Five Tips for Remote Recruiting

By Max Mihelich

Sep. 11, 2013

No matter how good the job or how solid the recruiting approach, moving to a remote or rural area for a job won’t appeal to everyone, said Matt Grove, principal consultant with Recruiting Toolbox Inc. It’s all about making smart recruiting decisions to identify and sell the right talent.

The following are his five tips for recruiting for jobs in remote locations.

1. Understand the role and the life. Do your research and understand what a day in the life is really like — not just the typical workday, but also the lifestyle. Ask professionals in the role currently what drew them to the opportunity and what their life is like now. Are they glad they made the move professionally? What has this career choice enabled them to do both professionally and personally? What do they do with the time they used to spend commuting in heavy traffic? What do they enjoy the most about living and working where they do? Has it been a good move for their family?

2. Define branding and the value proposition differently. Recruiters must be able to answer candidates’ “What’s in it for me?” question clearly and candidly about the industry, the company and the position. Also talk about the rural lifestyle, the type of people who live there, the sense of community within the company and town, and the additional purchasing power they would have with their compensation.

3. Focus a high return-on-investment sourcing strategy. Focus sourcing time and energy on candidate pools that are more likely to be interested and qualified in remote or rural opportunities.
• Military veterans: Rural areas have had far higher military enlistment rate than cities for many years. As military veterans complete their service, they are looking for a high-growth, challenging civilian career and are an excellent source of talent.
• Rural location alumni: Many people who grew up or went to school in remote areas had great experiences there, some even say they were the best years of their life. Selling point: Get back to the rural life where you had great times and enjoy a long and rewarding career.
• Career reboots: People who have been unemployed/underemployed often are open to a new kind of opportunity. Selling point: Reboot your career in a high-growth industry and enjoy a fresh start.

4. Help candidates imagine the rewarding future. This is a high-growth industry with opportunities for growth that will continue for decades. The extrinsic rewards are simple to sell, so be sure to highlight intrinsic rewards like a trajectory of personal accomplishment and being a part of moving the country toward energy independence.

5. Employ the “extra mile” candidate experience. Employers and recruiters need to treat candidates like the rare commodity that they are. The candidate pool for remote opportunities is limited, so it is essential that there is a clearly defined strategy to go the extra mile. All participants in recruiting need to be trained and held accountable for executing on the recruiting plan. Identify talent ambassadors from the business (not recruiters) who have made a similar career change and can answer candidates’ questions openly and candidly.

Max Mihelich is a Workforce associate editor. Comment below or email Follow Mihelich on Twitter at @workforcemax.

Max Mihelich is a writer in the Chicago area.

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