From blogs, websites and press releases to social media, email marketing and other marketing channels – there will always be a need for content when it comes to growing your business, shaping its reputation and connecting with customers.
Thanks to innovative technology, you no longer have to worry about setting up a physical office and be restricted by geography when it comes to hiring talented writers. You can opt for the remote route and set up a virtual team instead.
While hiring remote workers has a host of benefits to offer businesses such as lower costs, wider talent pool, productive workforce and improved employee retention, it’s not as straightforward as it sounds.
Here are eight essential tips to keep in mind while hiring remote writers
Stage 1: Starting the Hunt
Write a Detailed Job Description
If you want to attract quality talent, you need to write a clear and detailed job description.
Start with thinking about the particular writing niche/s you need help with. For example, if you particularly need an email marketing writer, you need to be specific and mention the responsibilities and duties clearly.
Apart from that, include the years of experience, technical requirements (language proficiency, expertise in using certain tools, etc.) and soft skills they should possess. It’s also a good idea to articulate the benefits of working with your company.
Advertise on the Right Job Boards
While you can post the job on LinkedIn, it’s certainly not enough. If you want to find the right remote writer for your company, turn to job boards that specifically cater to remote workers.
Here are some of the leading job boards you can advertise on –
- ProBlogger – $70
- We Work Remotely – $299/month
- co – $199/month
- Remote Only – $19 for 30 days
- Outsourcely – $19/month – $99/month
- Remote Work Hub – free
- FlexJobs – free
- UpWork – free
Ask for Relevant Writing Samples
Resumes and cover letters will only give you an overview of the candidate’s work experience and education background. There is no way you can evaluate someone’s writing skills looking at those.
Hence, it’s very important to ask for at least two to three relevant writing samples in order to verify the candidate’s writing skills. You need to be convinced that the candidate is equipped to write in the required niche.
While evaluating writing samples, pay close attention to their spelling and grammar, subject matter expertise, and writing ability. It’s also advisable to do a plagiarism check and ensure the candidate has submitted original work.
Doing this gives you a better idea of the writer’s voice and lets you decide if they are a good fit for your company.
Stage 2: Shortlisting Candidates
Assign a Paid Trial Test
So you’ve received umpteen applications and finally narrowed down on a few promising ones that meet your requirements.
Before you proceed to the interview stage, it’s a good idea to assign a paid trial test to evaluate how they perform when they’re put to test.
Give them a short task with a deadline of one week. Clearly define your expectations and share your editorial or brand guidelines for their reference.
Evaluate candidates for their promptness and how true they were to your guidelines as it reflects their attention to detail and professionalism which are important qualities to look for in remote writers.
Basis the results, shortlist two to three candidates for the next stage.
Many employers feel they can skip this step considering they’re hiring remotely. However, conducting a phone or video interview is always a good idea as you’re able to assess the candidate’s ability better.
Remember you’re not just hiring any writer – you’re hiring a remote writer which means you need to be sure that apart from writing, the candidate can also work in a remote set-up.
So, break your interview into two parts –
- Evaluate the candidate’s writing skills and experience
Ask questions related to their writing experience, the companies they have worked for in the past, their success stories and writing process. Consider using psychometric assessments for your interviewees – these tests are good for personality and skills evaluation.
- Assess whether they have experience in working remotely
Get to know what their remote work experience is like, the tools they’ve used, their work timings and how they deal with the challenges that come with remote working.
Pay Attention to the Essential Soft Skills
While hiring remote writers, you need to pay special attention to a few crucial soft skills that are required for remote working success.
These are a few qualities you should look for –
- Self-motived and disciplined
- Strong communications skills
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Dependable and trustworthy
So, while interviewing them, make sure you ask questions that allow them to demonstrate these qualities.
Stage 3: Hiring the Right Remote Writer
Close the Loop
Don’t be the employer who doesn’t get back to all those candidates who did not make the cut.
It’s always polite to send them a straightforward email, informing them that you’ve chosen to proceed with another candidate. Yes, it’s not the best news to deliver but it certainly contributes to a better candidate experience.
Develop a Smooth Onboarding Process
An onboarding process sets the tone for your working relationship and is especially crucial in the case of remote hiring due to the lack of facetime.
Organize your onboarding process, familiarize the writer with the collaboration and productivity tools you use, share editorial guidelines and set clear expectations.
The key to remote working success is communication. So, make sure you keep the doors of communication open and make your remote employees feel part of your team.
Writers shape up your brand and by no means should you compromise or settle for less when hiring one. So follow these eight tips and carefully select the right writer who is not only proficient in writing but also demonstrates the potential to work remotely. For an all-in-one platform to manage your remote team, try Hibox today.