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A new year requires new hiring plans and if your company is committed to hiring remote or hybrid employees, then you're already on the right track. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic brought serious changes to how and where we work and now the Omicron variant has come to solidify the trend. 

Though the true end of the pandemic is far out of sight, even if Covid-19 were to disappear tomorrow, studies show that the majority of workers will still demand remote opportunities. According to The State of Remote Work in 2021 by Global Workplace Analytics, surveys show that 70% of workers want a remote or hybrid work model after the pandemic. 

The virtual workforce is a trend that's here to stay and if your company wants to attract, interview, onboard, and retain top remote talent then your hiring process will naturally look different than the on-site traditions of the past. Here are some 2022 remote hiring strategies to ensure a strong new hire and lasting retention rates.

The Job Posting is Key

The job posting that your company publishes on job boards like Indeed or LinkedIn is key to attracting top talent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that there are 10.6 million job openings in the US. With so many potential opportunities out there, it's a job seeker's market. 

Potential job candidates are less likely to apply to your open position if the job description is vague or doesn't include salary information. Your job listing should be thorough, but scannable, and be sure to include all those great benefits and perks that your company offers. According to Forbes, 2022 hiring trends show that 2022 will be the year for five-hour days, a four-day workweek, and flexible, staggered schedules. If your company offers a similar schedule, you will likely be on the top of a potential candidate's list and upon hire, they are more likely to stick around for the long haul.

Many job seekers will search for remote opportunities so make sure that you list your job's location as "remote." This will also allow you to cast a wider net with job candidates from other cities and states who wouldn't otherwise be able to work for your business if the position was on-site. However, time zone differences are always a factor to consider depending on the nature of the work.

Read more: Job Descriptions That Attract Top Talent

Soft Skills that Matter: Communication and Motivation

A remote team comes with different challenges that require certain skills. Communication and motivation are among the top soft skills to look for in your remote hires on top of the necessary qualifications, previous experience, and high-passing skills assessments.

Communication skills matter because, without watercooler conversations or the ability to pop by your co-worker's desk to ask a question, a remote team must communicate via Slack, email, phone, or video chat which can be slower or vague if not executed well. During the virtual interview process, ask the remote candidate a behavioral question about remote communication. Also, pay attention to how they communicate via email during the hiring process. Are their messages clear and do they respond promptly? These situations will be good signals of their skills.

Motivation skills are also crucial in a remote work environment because remote employees will not have a boss physically there to keep track of productivity or a company culture boosting energy in the office. However, many remote employees thrive in a virtual environment because they are self-motivated and more productive in their own space. These independent and driven workers are the virtual talent to look for. 

Other remote skills to look for are discipline, adaptability, decision-making, and organizational skills. Be sure to ask your potential remote hire interview questions that show how they measure up in these soft skills and check their references. If a candidate has remote experience, they will likely have an edge up on the talent pool.

Read more: How to Use a Rubric for Hiring

Don't Skip Steps During Onboarding

Skipping steps during the onboarding process is one of the biggest mistakes that employers make when filling a remote position. If a remote employee is just tossed into the mix without proper training, they will likely become confused, frustrated, and more likely to quit. It can be tricky to navigate onboarding in a remote environment, but automation tools, video introductions, interactive training tasks, buddy systems, and assessment tools will ease the process.

Be just as thorough when onboarding a remote employee as you would with an on-site worker. A positive onboarding experience is proven to boost employee satisfaction and retention, so don't skip any steps. 

Read more: The Importance of a New Employee Checklist and How to Create One

Staffing agencies know all the best strategies for the remote hiring process. firstPRO can help your company find the perfect remote new hire while taking some of those tedious administrative tasks off of your hands. 

Check out our Recruitment Services and Contact Us today to begin the search for top remote talent.