4 Retention Tactics for a Virtual World

Many companies are asking, “How do we retain employees in a virtual world?” It’s a valid question.

Employers need a way to improve remote employee retention to stay competitive. Let’s take a look at four fundamental retention tactics to improve remote employee retention:


Retention Tactic 1: Define Your Hiring & Work Processes

Adopt a robust remote work culture by defining your hiring and work processes to help employees understand what is expected from them right from the start.

In case you need a bit of a jumpstart on defining your hiring process, here’s an overview you can start with – feel free to customize it to align with the hiring process at your company.


The 15 Steps of the Hiring Process

  1. Identify the hiring need

This need could vary from filling a vacated position, better managing a team’s workload, or expanding the reach of organizational tasks.


  1. Devise a recruitment plan

In the case of newly formed positions, organizations should clearly identify how the new role aligns with its goals and business plan. Having that information clear from the start makes it easier to hire the right fit and justify creating a new position with existing employees to get greater acceptance of growing the team.

Don’t forget that a solid recruitment plan includes strategizing how to publicize the new position, both internally and externally, the criteria for initial candidate screening, what the interview process will look like, and who will conduct interviews.


  1. Write a job description

A job description includes a prioritized list of job requirements, special qualifications, desired characteristics, and required experience. The job description should also include information regarding salary and benefits.


  1. Advertise the position

Start advertising the position internally first to identify potential qualified candidates before going external. You may find the right fit from within and not need to advertise for that position!

If you don’t find the right fit internally, advertise externally. Advertising externally often consists of utilizing a combination of the company’s website and social media platforms, job posting sites like LinkedIn, job fairs, industry publications and events, local newspaper advertisements, and word-of-mouth recruitment.


  1. Recruit for the position

Active recruitment will help generate applications from potential candidates who are not actively searching for new jobs but may be perfect for the available position. Don’t forget to include this step and make sure hiring staff are doing more than simple job posts to find the right highly-qualified applicants.


  1. Review applications

In many cases, the review process begins with Human Resource representatives who review the applications and eliminate any candidate who does not meet the minimum requirements for the position or the company more generally. Keep in mind, the hiring team or hiring manager may prefer to review each application. 

Once a batch of qualified applications are assembled, the hiring staff should review the remaining candidates and identify those they want to interview.


  1. Initial screening

This may include a phone interview or other pre-requisite screenings before the shortlisted candidates are invited for an interview.


  1. Interviews

Depending on the size of the company and hiring committee, one or several interviews may need to be scheduled for the candidates who make it through the initial screening process.


  1. Applicant assessment

Many companies choose to put candidates through one or more standardized tests to measure a wide range of variables, including personality traits, problem-solving ability, reasoning, reading comprehension, emotional intelligence, and more.


  1. Background check

The initial job posting should indicate that all candidates are subject to a background check.

Background checks review candidates’ criminal record, verify employment history and eligibility, and run credit checks. 

Some companies also check social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, etc.) to make sure potential employees are likely to represent the company in a professional manner. 

Drug testing may also be needed, depending on the position. 


  1. Decision


After conducting background and reference checks, the hiring staff identifies their top choice. 

It’s a good idea to select a backup candidate, in case the top choice declines the offer or negotiations fail to produce a signed offer letter. 

If the end result is that no candidates meet the hiring criteria, the hiring staff should determine whether or not to start the hiring process over. When they choose to start the process over again, it’s a good idea to adjust any pieces of the hiring process that may need some changes to better attract the right candidates. 


  1. Reference check

Reference checks should verify any pertinent information shared by the candidate about previous employment–job performance, experience, responsibilities, workplace conduct, etc. 

A typical question to ask references is “Would you rehire this person?”


  1. Job offer

The job offer should include the position’s salary, benefits, paid time off, start date, potential severance pay, working remotely policy, included company equipment and other terms and conditions of employment. 

Negotiations are likely to follow. Therefore, the hiring staff should determine internally which elements of the offer letter are negotiable, and which are not. It’s typical for offer terms like salary, flexible work schedule, and working remotely to be negotiable.


  1. Hiring

An accepted offer letter begins a process of filling out and filing paperwork related to employment.


  1. Onboarding

Hiring a new employee doesn’t conclude the hiring process – there’s one more step: onboarding!

Onboarding your new employee in a welcoming and professional way will help integrate them in a manner that lays the groundwork for a long-term productive relationship between them and your company. 


Retention Tactic 2: Offer Continuous Learning and Development

A lot of employees are looking to work for companies that offer continuous learning and development to help them deepen their skills and develop new ones. Most employees are looking to grow and advance over the course of their career. This means they’re keeping an eye on what progression will look like at their current company, and what opportunities are available at other companies when their current company’s opportunities for advancement are on track to plateau.

Mentorship programs can help employees engage in a dialogue of growth. It also gives mentors the chance to receive a helping hand, prove their management skills and work their way up to a promotion. 


Retention Tactic 3: Offer benefits & Creative Compensation

Remote workers value benefits as much as office employees. Take some time to come up with even more relevant, creative compensation. 

For instance, consider offering home office equipment or a gym membership rather than an office snack bar. Some companies offer laptop purchase funds for personal use in addition to more traditional benefits like mental health support and medical plans.

Millennials are also looking for benefits such as student loan repayment assistance and unlimited PTO plans. Doing this showcases that you understand the needs of your virtual team and care for their wellbeing.


Retention Tactic 4: Utilize Software to Gather & Assess Employee Data

Next-generation human resource solutions can gather relevant cross-platform work analytics from across your organization’s tech stack. A great solution for employee experience management software is EX by Experience.com

The great part about utilizing this type of software is you maintain visibility of your organization’s virtual employee experience as you empower your employees to deliver quality work faster. You get to keep your top talent happy while increasing company productivity.


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