Inevitably, hiring is a complex process. From creating an engaging job spec, to facilitating a process that allows you to successfully evaluate a candidates skills, competencies and cultural fit. Beyond this, you want to be attracting the best talent – not only to encourage them to apply, but to remain engaged with the process. That’s why it’s fundamental to create an engaging remote recruitment experience. 

Hiring remotely has some additional complications. You’re likely to be relying on remote video conferencing rather than a face-to-face interview, and it can be harder for a candidate to evaluate what life would really be like if they were to join. 

Considering all of the above, the key question is, how do you create an engaging remote recruitment experience?

coffee, computer, cup

Create an appealing job specification

When you’re in a position to hire someone new, you’ve already considered what skills you’re looking for, and what you’re wanting that person to bring to the team. But how do you make sure you create a job specification that inspires applicants to apply, and gives a realistic insight into the company and role?

It’s more than creating a list of requirements (as important as this is). It’s also about giving an insight into the wider team and company. How would you describe the company culture?  What are your company values? How do you measure success?

This can all link back to your wider employer branding strategy. How are you creating an enticing environment for candidates? Consider too the tools you’re using. Ideas can include:

  • Videos showcasing life at the company, featuring authentic interviews with existing staff members.
  • Videos from senior people within the business – introducing themselves and giving further information about the organisation.
  • High-level video demos showcasing what the company does – you may even consider using content that has already been created for prospective clients.
  • Photos from company meet-ups – don’t be afraid to show the fun side of work!
Be clear on the process from the start

Often, recruitment cycles don’t quite go to plan. But there should be a clear process, and it’s important to be upfront with candidates about this. Without being clear about what candidates should expect, it’s far more difficult to create an engaging remote recruitment experience. Creating  a simple graphic which clearly explains to candidates what they can expect from the process is a fundamental – as is sticking with it.

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Be careful about timelines. You should have a clear expectation around how long you’d expect the process to take – but be realistic and create space for the unexpected. Once you’ve promised a candidate a certain timeline, it’s only reasonable that they’ll expect you to follow through.

Show Transparency

Consider how transparent you are as an organisation, and to what extent this is reflected in your recruitment process. Consider the advantages of being transparent about salary ranges from the start and in the job spec. It has benefits for both sides – candidates can make an informed decision about whether or not the compensation levels would work for them, and as a business you don’t need to invest time sifting through applications where salary is likely to be an issue later on.


With modern Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) there is no excuse for poor communication. Ever. Even less so when you’re a remote business, where good communication is the foundation to everything. Automation means you can create a positive communication strategy without adding workload.

To create an engaging remote recruitment process make sure you:

  • Have an automatic “application submitted” email. Thank the candidate for the time they’ve invested in submitting their application, confirm you’ve received it, and again briefly explain what the process looks like and what they should expect.
  • If a candidate doesn’t make it through the initial application screening, communicate this. Thank them again for their time, while politely informing them you won’t be moving forward.
  • Make it easy for candidates. If you want to arrange an interview with them, create an easy calendar booking link so people can choose the times that work best for them.
  • Make sure you provide post-interview feedback, even if things aren’t proceeding any further. A candidate has invested their time and energy into the process and preparing for an interview. You can still make them feel valued for the time, even if it isn’t the right fit.
  • As a candidate proceeds through the various stages of the process, provide them with next steps and timeframes – and stick to them.
Consider what steps the Recruitment process will follow

More isn’t always a good thing. Naturally, a remote recruitment process must be designed to allow you the best opportunity to evaluate candidates, and find someone who will excel in the role. This doesn’t, however, mean that a ten stage process is a more effective way of doing this than, let’s say, a four stage process.

pile of brown wooden blocks

Endless interviews, projects, and assessments risk hitting candidate motivation. More so if you’re essentially asking for candidates to create work without remuneration (as is the case of many projects). Make sure every step is well designed and candidates time is being valued.

You should easily be able to answer the question “why are we doing this, what will it demonstrate and how will it help our decision?”

And remember. The longer a process drags out, the higher the chances your dream candidate will find and accept another offer – meaning you’re back to square one.

Make Interviews count

Whether your recruitment cycle is going to involve a couple of interviews, or a much more intensive process, make every interaction count. As part of facilitating an engaging remote recruitment process, interviews should be viewed as a two-way process. After all, they’re an invaluable way to evaluate a potential working relationship.

As an interviewer, make sure you ask informed, relevant and engaging questions. Show interest in the candidate and create a connection. Don’t be afraid to get to know each other on a more personal level. Asking simple questions such as how someone’s weekend was, or what they enjoy doing in their free time can help to create a more relaxed space, while giving candidates the confidence to be their true selves.

Make the time and space for candidates to ask questions. And be honest with your answers. If there are challenges the candidate should be aware of, tell them. If there’s a particular aspect of the role you see as less appealing, be honest with them about this. Interviews are two-way, and it’s important you give an authentic insight into the organisation.

Don’t forget – this isn’t just an opportunity to evaluate skills and competencies. You should also be thinking about culture fit/add as well as the candidates ability to grow within your organisation.

Involve Team Members

The best recruitment processes will have inclusivity at their heart. Consider how you can involve existing team members in the process. You might consider implementing something like a ‘Meet the Team’ stage towards the end of the process. This is a vital opportunity for existing team members to meet their potential new colleague, and evaluate how they think they’d add to the team.

Mugs on a Wooden Tray

Additionally, it’s a valuable opportunity for a candidate to get a feel for the team dynamics, and decide whether or not they can imagine themselves as part of the team.

Don’t be afraid to show enthusiasm

Hiring someone new should be an exciting experience. It’s an opportunity to welcome someone new to the team, add talent, and create success. Especially as the process proceeds, don’t be afraid to adjust the tone of your communications to express excitement and anticipation.

And when you do find the right candidate, avoid sending out an offer email. Take the opportunity to schedule a video call instead. It gives you the opportunity to provide a much more personalised offer experience while creating another space for questions.

Finally, be consistent and don’t be afraid to get feedback

Regardless of role, seniority or team, create an engaging remote recruitment experience that is consistent and follows the same structure. It doesn’t matter what the position is, you should have a hiring process that can be used throughout the organisation and is tried and tested.

question mark, important, sign

Finally, just as you should give feedback to candidates, don’t be afraid to ask for theirs too. This applies regardless of how far through the process they progressed. Create a survey which is automatically sent out to candidates, and ask them how they found the process, and whether they’d recommend your organisation to their friends, based on their experience. And, of course, use this feedback to further refine your process.

What are your top strategies for creating an engaging remote recruitment process? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!