Recruiting Strategy

How to Tailor a Job Description for Remote Work

How to Tailor a Job Description for Remote Work
HireHive Team

HireHive Team

HireHive

Pivoting and flexibility have become the new normal for businesses over the last two years. As global companies pivoted to allow more work-from-home arrangements for employees as the pandemic spread rapidly worldwide, we also had to figure out how to be more flexible. Today, many companies are rethinking their programs, and some are choosing to remain remote. We're seeing that companies transitioning back into the workplace are losing top talent who are uninterested in returning, and they're able to find another job that allows it. 

So how do you attract and retain top talent in a world of remote jobs? It all begins with the job description. Here are some tips for tailoring a job description to remote work and finding great candidates.

Dynamic, Interesting, and Brief

If you only do three things in your job description for a remote position, keep these words in mind: dynamic, engaging, and brief. Don't make it too long or too involved. Include the key facts but don't make it dry. Your job description should entice someone to want to work with your company, not make them move on to the next ad. 

But what does dynamic mean in this context? 60% of applicants quit online applications because the process is too complicated. Make it easy to apply by including an "apply" now button and not forcing people to jump through hoops. Use your logo and branding throughout the design. 

Based in Reality

Next, focus on the job title. Sure, "Wizard of Acquisition" sounds like a fun job that someone would want to have, but what is it? Your job titles should always be searchable and based on the reality of the job itself. Otherwise, you're just throwing words out there and hoping something sticks. 

Avoid gimmicks and buzzwords in your job titles. Make sure it's something people have heard of and, more importantly, done in the past. It needs to be something people in the industry would understand and inclusive to all potential candidates.

Inclusive

Inclusivity is more critical than ever in your remote job description. Studies have shown that certain words used in job descriptions attract more men to apply than women. These words include things like "rock star" or "aggressive." By removing gender-coded words, companies receive 30% more applicants. Gender-neutral ads are inclusive of more talent leading to a larger applicant pool. 

Inclusivity doesn't stop with the gender gap. Inadvertent ageism, ableism, and cultural bias can be expressed in job description language without even realizing it. It's time to ask for feedback and revise jobs to eliminate unconscious bias from the language used, be more intentional about requirements, and emphasize a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion even when you're hiring for remote positions. 

The Right Keywords

Here is where you get into the technical aspects of a job description. Similar to how you search for candidates, job seekers also use keywords to find jobs that match their background. They will also add modifiers such as work-from-home and remote. To attract candidates interested in remote work, you have to make sure to include the right keywords.

Try adding the following keywords to your job descriptions: 

  • Work at home
  • Work from home
  • Remote
  • Distributed
  • Work from anywhere
  • Flexible
  • Virtual
  • Home office
  • Asynchronous 

It's crucial that you define these terms. For example, being flexible can mean a lot of things. You'll need to provide more details in the job description if you indicate the position is flexible but require a commitment to traditional business hours. Remote also often includes some caveats, including a hybrid work environment where employees must be in the office once or twice a week. If this is the case, indicate it in the job description. 

The Remote Requirements

Unless the position is genuinely "work from anywhere," there may be a few restrictions on the location of even remote jobs. In the U.S., for example, there are sometimes tax requirements for specific states of residency related to employment laws. There are other circumstances where employees can work from home but must be near an office or a client location. 

There may also be situations where someone can work remotely, but they need a dedicated home office. For example, for client confidentiality, you may need to require they have a dedicated work computer connected through a VPN and agree not to work in a public setting such as a coffee shop. You may also need to clarify the technology requirements, access to high-speed internet, and what the company will provide once the candidate is hired.

These are valid concerns for remote work, but they need to be shared upfront, or you may be reviewing countless resumes for individuals who can't meet the requirements. 

The Process

One more component of a successful remote job description is the hiring process. Your potential candidates need to know what to expect. As we mentioned earlier, it's imperative that applying for the job is easy so qualified candidates aren't accidentally ruled out. It can also help to share some details about what the rest of the process entails. 

There are multiple ways to interview for a remote job. Some companies will still bring a candidate into their corporate office for a face-to-face meeting, especially if the candidate is nearby. Others may set up a video conference, a phone call, or even a pre-recorded video answering specific questions. Any of these are typical and acceptable, but it's good for the candidate to be aware and prepare accordingly. 

Conclusion: You Don't Have to Do It Alone 

With more competition for remote workers worldwide, it pays for companies to consider all their advantages and the use of tools to assist in the quest to find talent. HireHive helps busy people hire great people. By having your entire recruitment process all in one place, you can post jobs, streamline your online application process, improve the candidate experience, and tap into vast networks.

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