If you want to hire great staff, the first step is to write effective job descriptions. When hiring for remote roles, you’ll need to tailor your remote job description to attract the best remote talent.
That means your job description for remote work positions needs to be captivating, optimized for SEO, and written with inclusive language.
In contrast with location-based jobs, your remote work job description (JD) should also outline:
- your company’s remote work policy
- virtual office culture
- any specific remote work requirements
These may include specific time zone requirements, attendance of any occasional in-person meetings or events, any travel requirements, and whether the position offers flexible work hours or not.
You may also want to include information about compensation and any remote work perks (and benefits) like wellness app subscriptions, gym memberships, professional development opportunities, or remote work stipends.
How do you optimize your remote job description?
Here are 7 tips on creating the perfect remote job description to attract top remote talent.
Note: These tips can also help you create your own remote job description template.
1. Use a searchable (and unique) job title that stands out
If you want to attract top remote workers, you’ll need to make sure your job description:
- stands out
- is easy to read
- clearly lists responsibilities and working conditions
This includes using job titles that are unique but accurate. For example, instead of an obscure (and biased) title like “Rockstar People’s Person,” it’s better to use descriptive and unbiased terms like “HR Specialist.”
It’s also essential to make sure the job title and body of the JD use words that are easy to find online when candidates search for specific terms.
Also, consider what terms or keywords they’ll likely search for when looking for a remote role and include some. For example, consider keyword phrases like “work from home,” “virtual,” “hybrid,” “digital nomad,” or “work from anywhere.”
2. Create readable, inclusive job descriptions
To create better job descriptions for remote roles, make them readable AND inclusive. Here’s how to do it.
Ensure you avoid gender bias and racial bias in your job descriptions. Bias often happens unconsciously, which can alienate and put off prospective talent. Instead, use neutral language that is more inclusive and doesn’t exclude anyone based on race, gender, age, disability, etc. This will broaden your pool of potential applicants.
Also, your job descriptions should use short sentences, avoid jargon and abbreviations, and use plain language to make them easier to read.
And keep the tone positive. Try to use an active, friendly tone that uses the first person or second person (e.g., “we” or “you”) instead of third person (e.g., “it”) to make your content more personable and relatable.
Once you’re done with a draft, check the format of your text, your spelling/grammar, and use a font in line with your brand guidelines.
And finally, keep the JD short – ideally between 300 and 750 words. Software like Ongig automates this entire process to save you time.
3. Give an overview of your company’s culture, mission, and values
Even if your company is fully remote, it will still have a remote work culture prospective employees will be interested in knowing more about. An overview of your work culture helps people see how they could fit into your company and your working methods.
It’s also good to go beyond just describing what your company does. Including an overview of your mission and values is great too. This allows candidates to assess whether those resonate with them and if they would feel comfortable (and passionate) about working for your company.
Also, give a brief intro into your organizational structure, the team they would be part of, and your working style, so applicants know what to expect.
You can use visual aids, photos, or even videos of the team to make it interactive and engaging. Or you can add a “Meet Your Manager” section like PayScale does for their Senior Implementation Manager role:
“Meet Your Manager:
Dawn Dugan is one of the original members of the Payfactors team, joining the organization during its start-up phase in December of 2013. Over the last seven years she has worn many hats and managed multiple teams in the support and services area. Prior to entering the compensation technology field, Dawn was a compensation-focused content marketer and published author who specialized in helping comp professionals write books and other content that positioned them as experts in their field. Her core tenets as a manager are fostering autonomy, and promoting an environment of mutual learning, support, and respect.”(source: PayScale Careers)
4. Describe your remote work policy and expectations
Most companies that hire remote staff will have a remote work policy. You may want to reference and link to it in your job descriptions to show applicants what to expect.
Here are 3 relevant things to point out for remote roles:
- if there’s a time zone they are expected to work from
- if they’ll need to attend any in-person events or meetings
- if you offer flexible work hours
You may also want to include whether you provide a work-from-home stipend or if they’re expected to have their own laptops, software, office furniture, etc.
5. Detail your remote work compensation, perks, and benefits
Candidates about salary (or at least salary range). That’s why it’s a good idea to include this information and an overview of any benefits or perks you’re offering.
There are a range of perks that specifically appeal to remote workers like:
- flexible work hours
- access to remote training or education
- wellness benefits
- stipends to cover some of the costs of having a remote workstation
Most brands just mention “remote work benefits” in their remote job description, but you can also list specific perks to increase your chances for more applies.
6. Describe the remote role and its responsibilities
It’s good to be clear about what the position will involve, along with specific duties and how performance will be measured. You can do this by describing the perfect candidate in your JDs.
Be specific about:
- required skills
- preferred skills
- time commitment
- travel requirements
- if extended working hours are required
- time zone requirements
- if there are often tight deadlines
- & any other important details
And, very importantly…if you plan to have remote workers return to the office in the future, that could be a deal-breaker. So it’s critical to include that info in your remote job description.
7. Explain the remote hiring and on-boarding process
Be clear about your hiring process and what applicants can expect. For example, if you want them to submit a video presentation in the second round of interviews, then say that in your JDs. And if you have an on-boarding process, provide some general details about what to expect from this process.
This helps candidates manage expectations and avoid surprises. It also helps streamline the hiring process to save both you and potential hires time.
Free sample remote job description template
We Work Remotely (WWR) has a great starting point for a remote job description template if you’re creating remote roles from scratch.
Here’s a snapshot, but you can copy/paste it from their website:
Why I wrote this blog about remote job descriptions:
It’s a fine art to craft the perfect remote job description. Even with an on-board copywriter or HR manager, it’s a challenge to create effective and inclusive JDs, fast. That’s why many people use JD management software like Ongig to automate the process.
This is a guest post from Andy Stofferis. Andy is an experienced digital nomad. He has been working from abroad for the last 8 years. Andy runs a blog about digital nomadism and remote work: www.andysto.com. This is where he shares his tips and techniques with remote company leaders, remote workers, and digital nomads.