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The notion of hiring for culture add isn’t particularly new: many organizations have recognized that hiring folks who are a “good culture fit” essentially creates cultural stasis, whereas looking for talent that brings a diverse perspective and fresh ideas will help the company culture grow.

But in an increasingly remote-first world where we might not meet our candidates in person at any point in the remote hiring process (or beyond, for that matter), how can we be sure that we’re translating those best practices effectively?

A while back, we wrapped up a member session on how to hire for culture add (which you can watch on demand now, if you’re a member), and there were a few salient points about the video interview process that I wanted to share with our broader community to help folks improve their experience hiring remote employees.

1. Find an effective way to explain your culture virtually

When hiring remotely, your candidates aren’t going to be able to walk through the office and get a sense of the team culture on their way from the lobby to the interview room. Take the time in an interview to explain the culture and answer questions they may have about it. Focus on explaining communication styles, your management style, and how decisions are made so that your potential candidate can evaluate if that’s what they’re looking for as well.

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2. Design hiring questions that unearth new ways of thinking

If creativity and resourcefulness are important to the role, consider ditching the “interview logic puzzles” in favor of asking open-ended, situational questions. For example, you might ask your remote candidate about a problem that your team has just solved to see if they approach a problem in a different (maybe even better) way than you and your team did.

3. Design interview questions that expose communication styles

Communicating clearly and effectively is something that is core to working together—whether in-person or remote. Depending on your organization’s values and vision, you might not want a remote employee who uses jargon and a condescending tone to obfuscate the fact that their ideas aren’t organized or clear.

4. Slow the process down

Recognize that there’s something abstract and intimidating about a fully-remote interview process. And I mean for the interviewers as much as for the interviewees! If you’re hiring remotely at the same speed as in-person and are finding that it is creating friction, try slowing it down. Lengthen the interviews and add a break in the middle. Schedule the second and third and fourth interviews with a few days in between to give everyone a breather.

What’s Next?

If hiring, onboarding, and mentoring remote team members is something that’s interesting and relevant to you, consider becoming a member of our community. Membership allows you to participate in conversations like these to help you navigate complexity and grow continuously as a digital leader.

You can learn more about membership here.

Galen Low
By Galen Low

Galen is a digital project manager with over 10 years of experience shaping and delivering human-centered digital transformation initiatives in government, healthcare, transit, and retail. He is a digital project management nerd, a cultivator of highly collaborative teams, and an impulsive sharer of knowledge. He's also the co-founder of The Digital Project Manager and host of The DPM Podcast.