiting for yesterdays market, team or challenge. Be ahead of the pack.

2. Research: We know that you don’t have the time or resources to deep map and review 100’s of profiles but don’t settle for anything less than the best. 

3. Due diligence: You will feel like a stalker and you might be mistaken for one but do your homework. Consult a wide range of sources: soft and hard references, CV forensics and review potential candidates social media presence. 

4. Interview well: This doesn’t mean impersonating the Gestapo but it does mean asking meaningful questions in a structured and purposeful way. Dig deep for the truth. If you want to just to do the ‘fit’ part, that’s fine but make sure others have done the hard yards on technical ability so you don’t have to.

5. Adapt your questions: to the current environment as well as the old. Test for mindset, resourcefulness, autonomy and adaptability. 

6. Focus on skills over experience: The candidate market may look quite different during this period so have an open mind to transferability of skills – it might just give your company a new energy and way of thinking. 

7. Holistic view: Unless this is a confidential assignment, get the potential candidate to meet a wide range of people and take their honest feedback.

8. Don’t ignore the soft signs: We can all convince ourselves that we have the miracle answer but if this person is to deliver the ‘silver bullet’, I’d suggest it would be a good idea to ensure they come with the right gun too.

9. Get an independent view: Be it a board advisor, your marketing agency, a psychometric evaluation or a 360 independent view – when you are under pressure make sure others help you to spot anything you may have missed.  

10. Lower the risk: An extended mutual probation period and a clear success profile is almost certainly the way to mitigate risk and ensure objectivity. 

Hopefully the above will help you along, but if you do want to speak to us about recruiting your executive team get in touch.

Share