Ensuring culture fit when hiring remotely

The pandemic’s push to remote work has opened up new talent pools beyond commuting distance. But hiring remotely presents challenges, causing IT leaders to rethink culture and how to assess team fit.

Ensuring culture fit when hiring remotely
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When his team went all remote last year, Precisely COO Eric Yau assumed hiring would stop. But as the pandemic raged on and the company grew, it needed new talent. That’s when it became clear that remote hiring was a game changer.

“When we relaxed the idea that candidates had to be within range of our offices, we got a lot of good candidates,” Yau says. “We went from uncertainty to realizing this is a huge opportunity.”

Opening the talent pool beyond commuting range makes it possible to hire great people, but hiring remotely can be a bit like dating via an app: strange and awkward, even if it’s a terrific opportunity. Identifying technical ability in a remote interview may be easy, but uncovering the elusive alchemy of a person who will bring cultural enhancement to your team is challenging.

“You could interview someone amazing,” says James Durago, hiring manager for Google, “but they won’t do well in the wrong environment. Like if you hire LeBron James and put him in a baseball game. He won’t be at his best.”

To ensure candidates hired remotely are set up for success, you have to know what your culture is and find ways to assess fit remotely. For many organizations, this has meant going headlong into self-discovery — a journey that has produced just what their hiring process needs.

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