Remote work has gone from luxury to a form of everyday survivorship with technical, practical and cultural challenges. It’s also shifted the hiring process further into the digital sphere — whether we like it or not. Sean O’Brien, Senior VP of Education at SAS, joined Meghan M. Biro on #WorkTrends to look at essential strategies for hiring right. That means not only knowing the competencies we need to hire, but having the digital capabilities it takes to hire now.

Whether you’re hiring people on site or remotely, there’s one rule, Sean said, “Return to the fundamentals.” The first step is to ask the right questions: “What skills does my company need? How often? Which is the most important?” And then, a clear way to assess potential applicants on not just skills, but potential to learn them. The onus on remote means interviews will “become more demonstrated, skill-oriented,” Sean noted. That means hands-on assessments, portfolios at-the-ready, and potential problem-solving on the spot — all done over video. And don’t forget good eye contact, added Meghan, pointing out that we still need to present ourselves well via video — that doesn’t change.

And here’s some homework for hiring managers, according to Sean: rewriting job descriptions. Many are poorly or generically written — without the needs of the company in mind, and lacking the language that acts as a filter to guide the right people to apply. As Meghan noted, that means organizations need to understand the skills they need. And given the turbulence and change going on now, that likely means we need to find an expert who does. “Depth of knowledge is necessary to be successful with it,” Sean said. Another smart strategy is to develop the talent already in the company, teaching your existing workforce the new digital skills they need to keep evolving.

Listen to the full conversation and see our questions for the upcoming #WorkTrends Twitter Chat. And don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode. 

Twitter Chat Questions

Q1: Why do some organizations struggle with hiring for the right skills? #WorkTrends
Q2: What strategies can help accurately assess a potential hire’s skills? #WorkTrends
Q3: What can leaders do to bring the right skills into the organization? #WorkTrends

Find Sean O’Brien on Linkedin and Twitter

This recap is sponsored by SAS.