Diversity In Remote Recruitment

Patricea Pop

9 minutes read

The old saying “The world is your oyster” suggests that everything is open to one. You can do anything and go anywhere and, in a way, remote working promises just that. Both employers and employees alike can now extend their searches across regions and cultures which were once unreachable.

The fact that the world is full of talented people is something companies knew all along. Thanks to remote working, the game in recruitment has changed as well, with many people becoming potential candidates for the openings across the globe. 

Having access to the global talent pool means that people with diverse backgrounds, skills, experiences, cultures and attitudes can now share the same virtual office. Frankly speaking, not embracing the benefits which remote recruitment has to offer, especially in terms of diversity, would be a missed chance. 

Therefore, geographical distance seems to be a thing of the past and regions which were once difficult to reach are now included in the recruitment mix.

It doesn’t matter if you live in a rural area anymore, as long as you have the right Internet connection and the proper background for the job. Under these circumstances, finding the right people with the right skills seems like a much easier task.

Diversity starts with recruitment and the first step to ensure this ingredient is included in the selection strategy of the company is to assess the entire recruitment cycle: from the job descriptions and candidate profiles to the interviewing process and the biases recruiters and managers have.

Therefore, let’s have a look at what are some barriers which can stall the process of bringing diversity in remote teams.

First of all, old habits die hard. This means that many managers and recruiters can get easily stuck in doing things the same way. Whether it is having the same sourcing strategies or going after the same candidate profile, there are many aspects of where and when the recruitment process can get rigid. 

Often managers prefer to go with what they know leaving little room for experimentation. So do recruiters when they aren’t targeting new channels to source talent or when they miss to leverage on internal referrals. The big argument here is that indeed, recruiting costs time and money and hiring the wrong person for the job is a costly mistake to make. 

At the same time, which regions and candidates become reachable depends on the remote model the company opts for as well as of management mentality.

A hybrid model, which requires employees to come to the office a few days a week means candidates must live in the city or nearby where the company has an office. This already excludes a wide range of potential candidates, like people who moved to smaller towns during the pandemic or those already living in one. 

Besides the type of remote model selected by the company, another aspect is the unconscious bias. Since an unexamined mind rarely leads in the right direction, taking the time to reflect on the preconceived notions is a first step in the process of opening up our minds and attitudes at work. This can be done by seeking education and training as well as coaching. To make sure examining biases is not just talk, looking at the figures can help. For example, understanding who is being recruited vs who is applying can provide useful information regarding a potential recruitment bias. 

Another aspect worth mentioning is the need to have consistency in the interviewing process. This includes not skipping any steps and having the same set of questions for candidates applying to the same role. Often this aspect is overlooked but this kind of standardization allows for managers to compare apples with apples. 

Last but not least, in the race of getting the right employee, many companies often overlook their own staff. Hiring internally, making use of the talents they already have should happen organically but, unfortunately, it often isn’t so. In fact, employees from different regions who are willing to make a job change find out about certain opportunities too late.

When recruiting for a new position, managers find themselves in less than perfect circumstances: pressures to replace a person who is leaving, the need to put up a team for a new project or other constraints such as the budget, time and very specific skills, all these factors impact the entire recruitment process, as well as on the quality of the decision to hire or not someone. 

In conclusion, recruiting remotely is both an opportunity and a challenge and finding the best strategy to reach the global pool of talent takes time and requires organizations to have a look at their own habits, processes and attitudes first.

Subscribe to our newsletter

By subscribing to the newsletter you agree with the privacy policy.

Written by Patricea Pop


It is said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a simple step and mine started a few summers ago when I wanted to do something for myself, so I enrolled in a coaching programme. This gave me the chance to look at myself from a different perspective: little did I know that it would take me to a different career path, that of being a coach.

After more than 12 years in the corporate world which taught me many lessons and several years of preparation for my new role, I now support people in business to improve their self leadership skills. I think leadership is an inside job and it is part soul searching, part strategy and part relationship skills.

I love writing about work and organizations because it is the place where we invest heavily our time and energy and we often end up feeling stressed, trapped and dissatisfied. My strength relies on my resilience, critical thinking and intuition and I believe it is an honour to accompany someone on their inner journey.

Be the first one to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *