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June 22, 2021
Hiring Remote Employees without Damaging Company Culture
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Many articles and books tout the importance of company culture. These are on-point in that a positive culture fosters productivity and efficiency, and decreases low morale and employee turnover. A toxic or negative culture can dramatically increase employee exits and disengagement, both of which contribute to low productivity and lack of employee creativity.
HR Pros face a dilemma that was brought about largely by the COVID-19 pandemic-driven concept of work-from-home. How do remote workers figure into the culture? Going a step further, how can you hire them to make sure they add positively to the culture instead of taking away from it?
Here are 4 actions that will help you hire remote employees without damaging your company culture.
Start by Authentically Identifying Your Company Culture
Don’t recruit employees based on what you think or hope is your culture. Build a blueprint of your culture through manager and employee surveys and feedback and use this information to craft your recruiting efforts and interview questions. Allow the culture to be seen throughout the hiring process. That way, if a person doesn’t feel like they would be a fit, you won’t end up extending an offer to them only to have them leave in a few months.
Accept that Remote Workers Are Different Animals
Not everybody can work from home. Yes, hard skills are required to perform the job requirements, but the soft ones that create remote employee success are critical, too. Ask penetrating questions about their attitudes toward working remotely and why they think their personalities fit such a set up. In addition, dive into how they manage their time, their level of self-motivation, and their communication skills. Request examples of a time they successfully worked independently and how they made it work with a co-worker who didn’t communicate effectively. Use these insights to gauge whether the candidate would be a good fit for a remote position within your organization.
Showcase Your Company’s Culture
It’s never too soon to help potential employees get to know the company culture and core values. Highlight it in the job description and carry it into the interview. Let them see into a normal day of working for the company and how they can fit into it, even in a remote setting. By making both the job itself and the company culture highly visible from the beginning, you have more of a chance of attracting the right people to the position.
Employ Background Screening Tools
Thorough background checks, along with a proper interview process, offer you a well-rounded view of a candidate’s honesty and dependability. Their attitudes and behaviors in other jobs and the presence or absence of criminal convictions offer important information about how you can expect them to act if they work for your company. Is their background conducive to your company, or are there red flags that make it difficult to picture them contributing positively to your culture? These questions are especially important with remote employees since you will be trusting them to work with little supervision.
Remote employees are going to impact your company culture in some manner. Do everything you can on the front end to ensure they contribute positively instead of negatively. Knowing the steps you need to take to choose the right people for remote work is your first task toward protecting and adding to the rich culture you and your employees have worked so diligently building.
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