Whether it’s a traditional office or a virtual one, every single company has a culture. The thing is, brick-and-mortar businesses generally have an easier time building and sharing their company cultures, thanks to the fact that employees all show up to work together every day.
That’s not to say that it’s virtually (pun intended) impossible for a virtual company to have — and promote — its own culture.
If you recruit for a virtual company and need some help spreading your culture to job seekers, check out these five tips from leading remote companies, via Remote.co’s Q&A.
1. Write It Out
One of the clearest ways to showcase your remote work environment is by describing it in each and every job post.
“We have excellent writers on our team who we draw on to make sure that we’re being clear about what the role entails … and [the] flavor of our team’s personality and culture,” says Rhiannon Ruff, Vice President of Beutler Ink. “Fitting all that into one short job post is tough, so we look to each of our skill sets to make it happen.”
If you want to attract top-tier telecommuting talent, don’t be cryptic in your job descriptions. If it’s a part-time or full-time remote job, be sure to say so. That way, you’ll get the right job candidates applying for the position.
2. Make It a Team Effort
Hiring and recruiting is never a one-man job. In fact, it often takes several team members to authorize each step in the hiring process. That’s why you should also use your team to help convey company culture while recruiting.
“We encouraged interviewees to ask multiple members of our team how they enjoyed the remote workplace or how to overcome potential challenges in a remote work environment,” says Joe Golden, cofounder/co-CEO of Collage.com.
When final-round job candidates have the opportunity to speak directly with employees, they can get a sense of what the job entails — and you’ll get firsthand glimpse of how each candidate might be as a potential employee. Plus, you’ll get some much-appreciated feedback from your employees as to whether the candidate is a “yea” or a “nay.”
3. Be Honest
It’s a fact: Remote work isn’t for everyone. To ensure that you hire the right person, you should let candidates know everything about the position that they’re applying for — the good, the bad, and even the ugly.
“We are very candid about the potential for isolation in a remote work environment, and we stress the importance of taking responsibility for oneself in his or her role at SitePen,” says Nita Tune, director of project management at SitePen. “We have multiple initiatives going on at any given time, and beyond your customer projects, we’re expecting everyone to dive in and succeed!”
You may be tempted to paint the position in a perfect light, but it’t truly in your company’s best interest (as well as the candidate’s) to let job seekers know what they’re really getting into. By being brutally honest, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress, time, and frustration. You’ll also make it less likely that you’ll have to start the recruiting process all over again after your new hire buckles under the pressure and quits!
4. Tell a Story
Sometimes, a job description alone is not enough. At Toptal, they let the experience of working for the company speak for itself.
“Toptalers spend so much time traveling together and doing amazing things, both work-related and otherwise,” says Breanden Beneschott, cofounder/COO. “It’s great to be able to talk about those experiences during the recruiting process, and I think it does much more to illustrate what we;re like as a company than any abstract set of culture principles or anything like that would.”
Sell your company’s culture by letting potential workers know of all the possibilities that come with working for your company, both professional and personal.
5. Make it Count
A remote company that wants to attract the best and brightest remote workers out there knows that every interaction with a potential candidate is an opportunity to convey company culture.
“The culture of your remote company is likely a selling point and comes across in every interaction, from the initial job posting through the full life cycle of the recruiting process,” says Kristin Thomas, director of employer partnerships at FlexJobs. “As a company, your communication, timeliness, and engagement with all candidates, good and bad, has an impact on your potential talent pool.”
By incorporating some of these tips into your recruiting strategy, you’ll greatly increase your chances of hiring a remote worker who believes in the mission of your company, is productive, and will contribute to your team in many wonderful ways.
Readers, how do you convey company culture while recruiting? Tell us in the comments below!