• 3000+ writers
  • From all 50 states
  • Top 4% of all who apply
Human Resources & Talent

Is Agile Recruitment Remotely Possible?

By a Verblio Writer

(1008 words)

Recruiting employees is a necessarily holistic process that can no longer operate in a silo. Today’s talent acquisition requires less of a one-to-one, linear workflow in favor of a more iterative, personalized approach to hiring a diverse workforce, whether you’re hiring onsite or remote employees.

Defining Waterfall and Agile for Remote Recruitment

Simply put, the waterfall method follows a predetermined hiring process. It doesn’t lend itself well to hiring remotely since it’s not given to iteration the way agile is. The agile methodology incorporates teams that transcend and transform the hiring process. It’s lean, flexible, economical, and efficient. It’s also conducive to remote hiring because there are less likely to be bottlenecks in the process.

There’s no one size fits all. Human resource’s traditional waterfall method of hiring is drying up. It’s time to let go of convention and switch gears. Agile is no longer just a buzzword. It’s becoming an operating system all its own and it’s taking the HR industry by storm.

Is the Traditional Waterfall Approach Passé?

Somewhat. Human resource departments tend to be creatures of habit. Candidates apply. Recruiters screen, assess, and interview before eventually hiring and training a prospect. The process can take weeks, and the value of your new hire can take months to evaluate. It’s a legacy system that operates expensively with no guarantee that your investment was the right one.

Let’s talk about how agile can transcend and transform talent acquisition and lower the risk of an unfavorable return on investment.

Agile Recruiting in a Remote World

businesswoman on conference call with coworkers working remotely

According to Global Workplace Analytics, five million employees work remotely at least half-time or more, saving an average of $11,000 per teleworker each year. With the hiring landscape changing faster than you can say telecommute, recruiters are forced to re-evaluate how they acquire new talent and how they view traditional recruitment methods.

Think of the agile hiring process as a project with the end deliverable being human capital. While the waterfall approach to that deliverable can feel like a 26-mile marathon, agile is like a 400 meter sprint in comparison. It’s scalable, transparent, and collaborative.

What’s scalability? You can keep refining and adding to the recruitment process to meet the changing needs of the recruitment team, the applicant, and the company. Agile recruitment is transparent because it is collaborative. It allows for continuous improvement and manages risk in short, manageable cycles.

For instance, if something’s not working within that cycle (or sprint, as its known in agile), it’s addressed then and there. The cycle is repeated until the job requirements are fine-tuned and the recruitment team has learned all they can from the applicant, before deciding whether or not to continue on to the formal interview process.

Agile’s Remote Recruiting Road Map

Agile recruiting allows for a diverse talent pool of applicants. How? It’s borderless. Remote tools of the trade include virtual job fairs, chatbots, online job boards and college recruiting, and social media. It’s possible to glean hundreds of applicants worldwide. Arguably, the best thing is that neither recruiter nor applicant has to travel physically to the company for an interview.

But how do you know if you’re hiring the right people when you haven’t met them? It can be a challenge weeding out applicants who aren’t self-motivated and aren’t able to work remotely on a team. You have to remember that not all remote applicants are the same.

Write transparent job descriptions to triage applicants. Your job description should include insights into what to expect from your company on a day-to-day basis. While applicants may like the idea of remote autonomy, some won’t want to mess with the necessary team communication that comes from remote work. Solution? Have a talk.

That conversational interface is critical to separating those who are applying because they like your company name from those whose work and other life experiences would add value to your remote work teams.

If you still can’t find any acceptable candidates, perhaps your job description needs to be tweaked before continuing with the recruitment process. After all, remote workers can represent your company anywhere on earth.

Meet Applicants Where They Are

employee waving on conference call working remotely

We’re not just talking about location, but also being empathetic to where they are in the lifecycle of their job search. This takes a little more effort to engage them in their own hiring process by personalizing their experience. Once you’ve short-listed your candidates, the agile process of elimination goes into effect.

The Beamery suggests this framework for a 2-week sprint:

  • The recruitment team works with the hiring manager to get the job requirements drawn up.
  • Line up candidates for the job.
  • Initial screening and calls.
  • Decide whether to accept a candidate.
  • Schedule interview(s).

Of course, this road map is fully adaptable to the changing needs of your organization. First and foremost, your recruiting efforts should support your company’s goals and objectives whether you want your remote talent representing your company regionally throughout the United States or across the pond.

Explaining the Benefits of Agile Recruiting

Agile recruitment methods involve building collaborative relationships. If your company has no agile experience within any working group, it may be hard to get management and C-levels on board to support it. If that’s the case, it’s best to evolve slowly into the agile mindset. Make sure it works within the walls of your company before venturing into its principles for remote recruitment.

If your company is amenable to a change-up, however, explain to the powers-that-be some of the main benefits of agile recruitment:

  • Diverse remote applicant pool
  • Diverse locales representing your company
  • Focus on sprints, reducing time in the hiring process
  • Hiring is both collaborative and accountable
  • Data-driven metrics like cost-to-hire and length of hiring process
  • New technology like artificial intelligence, i.e. chatbots
  • Cost-effectiveness of hiring and training
  • Low churn rates

Agile recruiting methods can transform your hiring processes by breaking out of the waterfall method of recruitment. It transcends tradition by making the best use of time and resources, whether you’re hiring onsite or remotely.


Questions? Check out our FAQs or contact us.