“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” —Woody Allen
Recruiting is a strange process.
You get to meet new people (how exciting?).
You get to share likes and dislikes with them (they all like the same stuff you do, what a coincidence, huh?).
They tell you what you want to hear: how wonderful your company is and how perfect they are for the role.
But then, after hiring… BOOM (that’s your expectations shattering against the wall)…
They’re not who you really thought they were.
What happened to all the wonderful things they told you about themselves? What about their skills and superpowers to get the work done right?
Reality: they simply wanted you to like them.
Ok, so now you know you need to improve your hiring strategy—especially when it comes to recruiting virtual team members who need to be self-managing.
That’s why today I’ll tell you:
- The best 11 tips for recruiting a reliable, skilled virtual team.
- How to navigate around the “fake” applicant trap who cares more about getting the job than showing they will get the job done.
- How applying these tips will open your company door to welcome in only skilled and reliable team members to your virtual office—and ensure they’re the kind of people who keep showing up.
All right here’s tip #1 and boy, this tip is a classic…
Tip for Recruiting #1: Think of Your Hiring Process as a Funnel—Yes, It Is a Hiring Funnel(!)
Your hiring system is like a funnel.
You need to track each stage of your hiring funnel continuously to fill your open roles with the right people quickly and demonstrate why your brand’s core values are critical pieces of any hiring process.
You see, hiring is a system, it’s a process, and you need to iterate on it to make it better.
For instance, your applicants will enter at the top of your funnel through multiple sources (just as leads come in to your pipeline)
It could be through social media, job posting sites, or through your career page.
We actually advertise our job openings in our footers across our website.
And we also have a dedicated landing page with all of our job openings.
See how we advertise them on our landing page?
In the middle of your funnel, you’ll see the candidates who are willing to apply for the job.
This stage, by the way, is your first filter. You’ll likely receive hundreds or thousands of resumes and applications.
But not all of them will make it to the bottom of your funnel.
In fact, 75% of resumes are rejected before they even reach the hiring manager according to TopResume.
But the candidates who make it to the bottom of your funnel are the ones who actually apply for the job and move into the next steps.
And listen, if your conversion rate is more than 11%, you probably have a cool brand and a killer career website. So congratulations for that!
But if your conversion rate is less than 11%, you are below the industry benchmark. And that means you should probably optimize your hiring funnel.
Remember, your hiring funnel is like your sales funnel. You need to optimize your funnel to get better conversions.
And during your applicants’ journey through your funnel, they can exit at any time, at any stage.
Because some will just want to withdraw their application or they’ll be hired by a different company.
But moving forward at each stage of your hiring funnel occurs by mutual agreement.
Candidates who seem like more of a fit should move on to the next stage. And likewise, if they’re interested in the position, they’ll keep moving forward.
Again, it’s just like your sales funnel generating leads.
And that’s why it’s good to visualize your hiring system as a funnel.
Because the same way a well-constructed sales funnel is the secret for generating leads and growing revenue for many businesses, your hiring funnel is the secret to generating skilled, reliable hires.
Now that you know why you should see your hiring process as a funnel, let’s see the next tip on the list.
Tip for Recruiting #2: Use the Right Job Posting Sites to Attract Applicants to Your Hiring Funnel
There are job posting sites that will help you attract both high volume and high quality candidates who care more about getting the job done right than just getting a job.
All you have to do is find the right ones.
I’ve listed in the past the most affordable and/or free job posting sites that have worked for our recruiting process.
But depending on who you’re looking to hire, you’ll need to choose the one that better suits your needs.
For example, if you’re looking to hire someone from the Philippines, then go with OnlineJobs.
They’re a U.S. based company that helps you hire people from the Philippines.
Or if you’re looking to connect copywriters and designers with marketers, then there’s DirectResponseJobs—an online marketplace that connects both professionals.
Or what about hiring skilled virtual team members, freelancers, and women looking for flexible, home-based work?
Then HireMyMom is the best option.
Most of these job posting sites see billions (with a “b”) page views per month like Craigslist.
On top of that, 74.5% of people surveyed say job boards are the top resource when starting a job search according to Talentegy.
All you have to do is find the one that suits you best and start seeing some great applicants coming into your hiring funnel.
Now that you know which job posting sites to use to hire your virtual team, let’s move on to the next tip for recruiting.
Tip for Recruiting #3: Disqualify Fast & Don’t Waste Time or Energy on People Who Are Evidently Not a Good Fit
This tip for recruiting is really important.
You have to know when to say no to people. And you need to disqualify applicants who since the beginning of the process show signs that they aren’t a good fit for the job role.
Don’t waste your precious time pursuing candidates who have already shown signs of not being interested in being hired, or if they’ve shown any unprofessional behaviour.
The same way I’ve told you to hire slow and fire fast, I’ll tell you the same here.
Hire slow and disqualify fast.
This will help you get rid of any possible bad hires early in the process.
Tip for Recruiting #4: Don’t Trust Every Applicant Just Because They’re Nice to You & Fawn Over You
Most applicants will try to get you to like them.
And their best weapon to do that is to fawn over you.
You’ll hear a lot of…
“Your company is the best company ever(!)”
“You’re the best boss-to-be ever”
“Omg, I love everything you like, we have the same likes and interests”
But don’t fall into that trap!
Most applicants are just trying to get you to like them.
In fact, 75% of HR managers have caught a lie on a resume, according to CareerBuilder.
They want you to like them, validate them, and approve them.
But you’re smart enough to not fall into those cliché lines.
Let them prove to you what they’re really worth and how much value they can bring into your company.
Because it all comes down to that: how much value can an employee add to your business.
So beware: be careful of considering any applicants your friends just because they’re nice to you.
Tip for Recruiting #5: Use Employer Branding to Increase Brand Awareness
Employer branding is another great tip for recruiting a reliable employee.
This is simply how you market your company to all job seekers and applicants.
The way your market your business for hiring purposes will have a huge impact on your ability to attract the best prospects and actually make them want to join your virtual team.
To leverage employer branding in your hiring funnel, you must first determine what makes your business unique.
What would make candidates want to actually be part of your organization?
What would really drive them to apply for the job role and keep the interest in the process?
What makes your company a great organization for your virtual teams to learn from?
Asking yourself all those questions will help you market your business and use employer branding to increase brand awareness and attract more hires.
For instance, you can add in your job ads:
- The benefits applicants will get from joining your virtual team. For example, upgrading existing skills and learning new ones. In fact, 93.5% of people surveyed think it’s important to be able to find information on culture and benefits on a company’s career page (Talentegy).
- Career development opportunities
- Competitive salaries and if it’s a part-time or full-time job
- Workplace culture
And basically anything else that will make your brand POP.
Tip for Recruiting #6: Put Together a Medium to Difficult Skill Test to Evaluate Applicants’ Abilities, Skills, & Knowledge
I put together a skill test template for recruiting good hires that you can download by the way.
This template is based on over 2,529 applications we have received.
82% of companies are using some form of pre-employment assessment test like this according to SHRM.
But why do you need a well-developed skill test put in place?
A well-developed skill test (AKA skill assessment) can shed ample light on a candidate’s…
- Ability (what do they know and what are they able to do now)
- Attitude (fit for your team)
- Aptitude (ability to improve over time)
From interviewing and evaluating 10,000’s of applicants, the best hires I’ve found are the ones who do two things.
- Show they can follow instructions and
- Show they can think creatively & critically (i.e. display good judgement toward accomplishing a goal when the exact process of how to get there is left unclear)
And a skill test that combines the right exercises, questions, and tasks.
But aim for a higher level of difficulty so you can really test applicants’ knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Because as data shows, the lack of skilled and high-quality candidates is the biggest challenge in hiring for 67% of recruiters according to Jobvite.
Tip for Recruiting #7: Put Down a Banana Peel for Your Applicants to Trip on (Not Literally BUT…)
Yes… put down a banana peel for your applicants to trip on…
Did you ever play Mario Kart?
While you were driving at high speeds, the car ahead of you would sometimes drop a banana peel behind it so that your car would slip and not pass them by.
The intention of the other player was to (besides almost killing you) let you slip so you could drive slower and not get to the finish line before them.
So the expression means to put someone in a tricky or difficult situation to see if they can solve it or avoid it.
And what you need to do with your applicant is test their ability to solve problems or avoid any difficult situation (if any).
You see, the top missing soft skills that companies report looking for are problem-solving and critical thinking according to SHRM.
It’s no wonder that the top trait or skill employers look for according to NACE are critical thinking / problem-solving (80.9%).
That’s because smart business owners look to hire thinkers, not soldiers.
Thinkers are the people who would help you (a strategic leader) master the challenges of scaling and thriving.
Plus critical thinkers can lead to more certainty and confidence within your organization.
Tip for Recruiting #8: Maintain Excellent Communication Throughout the Hiring Process—This Is Vital!
Transparent and clear communication is key in any successful hiring process to both the recruiter and candidates.
And all applicants want to feel heard, understood, and that the time they invested into applying for your job position and attending to your interview was worth it.
And this is where most companies fail.
You see, after completing an application, 55.1% of job seekers have indicated they were rarely or never updated about their status in the hiring process. And an additional 32.3% said it was only sometimes according to Talentegy.
And all that comes down to 63% of job seekers being dissatisfied with the communication throughout the application process.
And when you run a virtual business, you need to pay extra attention to how you communicate with team members and applicants.
You see, working remotely has lots of advantages but it’s tricky too.
In fact, 84% of respondents report that virtual communication is more difficult than in-person communication according to ebulletins.
So you gotta strengthen your communication skills through your entire hiring process.
For this, you can think about what people consider the most beneficial forms of communication between team members:
- Regular face-to-face meetings (93%)
- Conference calls (93%)
- Video conferencing (84%)
Keep in mind that if applicants are dissatisfied with the communication throughout your hiring process, they could share that bad experience.
In fact, 69% of applicants who go through a bad experience in your hiring process, would rarely or never reapply.
Tip for Recruiting #9: Understand That Remote Work Is Not a Trend—It’s Here to Stay & Become the Norm
99% of the people surveyed said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers according to Buffer.
On top of that, in addition to respondents wanting to continue to work remotely, 95% also would recommend remote work to others in their lives, from coworkers and friends to family members.
All this data shows us that remote work is not a trend—it’s becoming the norm.
In the U.S. there are 4.7 million employees (3.4% of the workforce) who work from home at least half the week.
And on top of that, 40% of people say that a flexible schedule would be the best perk of working remotely according to Buffer.
So when hiring new applicants to your virtual team, keep in mind that even though they’d be working from home, their productivity could actually increase.
In fact, 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home according to CoSo Cloud.
Tip for Recruiting #10: Write enticing and inclusive job descriptions.
If you want to attract the right applicants, then you have to put together a compelling job description for the position.
You see, your applicants will be reading your job ad before applying to it (kind of obvious, I know).
So you have to write enticing copy for the job description to attract the people who will be a fit for the role.
Professionally written job descriptions that accurately represent your brand and explain why working for your company would be great will make your applicants excited about the possibility of joining your team.
Therefore, more and more applicants will apply.
BUT it’s not only a matter of quantity.
It’s a matter of quality.
This means you have to be as clear as possible about who your company is looking to hire.
There should be no friction in this stage of the process.
Otherwise you’ll be attracting candidates who aren’t a fit.
To do this, ensure that you’re writing enticing job descriptions that will appeal to highly-qualified candidates.
Here are some tips on doing so:
- Briefly introduce your company and describe how your company started or was founded and the products or services you sell.
- Include important details about your company’s culture, mission, vision, and values. This will help you attract candidates who are interested in the same values of your company.
- List all the skills and requirements you’re looking for in applicants. This will help you vet candidates.
- List down all responsibilities potential hires will have to handle so there are no surprises later. Be as clear as possible about their scope of work, hours they’ll be requested to work, and any tasks they would have to complete.
- Include the benefits applicants will get once hired to pique their interest and get them excited.
Tip for Recruiting #11: Prepare Applicants & Yourself for the Interview (Applicants Aren’t the Only Ones Who Should Prepare)
Your applicants aren’t the only people who should prepare for the interview.
If you’ll be leading the interview call, it’s expected that you would at least plan it and not improvise.
You see, if you want to attract the right candidates, you need to prepare the call.
You need to come up with the questions you’ll be asking. You need to list down all important information they need to know about your company and job role. And you need to be prepared with possible answers you might have to provide to them.
This will streamline your interview, ensure your applicants receive all the necessary information prior to being hired, and make sure your interview is professional.
A lot of companies have been hurt by skipping this step. And we’re guilty of it too.
In the past, we’ve left out important questions to ask candidates like “Are you looking to be hired full time?” or “Are you willing to attend weekly calls?”
Not asking those questions set the wrong expectations for our applicants.
Because after being hired they were like “Wait, I don’t want a full-time job” or “I don’t like getting in calls.”
Here are some ways you can prepare your interview and prepare for it too:
- Determine who will conduct the interviews
- Determine a maximum and minimum time for the call
- Decide which questions you’ll be asking your applicants (behavioral, situational, company-related, and/or work-related)
- List down the company’s needs
- List down the required skills
- List down the responsibilities of the role
- Write down how the compensation system will work
- Determine if you’ll ask for personal and/or professional references
- Determine if you’ll ask for a work sample or demo
- Read about the job position so you can be prepared for any questions they may ask you
Planning your interview and being prepared for it will absolutely help you attract the best candidates for your job opening.
There you go.
11 tips for recruiting in a nutshell.
Own your hiring funnel. Master the entire process from start to end and you’ll have a competitive advantage and a wide talent pool of skilled and reliable people.
All you have to do is apply all of the tips.
Here they are for your reference:
- Tip for Recruiting #1: Think of Your Hiring Process as a Funnel—Yes, It Is a Hiring Funnel(!)
- Tip for Recruiting #2:Use the Right Job Posting Sites to Attract Applicants to Your Hiring Funnel
- Tip for Recruiting #3: Disqualify Fast & Don’t Waste Time or Energies on People Who Are Evidently Not a Good Fit
- Tip for Recruiting #4: Don’t Trust Every Applicant Just Because They’re Nice to You & Fawn Over You
- Tip for Recruiting #5: Use Employer Branding to Increase Brand Awareness
- Tip for Recruiting #6: Put Together a Medium to Difficult Skill Test to Evaluate Applicants’ Abilities, Skills, & Knowledge
- Tip for Recruiting #7: Put Down a Banana Peel for Your Applicants to Trip on (Not Literally BUT…)
- Tip for Recruiting #8: Maintain Excellent Communication Throughout the Hiring Process—This Is Vital!
- Tip for Recruiting #9: Understand That Remote Work Is Not a Trend—It’s Here to Stay & Become the Norm
- Tip for Recruiting #10: Write An Enticing Job Description for Each Job Position
- Tip for Recruiting #11: Prepare Applicants & Yourself for the Interview (Applicants Aren’t the Only Ones Who Should Prepare)
Once you apply those tips, you’ll see how your hiring funnel will strengthen and attract only the best candidates.
And if you want to skip the hassles of hiring, then AutoGrow is here for you.
We’re like project management software but with proven pros already inside, ready to work.
Just submit unlimited requests for emails, landing pages, funnels, graphics, ads—anything! Then it’s done-for-ya.
And best of all, you don’t get to hire.
Now tell me something, how’s your hiring funnel structured? What tips would you share with me?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.