How to write job descriptions to hire remote workers?

hiring remote workers
Table of Contents
According to the Department of Labor of the United States, wrong hiring or a cost of a bad hire can cost up to 30% of an employee's first-year salary 1. For instance, hiring a Senior Product Manager from Southeast Asia might cost you USD 21,507. On the other hand, hiring for a similar position in the United States might cost you USD 179,000.  In this case, the mis-hiring cost will be as high as USD 53,700 from the base salary of a Senior Product Manager, which could be a significant loss hurting your bottom line when hiring senior positions from developed countries.

1. Why job description matters: "Poor fit for the job"

Among the IT new hires, "poor fit for the job" was one of the top reasons contributing to the high turnover rate. Apart from the direct hiring expenses, Gartner's research indicated that bad hiring costs will need to include the extra time and resources to source, onboard, and train the replacement. Considering the time factor, the indirect loss could be as high as one to three times the job's annual salary.   A "poor fit for the job" brings detrimental effects to your company even if the hire doesn't quit. Your business could lose approximately $2,246 for every disengaged employee hired, an average of 18% of their annual salary working in your organization. As such, a good job description is the first crucial step that attracts top talent to get noticed and aware of your vacancy before proceeding to the video interview or even receiving any job application. This article will review some talent acquisition strategies to hire remote workers with practical job listing recommendations.

2. Job listing length:

What is the difference between a job listing and a job description? A job listing will generally contain concise information such as job title, location (remote/hybrid), job summary, and key qualifications.  On the other hand, a job description is a comprehensive document that explains the details of the role, such as reporting line, organization chart, day-to-day responsibilities, and salary setting, and is often used as an internal document to comply with the employment law.  To successfully attract qualified candidates, you should use a job listing as your advertisement to grab attention from the vast talent pool. However, your job description will come before that and serve as the foundation before the job listing.  What is the ideal length of a job listing to successfully grab your job seeker's attention? According to LinkedIn research, shorter job listings attract 8.4% more applications 2, and most job searchers will use just 14 seconds to scan through important information to decide the next step to apply. Hence, the ideal job post should be within 300 words as it tends to perform better compared with a 600 words job post.

3. Job titles search demand

A successful job posting that will successfully give impressions for your ideal candidate to click on will rely on a good keyword based on search demand in the Google search engine. Glassdoor SEO expert recommends that a job title within 12 to 20 characters has the highest click-through rate 3. Consider working with an SEO specialist to find out the most suitable keyword to use as your job title. For example, a job title like "software expert" has only 850 global search volume as of June 2023's data and is mainly used for B2B businesses searching for a software solution provider for the business; this is probably a bad example of a job listing.  A good example is using a job title like software developer, which has a 165,000 search volume and is a popular keyword that job seekers are searching for despite the high competition to get a good ranking.  If your company's direction is clear to hire a full-stack software developer, use the title instead. Even though this title only has a global search volume of 3,900, it is a niche title with less competition, so you have a higher possibility to get your ads to be visible and eliminate candidates that don't meet the specialized requirements. 

4. Describe how "remote" your company is

Different remote job titles with different terminology convey slightly different meanings. It is important to provide the relevant one when posting the details on social media platforms.
  • Distributed workforceGenerally, referring to a company geographically dispersed in various locations. Distributed work implies that the company has the tools, infrastructure, and processes to enable remote teams to collaborate from anywhere. However, it doesn't mean 100% remote work and could confuse job seekers.
  • Work from home: It is important to note that it is only suitable for jobs that don't require on-site presence or business travel entirely. WFH jobs can be understood as fully remote jobs. 
  • Hybrid: A job requiring the candidate to work on-site while allowing some days to be WFH. It is essential to be transparent, stating the work location, frequency, and days required to be on-site.
 
  • Freelancers: Suitable for project basis jobs when hiring a content writer to complete a white paper project or a website designer to work on your new planned rebranding website structure design. 
It is essential to mention your target deliverables like project length, committed hours per week, the pay range of your hourly rate, and the value the freelancer can create based on their expertise.
  • Work from anywhere: Mainly providing WFH arrangement, but the employee is not restricted to work in specific locations. It is often used when the employer accepts candidates outside the company's country of origin.
However, do you know that hiring candidates from different countries using the same contract and paying the same country's currency is ILLEGAL? 

5. Job scope define

IT managers are typically adept at explaining how each task or responsibility is carried out from the management point of view, but they frequently neglect the process and the desired outcome in job execution. Gartner advised that it is essential to focus on the abilities and competency in the job scope (5). Therefore, HR managers should collaborate with team members from the same thing to understand the specific skill sets required to perform the job. For example, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are good keywords that focus on the presentation layer of software applications that Front end developers are searching for.  Whereas Java, Python, Ruby, Django, and Node.js will be relevant skills that focus on the server-side logic and database management for software applications that back-end developers are looking for.

6. Common mistakes in Job requirements

Although defining detailed job scope with the relevant keywords is essential to attract the correct candidate match, hiring a candidate that is able to create value for the company is even more crucial.  Taking a senior leadership role in technology, for example, common hiring mistakes will be focusing too much on the skillsets of coding and using software applications for task execution. Our recommendation will be focusing on business value creation, for example:
  • Strategic advisor: Able to advise on the AWS costing to reach the sales target with a reduced or minimum budget; this will rely on the candidate's solid past network connection and experience. 
  • Collaboration skills: Instead of working well with stakeholders at the surface level, the position is required to identify, develop, and launch new quality features to cover the growing product tech support needs along with the head of product as well as customers’ needs with the head of customer service to raise the corporate efficiency level. 
  • Business acumen: To set strategic direction in leading the team, the candidate will need to be able to forecast the business needs in 2 years. For example, advising whether to purchase or migrate to another platform once the system reaches its maximum capacity will require a visionary mindset and recommending the solution as a business expert.
  • Leadership skills: Instead of looking solely at the years of experience leading a tech team, look at the candidate's experience building the team in milestone accomplishments, including hiring, training, and onboarding the team with solid experience in building the product roadmap. 

7. Employer branding and company values

Employer branding and employer value proposition (EVP) are critical in attracting the right candidate that matches the company's set of core values. Journal research that interviewed HR professionals from large-scale companies found that when candidates are given a clear purpose, values, and prestige of the work 4, the number of applications and perceived employer attractiveness will increase.  For mid-size companies' employer branding strategy, company's core values and mission statement will be more suitable to attract candidates with similar values and stay out of the competition that large enterprises use their strong employer brand proposition to attract high-quality candidates.  The core purpose of the AYP group is to build a platform for companies to access Talents and bring job opportunities to all talents across the Asia Pacific. Our mission is to lead the HR technology solutions provider FOR this world that leads the future of workGet a FREE consultation with us to define your unique value proposition in hiring remote workers from anywhere. Likewise, we only hope to attract talents with similar values in helping companies build a scalable distributed workforce and believe in making digital workplaces happier and smarter through technology.

8. The easiest and safest way to hire remote employees

Hiring high-skill workers from less developed countries helps to save massive costs in office space rental and operating expenses. Most importantly, paying employees with a lower salary rate.  However, drafting a job listing to hire from anywhere should be executed cautiously with professional legal advice, especially when compensation includes the local tax rate, social insurance, health insurance, etc., differs across countries. It is essential that your job listing complies with the local Labor law regulations to avoid potential disputes before your candidate starts to work with you.  Register and get FREE advice on the dos and don'ts when hiring from various countries.

References

  1. The Cost Of A Bad Hire And Red Flags to Avoid (2023)
  2. 6 Stats That Will Change the Way You Write Job Posts
  3. 10 SEO Tips for Writing Job Descriptions
  4. The Role Of Employer Branding Practices On Management Of Employee Attraction And Retention
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