Hiring remote talent means you have access to talent from across the world. Surely this means you don’t have to put that much effort into your employer brand and recruitment marketing. Talent will come to you, right? Simply post your open positions on a few remote job boards and your talent pipeline will be filled with top quality candidates.
In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“An employer brand is the market perception of what it’s like to work for an organisation. (…) it’s the image that your prospective, current and past employees have in their minds about the employment experience at your company. This includes characteristics like the organisation’s company culture, work environment, employee benefits, and employee value proposition.”
Usually, people want work for you because of one of these two reasons
- 1. They love what you do, sell or produce and want to be a part of it.
- 2. They love how you work, what you stand for, and the working environment.
If you only want people to work for you because of their love for your product, employer branding in general probably isn’t on top of your mind. After all, you want recruit your fans, so finding them through your company newsletter, online community or user base is probably your best bet.
However, if you don’t want to count on the love of your product alone, you have to consider your employer brand. Especially for remote-friendly companies, it is important to present a clear employer brand in order to attract the right people to your organisation. In addition, remote workers don’t care if you have a swanky office in a top location or a great coffee machine. For a potential remote employee, you are merely a name and website on the Internet, unless your company is a household name like Google or Apple.
Therefore, the interest of top talent has to be earned to truly attract the best to apply your remote positions. Successful remote companies have mastered employer branding by showcasing their company culture. They clearly state their values and mission and highlight their get-togethers as well as physical perks. The key success factor here is to show that remote workers are fully included in the company. This proves that they are not treated as “second-class” citizen and that remote work is part of the culture. It is all about establishing trust between you and your potential candidates.
Nick Francis, the CEO of Help Scout, a fully distributed company, says,
(…) access to a broader talent pool has to be earned. You have to build a company people want to work for and a culture people want to be part of.”
Some companies may argue that you don’t want to attract talent based on the amazing perks you provide. To some degree, this is true. Google makes sure to weed out candidates only interested in the snack bar and free lunch. In the same way, remote-friendly companies consider it a red flag when a candidate cites remote work as their main reason to join the company.
Nevertheless, remote working is more than a perk, it’s part of your company’s DNA.
It requires a specific set of soft skills and mindset to successfully and sustainably work remotely. So how do you attract the right people, who are capable of working remotely, but don’t consider remote work the only reason to apply to your company?
Visualise culture on Social Media
In an article by jobbatical, at least 84% of organizations currently use social media for recruitment and 9% of those who don’t use it yet are planning to.
“See it to believe it” – one great example of this is Help Scout. Their Instagram account doesn’t only showcase their product, but also how remote work has shaped the lives of so many employees across the globe. From the summer retreats to grabbing lunch with a colleagues while traveling – their photos inspire people to start working remotely, especially with them.
After all, candidates use Social Media like Instagram, but also Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to research companies before deciding to apply. Remote companies have the chance to highlight their diversity visually. This makes Social Media a key aspect of building a strong remote employer brand.
Communicate expectations on your career page
Commendably strategic in capturing a potential candidate’s attention – Automattic’s “Work with us” page makes you want to apply to them immediately! Believers of transparency, their careers site is very clear about what to expect during the interview process. It’s also super direct about requirements and restrictions, and all benefits they provide. The well-designed career website leads you to a Business Insider interview of their CEO Matt, the Creed section and what the current Automatticians say about their experiences first-hand.
Educate candidates on your blog
Words can inspire and Buffer has got its way with it! The team at Buffer truly understands remote working with all its benefits and potential drawbacks. The blog highlights various initiatives and programs they implemented to keep employees productive and engaged. Therefore it’s also a great resource for other companies in the remote working space and has established Buffer’s employer brand as remote work experts.
Build personal connections by hosting a virtual summit
Leverage the opportunity of everything virtual. This includes meeting potential candidates during virtual conferences, summits or career fairs. You can either host a virtual event yourself, sponsor existing ones or let your employees participate as subject matter experts. Make sure there is a dedicated time for networking. It lets you identify talent you may want to interview for your open positions, and gives candidates a chance to ask questions about your company.
Inspire learning through podcasting
A great way to flaunt your talent is by hosting variety of podcasts by interviewing your in-house talent. End each episode by mentioning your open positions as well as skills you look for specifically. Podcasting can give insight to candidates of both the talent and the vision of the company.
Leverage acework to establish trust and reach top talent
One frustrating element of the remote job market is the incredibly high number of scams on regular job boards. Flexjobs reported that for every legitimate remote job opportunity, there are about 60 scams floating around online. On one hand, candidates have to identify outright illegal posts. On the other, they also have to assess whether a potential employer complies with labour laws, pays salaries on time and provides legitimate career advancement for remote employees. A strong employer brand will stop candidates from guessing whether your company is actually legit.
At acework, we encourage companies to highlight their remote-first mindset to attract candidates. We ensure both sides have understood how remote work can benefit them as individuals or organisations.
On one hand, we personally vet all candidates for remote-specific soft skills, experience with remote working tools and a professional work setup. On the other hand, we also speak with every company personally. We ensure that remote workers are fully included in the team and the company has a ‘remote-first’ culture. Job postings must be clear in terms of requirements and responsibilities. Candidates can then easily self-select whether the position is relevant or not.
This creates trust on both sides. Candidates trust us that we only present them with remote career opportunities at reputable companies. Teams rely on us to access top talent ready to work remotely.
At acework we help companies to become ‘remote first’. If you like to chat, we are always curious to learn from other companies on the path to more flexibility at work. Get in touch and let us know your ideas and best practices (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you want to get into a remote career or are looking for a new opportunity, use our Candidate Sign-up to join acework.