The 2020 Remote Hiring Shift

By: Maria Schaab


2020 has brought many changes and challenges for organizations, many stemming from the transition to a remote workforce and remote work environment. The transition has caused a dramatic shift in strategy, management, and hiring with around 42% of the workforce now operating from home.

Working from home brings pros and cons, as most unexpected changes typically would. The pros? Employees typically report better work-life balance, less stress with respect to commuting and an overall cost savings in overhead when it comes to an organization and rented office spaces. But what about the cons? No physical separation between work and personal life, heavy reliance on electronic communication and technologies, lack of creativity or productivity operating in the same scenery each day – obstacles that have challenged the productivity and motivation of individuals over the past few months.

It is no secret that employees and organizations have faced an uphill battle. The urgency to shift and operate from home, many organizations not having the technologies or infrastructure in place to do so immediately created chaos and disorganization. Now, nearing the end of 2020, we are living in the new norm of “the working-from-home economy” where companies have adjusted to their new normal, operating from home. With the correct infrastructures in place to promote success, companies are moving into active hiring phases again, seeking to grow their team in an entirely new way – virtually.

Working for an organization that has been entirely remote since our inception, our hiring process has always had to be unique and strategic as we’re not always given the opportunity for in-person interviews. It brings the question of how hiring has truly changed through the shift of our new workplace norms. What can be expected from the candidate and hiring manager’s side?


Candidate Experience:

  1. Video Interviews – Pre-Covid, less than half of all interviews conducted by organizations were done utilizing a video call format (47%). As early as March of 2020, this number had increased to 67% and continues to grow into practice.
  2. Quantity of Interviews – On average, the typical number of interviews from the beginning of the process to an extended offer is 3. Hiring a remote employee allows more flexibility for who can conduct interviews, typically leading to a higher number of interviews within the process. Due to this, it would not be abnormal to complete 5-6 interviews with various team members prior to an extended offer with an organization.
  3. Preparation for Remote-Environment Questions – Remote interview questions will most likely focus on autonomy, organization, and prioritization. Examples of this could include: “Are you able to stay motivated without a direct supervisor?” “What is your previous experience working and operating remotely?” “How will you schedule and prioritize your work?” Preparing ahead of time for these types of questions can help to be successful in the virtual hiring process.


Hiring Manager Experience:

  1. Interview for Communication Style – One of the greatest challenges that comes with a remote workforce revolves around the concept of communication. Face to face communication has been moved to e-communication such as: phone calls, video conferences, emails, instant messaging platforms. Depending on the culture and capacity of the role, communication style could be measured in written format more frequently given the shift of standards.
  2. Behavioral Assessments – As the ability to meet and observe potential candidates in person has become more restricted, behavioral assessments are rising in popularity. The need to ensure you are placing the right individual brings in the need for additional aides and measures throughout the hiring process. Our behavioral assessment of choice, The Predictive Index, offers unmatched resources to better ensure you’re putting the right person in the right seat.
  3. Value Alignment – As the physical workspace changes, organization culture adjusts and molds to its new normal along with it. Value alignment among employees is more important than ever given the challenges of remote work. A team of integrity, cohesiveness and open communication helps to encourage success.

As we grow and adapt in 2021, virtual hiring will continue to shape and adjust as we settle into our new workplace norms. Thank goodness for the internet!

If you have a critical hiring need and you’d like to see how Titus may be able to help, click here to start the conversation!

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