Recruiter at a remote company works on her laptop.

The rise of remote hiring stands as one of the most influential trends impacting today’s hiring landscape. What started as a way to adapt to the pandemic has evolved into a method to combat the talent shortage and deliver on the work flexibility that many candidates now desire. The problem? Most remote companies have stumbled rather than soared.

For our 2022 Hiring Insights Report, we surveyed 560 HR, talent, and recruiting leaders across both remote and in-person workplaces. We learned that compared to their in-office counterparts, remote TA teams fall flat on multiple grounds, from hiring efficiency to connecting with candidates.

And to top it all off, most remote TA leaders don’t even have full confidence in their own operations. When rating their overall recruiting process, 25% of remote leaders rated it as excellent—compared to 42% from in-office leaders.

Let’s dig into the data.

Candidate Relationships Take a Back Seat

Applicants expect to form a relationship with your company and your TA team that’s founded on trust and mutual respect. Our report’s data shows that fully-remote companies are least likely to create bonds with candidates—though if anyone should, it’s them.

Among fully-remote workplaces, just 25% will look to build relationships with candidates in the next 12 months. This is 11 percentage points lower than in-person workplaces.

Remote employees report higher rates of isolation, yet connection is at the top of most candidates’ wish lists. When hiring at a distance, it’s even more important to invest in these connections—and the data shows that these companies have a lot of work to do.

With the lack of emphasis on candidate relationships, it’s no wonder that 63% of remote workplaces reportedly struggled with retaining talent in the past 12 months. Talent retention begins once a future employee has their first conversation with a recruiter. The secret to turning candidates into long-term hires lies in creating authentic connections with new hires from the start.

Remote TA Teams Struggle With Efficiency

The efficiency of remote companies’ TA processes leaves much to be desired. But at least the majority of them aren’t blind to this; just 38% of remote workplaces rated their TA process as very efficient, compared to 56% of in-person companies.

In today’s intensely competitive job market, hiring fast is essential. The best candidates disappear from the market in just 10 days. Yet here’s the kicker: a shocking 100% of fully-remote companies said that their rate of time-to-hire increased in the past 12 months. In comparison, 65% of in-person companies said the same.

Even worse, remote talent teams said it takes them an average of five weeks to hire a new employee—contrasted against three weeks for in-person teams. With a hiring process that lengthy, remote employers shouldn’t be surprised when their star candidates lose interest and look elsewhere.

Remote companies reportedly spend 41.6% of their time scheduling interviews, three percentage points higher than in-person companies. Yet while remote companies spend a bit more of their time on interview scheduling, they’re way behind in-person companies when it comes to the number of interviews that they schedule. On average, remote workplaces schedule 50 interviews per month, versus 125 for in-person.

So what’s the hold up? It’s possible that remote teams haven’t equipped themselves with the proper TA tech to get to where they need to be in scheduling volume. But if anything’s certain, it’s that if remote TA teams don’t get to the root of their efficiency issues, they’ll only continue to struggle.

DEIB Efforts Show Grounds for Hope

Want some positive news for a change? On the bright side of things, fully-remote companies are most likely to emphasize DEIB in the near future. Thirty-eight percent of remote workplaces surveyed will make DEIB a priority in the next 12 months, two percentage points higher than in-person workplaces.

This is a good move, especially considering how 25% of remote teams reportedly expect to struggle with a lack of qualified candidates. A broader talent pool comes with more diverse candidates, and an increased need to improve—and communicate a commitment to—diversity.

While the stats on DEIB and remote companies are promising, all companies surveyed could—and should—make greater strides in championing DEIB. Diverse teams that feel welcome and supported boost revenue and innovation. Smart companies make DEIB a top priority.

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Remote companies, you have your work cut out for you. While some assume that remote workplaces have it easy thanks to a wider talent pool, they forget that the Distance Economy also widens the employer pool. This makes it even more critical for remote TA teams to take meaningful, calculated steps to attract, win, and retain candidates.

From connecting with candidates without physical interaction, to conveying intangible company values through a Zoom window, it’s not too unexpected for newly remote workplaces to trip up. Hiring remotely comes with a learning curve. Yet despite the challenges ahead of them, remote TA teams must act fast to avoid getting swallowed up by the talent competition.

Want to sink your teeth into more HR trends? Download our 2022 Hiring Insights Report today.