The Remote Recruiter’s Toolbox

By: Dave Mekelburg

Mar 13, 2020

Yesterday, our company – like many – closed its office doors, and instituted an official work-from-home policy for the whole team. We’re not the only ones: a Talent Board survey of HR leaders, 88 percent said they were either already encouraging employees to work from home or were considering it.

This shift to remote work is a small disruption when compared to the other potential consequences of COVID-19, but adapting to the new environment can definitely be its own stress.

However, if you’re a recruiter finding yourself sitting at the kitchen table or the basement or anywhere else at home today: don’t worry, you’re not alone.


The age of the remote recruiter

woman in grey jacket sits on bed uses grey laptop 935743

According to searches on Indeed, 10% of the current jobs for “recruiter” are remote-friendly. 

And I’ve gotten to see these remote experiences up close. I oversee hiring here at Wade & Wendy and also use that firsthand practitioner experience to work with our client advisory team, where I get to partner closely with the hiring teams (many of which are distributed) that are bringing our AI recruiter Wendy on board.

Plus, importantly, I’ve lived the life myself 🙂 When my wife got her dream job in Ann Arbor, Mich. two years ago, I didn’t have to leave our New York-based team, instead I was able to dive in as “Remote Dave” and launch our official Midwestern talent acquisition division from my new house.

So if for the first time, you find yourself stuck at home sitting in sweatpants* today, then I’m here to help you navigate your new world.


Here’s my Remote Recruiter Toolbox:

An AI Recruiter (My choice: Wendy)

Sometimes being remote can feel like being marooned on Recruiter Island: you’re stuck alone, in your own head, sending the same email over and over, trying to remember which candidate was which from your half-written shorthand notes**, punching in the same danged booleans and praying LinkedIn has at least one new candidate, asking the same three questions over and over again, reading resume after resume until your eyes  start to see bullet points burned into your eyes…

… or you can get an AI recruiter as your partner. My Wendy:


1. Uses programmatic outreach to find and reach the right candidates (so I’m not stuck with a LinkedIn headache or an empty inbox)

2. Has an engaging, automated chat with potential candidates – including screening all my applicants

3. Automatically schedules next-step interviews with Cronofy built-in 

4. Helps coordinate the entire process over email and SMS

5. Compliantly captures everything – the best note-taker on the team – and serves me up a recommended short list


All of the sudden, instead of drab, lonely busy work, I actually get to build connections with the people who eventually come and join our team. I know, I know, I’m biased, but adding Wendy to my world was the biggest change I’ve experienced in recruiting.  


(Oh, and if your team has an empty seat where an AI recruiter ought to be sitting, you should definitely talk to us).


Internal Communication: Intake, Feedback, Candidate Experience  (My choices: Loom, AWW, Zoom, Slack)

One of the biggest adjustments to being remote and is still capturing the context for the roles you’re working: everything from how to sell the team’s culture to the exact way that the ideal candidate has used a certain skill. Here’s what we do:

1. Loom: an awesome tool for making explainer videos – we use it for everything, but it’s one of our secret hiring team hacks: we’ve used it to record things like a hiring manager walking through an ideal candidate’s resume or a run-through of a relevant tool to educate our hiring team.

2. AWW: it’s a whiteboard. On the internet. Awesome for sketching out hiring process flows or just noodling on new ways to improve our hiring experience.

3. Zoom: we use Zoom to chat with the interviewing team when we’re building our scorecards, as well as afterwards when we’re making final decisions.

4. Slack: we create dedicated private channels to share context with the interviewing team as candidates move forward in the process: this lets us build a consistent, tailored, and awesome experience for candidates (and makes sure we’re aligned on any of the candidate’s outstanding questions or anything that’s already been covered by others on the team).


ATS (My choice: Greenhouse)

Okay, you’ve gotten the right candidates, their interviews are already scheduled, and now you just need to shepherd them through the process. 

Our team uses Greenhouse: we just loved the integration capabilities, ability to manage stages, and the great out-of-the box reporting.

Now, as a recruiter, you may be at the whims of your company’s ATS choice, but if you approach it with the following framework (the same reasons we chose Greenhouse), you can definitely unlock some remote recruiting potential:

•  Integrations: check to see what’s possible, some systems are friendlier than others, and you never know what you’ll be able to plug in (maybe even your trusted AI recruiter!).

•  Stage management: good ATS hygiene is always helpful, but this goes double when you’re remote – storing all your notes and moving candidates along isn’t just good for compliance of KPIs, it helps unlock ATS automation and keep your hiring managers accountable and in the loop.

•  Reporting: where are candidates dropping off? How long are they stuck in each stage? Where have you had the most success unlocking talent? Don’t be afraid of reporting, it paints a picture of today, so you make things better tomorrow.


So, that’s my toolset 🙂 And if you haven’t listened to my teammate Max talk with Mike “Batman” Cohen about his toolbox and remote recruiting, then immediately press play below (and hear their INCREDIBLE conversation):

Now, I’d love to hear what’s in your toolbox! Drop me a line at or @davemeky 



*Quick tip: don’t wear sweatpants. Believe it or not, I actually dress up more when I work from home than when I work at the office… studies have shown it increases productivity, and I’m a big believer.


**I’ll admit, I usually take pretty robust notes, but I figured I’d share one of my actual recruiting notes from a QA interview I did in our pre-Wendy day. It reads in its entirety: “QA-y. Timeline asap.”


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