Smiling woman attending a remote work interview

7 Steps for Ensuring a Positive Candidate Experience During Remote Recruiting

From the candidate perspective, the remote recruiting experience ranges from smooth to completely frustrating. Job seekers write countless cover letters, prepare and take time out for several interviews, and spend days or weeks waiting for the hiring manager’s decision. During that time, they share their experiences with friends, family, and through social media, either praising companies for providing a positive candidate experience or calling out those that didn’t.

Ensuring an optimal experience is crucial for protecting your company brand. How a candidate feels about your hiring process can influence whether other candidates apply for your job or accept an offer from your company. Here are seven tips to make sure any applicant walks away feeling great about the experience your remote recruiting process provides.


1. Be Prepared

Before you even write your job ad, make sure you have a well-organized plan in place. Test your remote hiring process internally or externally among people who will give you honest feedback before releasing it into the wild. It’s better to identify and correct mistakes before they impact candidates. You might not get a second chance to make a positive impression.


2. Specify Remote Work in Your Job Ads

Job ads should be compelling, and one way to guarantee you will attract remote workers is to be clear about remote opportunities early in your ad. Some candidates won’t waste time applying if it’s not obvious, so let them know up front.  If you have the option, categorize the position as “remote” everywhere you post it. Make sure it appears in specific remote work searches. Put the words “remote work” in the job ad title Do everything to quickly grab remote workers’ attention.


3. Develop a User-friendly Application Process

Applying for your position should be easy and straightforward. Don’t ask for any information you don’t need at this stage. If the process is too exhausting, you could potentially lose highly qualified applicants. Also, make sure the application is mobile-friendly.

Send a confirmation email when an application is received. Follow up quickly – typically with a couple of days – and send the email from a real person’s email address versus a generic or “do-not-reply” address. This will make the candidate feel like you value their application and their time.


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4. Set Expectations before Interviews

Set your candidates up for success. Explain the format of the interview, how long it will take, and let them know who else from your team will be joining.

Give them tips on preparing for the interview, such as having a strong internet connection, taking the call in a quiet place, ensuring proper lighting for video (front lit versus back lit), and linking to instructions if you are using a virtual meeting platform (Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.).

Every interaction is important, so prepare clear, meaningful interview questions geared toward remote work. Also, don’t forget to showcase your company culture so candidates can evaluate whether they are the right fit for your team.


5. Disqualify Candidates in a Thoughtful Way

Let candidates know as soon as you decide to disqualify them. Ghosting will negatively impact the remote recruiting experience and it could damage your brand. A simple email stating that you appreciate their interest in your position will boost your reputation.

If a candidate isn’t right for your current position but they might be a great fit down the road, let them know. Nurture the relationship and keep them in your pipeline.


6. Collect Feedback

Including a feedback component will help you evaluate the remote candidate experience and identify gaps.

To gather feedback:

  • Send an email soliciting feedback to all disqualified candidates.
  • Send a questionnaire for people you interviewed and later disqualified.
  • After onboarding, schedule one-on-one virtual meetings with new hires to discuss their experience.

Whatever method you use, make sure to use that feedback to refine your remote recruiting process.



7. Fine Tune Remote Onboarding

Have an onboarding plan in place and share it with new hires before their first day. Schedule time for questions during the first several days of employment. Introduce new hires to your IT department right away and make sure they have the necessary contact information. Setting up new equipment can cause anxiety, so make sure support is available.

Ship or deliver company swag to instantly make new hires feel like part of the team. Celebrate them in company-wide emails and encourage employees to send personal welcome messages, especially senior leadership. Schedule one-on-one meetings with key personnel so new employees can put faces with names.

Establishing connections with your company, its culture, and your brand right from the start will ensure a positive remote recruiting experience. For more tips on remote recruiting, check out iHire’s article, “10 Remote Recruiting Tips for Hiring the Right Talent Virtually Anywhere.”

by: Jason Harless
March 04, 2021