As the CEO and co-founder of a 100% virtual small business focused on the remote workspace, I have viewed thousands of remote job postings and written dozens of my own. Since our company launched in 2007, I have witnessed remote job offerings expand to practically every industry, watched onsite businesses transition to hybrid employers that also offer home-based jobs, and marveled at flexible employment becoming a widespread necessity in the 2020s. In fact, more than 36 million US professionals are expected to work remotely by 2025. This is an 87% increase in the telecommuting contingent of the labor force compared to pre-2020 figures, according to Upwork’s “Future Workforce Pulse Report.”
With an increased demand for remote work comes a surge in remote job postings, many of which are from small business owners who are filling permanent remote positions for the first time or hiring managers who are curious about ways to make their remote job postings stand out in a saturated market. Whether you are a C-level executive or a recruiter, if you want to improve the quality and traction of your remote job postings, be sure to include these five essential components:
1. A Simple and Searchable Job Title
A remote job posting should be personable, but not to the extent that its personality punch knocks out its accessibility and readability. Sure, you may score cool points and raise a few eyebrows if you post a vacancy for a Tech Wizard or a People Whisperer, but will you attract the right kind of attention compared to a user-friendly job ad for a Technical Support Associate or a Human Resources Manager?
Rather than using an of-the-minute buzzword that reads as gimmicky and empty instead of informative for the title of your remote job posting, keep it simple and searchable. When writing remote job postings, utilize the three I’s for keywording — industry-standard, inclusive and instructive — so that you don’t miss out on qualified applicants who otherwise would not know how to search for or recognize the position mentioned.
Related Article: When’s the Last Time You Revisited Your Job Descriptions?
2. Appropriate Remote Work Terminology
Remote jobs are occupations that do not have location requirements — meaning they can be performed outside a centralized, on site work location such as a traditional office building. However, not all remote jobs are created equal in the amount of flexibility they afford the worker, so different terms are used to describe the various degrees or styles of remote work.
Including the appropriate terminology within your job description will clarify the requirements of the role and help ensure the right applicants apply to the vacancy upfront. The following examples of remote work terminology are some of the most common descriptors of flexible arrangements and work styles:
- Remote: Work that does not occur in a typical professional location, such as a cubicle or brick-and-mortar office. Examples of common remote work sites include homes, co-working centers, cafes and coffee shops, libraries, colleges, hotels and parks.
- Distributed: Refers to a company policy that allows their staff to work from different physical locations.
- Telecommuting: Completing work from an alternative location with the aid of technology. The principle of telecommuting is rooted in reducing or eliminating commute time.
- Telework: Often used as a synonym for telecommuting or telecommute. In modern remote job postings, telework is commonly associated with remote jobs in government.
- Home-based: A job performed primarily from a worker’s home; depending on the job’s requirements, home-based work may include onsite duties and/or travel.
- Virtual: Work that is completed via a network. Virtual workers can remotely access everything they need to perform their jobs.
- Work from home: Although this is a self-explanatory type of work, it is important to note that most remote job postings labeled as “work from home” do not require business travel or onsite appearances at a company location. Work from home jobs are typically considered to be fully remote.
- Work from anywhere: A work arrangement in which the worker is not limited by location and can perform their duties from any place they choose. When “work from anywhere” appears in a remote job posting, it often indicates the employer accepts applicants outside the company’s country of origin. The phrase is also associated with the work styles of digital nomads who work remotely while traveling.
3. Clearly-Defined Position Terms
The flexibility of remote jobs extends beyond where professionals work to also cover how they work. In addition to spelling out usual job requirements, such as education, certifications, responsibility levels, core competencies and work experience, setting expectations for key terms of a remote position will filter out candidates whose career goals do not align with the requirements of the job while also saving your business time during the hiring process. As you craft your remote job postings, ensure you provide answers to these questions:
- What is the employment status of the job posting? In other words, is the vacancy a permanent position, temporary job, contractor role or paid internship?
- Does the remote job require fixed hours on a part-time or full-time basis, or will the hiree have autonomy and be able to set their own hours?
- Must the hiree work during business hours for a particular time zone and, if so, will you accept applicants from a different time zone if they commit to making themselves available for work during required hours?
- Is travel required? If so, how frequently?
- How much, if any, time will be spent onsite at a company headquarters or satellite office? For example, will the hiree be required to attend in-person orientation, training or meetings? If so, are the onsite appearances only required during the onboarding phase, or is the hiree expected to also attend periodic staff meetings or company functions?
- What are the physical demands of the role? Physical demands can include activities like lifting boxes for shipping, sitting or standing for extended periods, or driving to clients’ homes or offices.
Related Article: The US Has a Vacation Problem: Here’s Why We Should Fix It
4. Reporting Process Expectations
Effective communication is one of the foundational principles of successful remote work. Part of facilitating good communication among remote teams involves implementing practical and engaging reporting processes that ensure executives, managers and the teams they oversee maintain two-way dialogue, workflows and feedback methods.
Enabling these strategies within remote organizations is aided by business communication platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) technologies, videoconferencing, and project management software like Slack, Basecamp, Weekly10, Asana, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Within your remote job postings, specify which software hirees will be required to use, and if prior experience with those tools and applications is a required or preferred qualification.
Related Article: What Managers Can Learn From the Basecamp Fiasco
5. Salary and Benefits Information
Including salary and benefits information in a remote job posting seems like an obvious addition, but there is still debate among employers about whether these details are truly necessary. Although some employers believe that divulging this information weakens their negotiation power during the hiring process, there is evidence indicating that adding salary and benefits information to a job ad is a boon for recruitment. Statistically, salary and benefits are the top two factors job seekers search for in job postings, according to a Glassdoor survey.
Conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor, the survey asked more than 1,100 U.S. adults about what they consider the most highly-rated components of job postings. Glassdoor found that 67% of job seekers immediately scan job ads for wages and 63% peruse for benefits offerings. Because job seekers look first to salary and benefits information, demonstrating the value they place on transparency from potential employers, companies that include salary and benefits details in their remote job postings have a competitive advantage, which can be particularly powerful in a crowded remote job market.
This is not to say that employers must provide a precise, down-to-the-penny salary amount for their remote vacancy. Instead, the job ad can include annual salary or hourly ranges with a caveat that final compensation will be determined based on candidate qualifications.
When it comes to benefits, remote job postings should not only list typical employee benefits like healthcare coverage, retirement matching, travel reimbursement and paid time off, but also name remote-specific benefits like home office stipends, employer-provided software accounts, co-working vouchers, and wellness club memberships to promote an active lifestyle amid the often-sedentary nature of remote work.
For even experienced hiring managers and small business executives, writing remote job postings that attract the right talent for the right reasons can feel like a challenge at times, especially within a job market overflowing with vacancies and applicants. By including essential remote job posting components like a simple and searchable job title, appropriate remote work terminology, clearly defined position terms, reporting process expectations, and salary and benefits information, leaders in remote workplaces can improve the quality and traction of their remote job postings and confidently expand their distributed teams.
Laura Spawn is the CEO and co-founder of Virtual Vocations. Alongside her brother, Laura founded Virtual Vocations in February 2007 with one goal in mind: connecting job seekers with legitimate telecommute job openings.