How to hire and screen remote workers effectively

How to hire and screen remote workers effectively

It’s no secret that many more people are working remotely now. The pandemic pushed forward the widespread use of remote working tools, including video conferencing, and cloud-based collaboration. Since then, many employees expect flexibility to be built into their roles, including elements of remote working and many people are now seeking wholly remote roles.

For employers, this opens up the labour market and allows access to talent from across the country, and even the world.

However, hiring remotely comes with risks, and it’s important to ensure that the recruitment process is carefully planned to ensure only honest candidates are hired.

Additionally, engaging candidates through a remote hiring process requires several considerations to ensure new hires are enthusiastic to start work.

Hiring remote workers

At the start of the hiring process for a remote worker, consider why a candidate might prefer to apply for a remote role. Reasons could include that they’re based abroad or find commuting difficult due to disability or expense. They could have caring or other responsibilities that require them to be based in a particular place or are hoping to travel as they work.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to be aware of the different circumstances that candidates might find themselves in and design the role around them.

Job adverts

When advertising a remote role, it’s important to be clear about the parameters of this, and what in-person commitments might be expected. For example, will quarterly visits to the head office be required? Will interviews be conducted in person? Clarity at this point in the process means that anyone for whom this is a problem will sift themselves out. For this reason, only include non-negotiable expectations, as you risk deterring excellent candidates.

Talent pool

If this is the first remote role you have recruited for, you may want to expand your search and cast a wider net to take advantage of the national and international opportunities. This means making use of online tools and sites, as well as tapping into different networks to reach a more diverse and far-reaching talent pool.


Interviewing for remote roles can happen either in person or over video call. It’s important to be mindful of how an in-person interview might affect a candidate’s enthusiasm for the role – if they’re applying because they require a remote position, an in-person interview may be impossible. Offering a video option is always advisable, especially if applicants are based abroad.

When interviewing via video, there are some factors to take into account, including:

  • Ensuring you have a stable internet connection
  • Being familiar with the platform you are using
  • Ensuring your background on the screen represents the way you want your business to be perceived
  • Providing candidates with all of the required information for joining and participating in the interview.

Screening for remote workers

The risks of hiring remotely are in some ways magnified. Risks include:

Right to work:  digital right to work has been providing benefits to businesses for over a year, now, and remote hiring provides a fast, accurate, and fully online way to prove identity. The accuracy levels of digital ID checks are higher than face-to-face checks and therefore is a safer way to protect your business from identity or right-to-work fraud.

Digital Right to Work can currently only be used by candidates who hold a valid British or Irish passport, meaning those who don’t meet this requirement must carry out a face-to-face Right to Work check. Fraudsters are taking advantage of this by obtaining fake birth certificates and bypassing the highly accurate technology-based verification, instead meeting employers face to face.

To minimise the risk of this, ensure that staff are trained to check ID documents, and maintain a comprehensive audit trail showing that proper processes have taken place.

Disguising using AI – there are instances of candidates using AI to create deepfake videos for pre-recorded interviews to disguise themselves or create new identities. We’re also seeing fraudsters using AI to generate hiring paperwork for applications that would pass vetting standards but aren’t necessarily truthful.

To avoid this, opt for live video interviews, as opposed to pre-recorded interview questions.

Fake references – Also on the rise is the use of fake references, with bogus companies being set up to generate fake references at scale for people who are trying to mask the absence of a work history or potentially mask other activities where they weren’t in work.  At Reed Screening, specialists have found 15 of these companies working at scale, with large numbers of work seekers using the same companies to provide their references.

For employers, the BHI offer a free document with advice on how to spot and report fake references.

How can Reed Screening Help?

Ensuring your candidates experience a positive recruitment and onboarding process while maintaining the integrity and compliance of your screening procedures means building a robust process.

At Reed Screening, we have years of experience in providing fast, smooth, and thorough employee screening and background checks, to bolster your candidate experience. Our AssuredID service offers an easy and accurate way to verify a candidate’s ID digitally.

For more information, get in touch with our team.