Millions of workers are now working from home, and companies as large as Twitter have already announced employees never have to return to the office.
Robert Glazer article in Forbes
We may look back on 2020 as the most crucial year in the remote work revolution. Millions of workers are now working from home, and companies as large as Twitter have already announced employees never have to return to the office.
The future of business is here, and it’s virtual. To help your organization stay ahead of the curve, you need the principles, tactics and tools empower your team to excel in a remote world. In an excerpt from my new E-Book, How to Make Virtual Teams Work, I dig how remote organizations can hire the best talent.
Most of the mistakes that you will make building your culture, and in your business in general, will stem from hiring the wrong people. These mistakes are painful, expensive, and often not fixable.
These are people who don’t share your values or don’t want to be held accountable for outcomes. If you hire the wrong person, especially for a remote environment, it’s very hard to train them into being the right one. Training employees is vital, but training resources should be invested in helping high potential employees grow and improve, rather than helping poor culture or aptitude fits get to an average level. You need to understand what can be trained and what needs to come as part of the package.
Create a hiring system
For hiring, the biggest mistake an organization’s leaders can make is assuming they know best and going by gut instinct. It’s much better to create an objective, consistent hiring system, rather than having your talent acquisition strategy subject to human error and bias.
Recruiting is more science than art, and we all have far more biases than we believe. Relying on intuition or feeling often can lead us to consistently hire people similar to ourselves, who share the same strengths and weakness which is not how you build a high performing team. We also often get attached to a candidate that we like as a person, but who won’t excel in the role.
To eliminate human error from the talent selection process, it’s better to have a consistent, clear hiring system that incorporates best practices and is followed by all. At Acceleration Partners, we’ve drawn considerable inspiration from the process and best practices crafted and tested by Geoff Smart and his firm, ghSMART. Smart is one of the world’s top experts on hiring, and his book, Who: The A Method to Hiring, is a definitive guide to systematizing your hiring and getting the right people in the right roles. It’s a must-read for any organization struggling to hire the right talent.
To hire the right people, it’s vital to first clarify what skills and attributes are needed for the role, what success looks like for the candidate, and the outcomes for which they will be responsible. Comprehensive job descriptions are crucial on this front—if an employee accepts a job without having knowing what is expected of them, their early months, or years, at the organization will be marked by trial and error.
By contrast, a role description that clearly defines the job’s responsibilities acts as a report card for every hire as part of a future performance review. When it comes time to evaluate a new hire’s progress, there shouldn’t be any surprises. When you’re completely clear about what you’re looking for from a new employee, you can determine early on if they’re the right person, rather than wasting years waiting to see if somebody will improve.
To further standardize our process, we use a cloud-based applicant tracking system (ATS) called Greenhouse, but there are many similar options in the market you should explore. Our application tracking system is set up to allow interviewers to rate candidates numerically for each interview question, creating scorecards that other members of a hiring team can review.
Hiring can be filled with unconscious biases, and this type of system helps people compare their evaluation against other people’s and make an informed, objective decision. The interviewer will have a specific guideline to rate answers on a scale of 1–10 based on the quality of the response, with example of what they should be listening for the candidate to say or not say.
When the team comes together to make the final decision, they compare all scoring from the interview process against their original job description and hiring criteria. We also bring an unbiased third party into the final selection process, who does not have the urgency of trying to hire for their own team. Because these people aren’t as close to the hiring decision, they are able to often point out blind spots and areas where the team is overlooking the data.
Some candidates get hired at companies because no one strenuously objects anywhere in the process; we have tried to build a system where no one is hired unless someone strenuously advocates for them with accountability.
Hiring makes or breaks any business, and that’s perhaps most true for remote organizations. By creating a hiring system, you can avoid critical mistakes—and build the best possible team.
About the author(s)
Robert Glazer is the founder and CEO of global performance marketing agency, Acceleration Partners.