Following the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid and remote work have become the norm for many companies.
However, this concept has been around for a lot longer than that.
DistantJob is a company that focuses specifically on remote work and recruiting, putting it in a very strong position to talk about the latest trends in this field.
In an interview with DistantJob President Sharon Koifman, we take a look at some of the differentiating factors on remote recruitment, including the importance of soft skills and the need for a human touch when relying on AI.
Sharon Koifman is the President of DistantJob, a company he founded in 2009 to focus specifically on remote recruitment. As a strong advocate for remote working, Sharon is also the author of Surviving Remote Work, a book that debuted in November 2020 as a #1 Amazon bestseller in its category.
DesignRush: As remote work becomes the norm for many companies, how has DistantJob adjusted its recruitment strategies to prioritize soft skills crucial in remote settings?
Sharon: DistantJob has been preaching the importance of soft skills for the last 15 years, and one of our business’s big differentiators is focusing on soft skills as much as hard skills in the international domain.
Cultural differences bring up communication barriers, and the way to surmount them is by building rapport.
There is no question that, with remote people, you must get to know them on a more personal level to keep them productive and motivated.
Given the rise of AI in recruitment, can you share how DistantJob integrates this tech to enhance the efficiency of the recruitment process?
I know AI is the future, and need to talk about it.
Here’s the deal — As more and more people use AI tools, the only major differentiator becomes the human touch.
We have proprietary technologies to automate finding the right people and AI technologies to message.
However, when push comes to shove, it is the human component that matters.
The top candidates don't want to feel like they are talking to robots and are led through an automated conversation. When they feel frustrated because the interview doesn't cater to them, there has to be a human to keep them motivated to go through it.
Top developers and technologists don't like to feel that the recruiter does not have respect for their time.
Unfortunately, no AI technology (yet) is aware of the client’s ego and emotions.
With companies increasingly applying marketing principles in recruitment, is there a specific approach that DistantJob employs to attract top talent on the market?
We started a media company called ThinkRemote, which is the biggest online publication specializing in remote work.
We have become one of the authoritative voices of remote work, and the candidates truly appreciate that they are talking to someone who isn't manipulating into a job that will slowly become "in office" with time.
We also get to know our clients inside out and find out what makes their company an exciting place to work, so that we can find the best way to sell the dream of working there to the candidates.
Considering the shift from traditional resumes to skill-based assessments, how does DistantJob evaluate candidate competencies?
We do this magical thing called "speaking to them." 😊
Joke aside, I know people are looking for some fancy technology or an interesting algorithm, but we hire highly intuitive recruiters and ask them to do things such as:
- Spend a lot more time just engaged in conversation
- Get the candidates to open up on a more personal level
- Figure out what type of person they are
With the expansion of the gig economy, how does DistantJob cater to businesses seeking project-based, short-term hires?
We find it incredibly ineffective to hire people for a project and I feel it’s completely in the wrong direction.
It's our philosophy that the best people are busy, career-driven people who have a job and want to integrate as part of a company's process and culture.
You will never get the same commitment from a consultant, freelance or outsourcing type of person.
Considering the growing emphasis on development for talent retention, how does DistantJob ensure that its candidates and client companies are aligned on career growth?
The amazing thing about headhunting senior people around the world, from companies similar to our clients, is they can potentially get a perfect fit with the right hard skills and soft skills, with minimal training.
The type of people we search for–people who love their jobs and are at the top of their fields–already have a habit of taking charge of their self-development.
We merely check in and put ourselves at their service, helping in any way we can.
With transparency becoming increasingly critical in recruitment, can you share the measures DistantJob takes throughout the recruitment process?
When it comes to remote recruitment, if the client doesn't get updated about our progress in every stage, we lose.
We must be honest sooner rather than later when a mandate becomes too hard to deliver because we understand that for many of our clients, time is money.
Credibility is crucial for us, otherwise, there are simply too many options on the market, and they can take their business somewhere else.