8 Helpful Tips For Hiring Successful Remote Employees

It’s no secret why more companies are embracing the virtual environment. The cost savings in overhead is impressive, with a Stanford University study finding employers could save as much as $2,000 per employee just from letting them work from home. More intangibly, flexible work hours are also likely to aid in engagement, since two out of five working adults would be willing to take a salary cut if it meant their employer would provide better flexible time options.

When it comes to attracting the best and brightest, companies could do worse than employing a virtual workforce. The issue, however, is when employers assume hiring a great virtual worker is just like hiring an in-office superstar. Many recruiters and hiring managers are merely pasting old school strategies onto the virtual employee search—and unsurprisingly, it doesn’t always work out for the best.

How to hire a remote employee
  1. Have a value-add application process. …
  2. Use hiring tools to help create a cohesive recruiting experience. …
  3. Invite top candidates to a video call interview. …
  4. Put top candidates to the test with a project. …
  5. Check references and make an offer.

How to Hire Remote Employees: The 5 Qualities I Look For (And Don’t Look For)

How is hiring remote employees different?

Hiring an employee for remote work can require different areas of assessment than hiring in-person employees. In particular, employees looking to hire telecommuters need to consider whether their candidates can work well in an independent and self-directed environment, whether they have the right technology to access their work materials and if they can meet deadlines, even if they work in another time zone. Remote employees generally have less direct support from managers, so being self-motivated and capable of staying on-task during work hours are important qualities. Telecommuters may also need to meet certain technological requirements to perform their work.

What is a remote employee?

A remote employee is an employee who works from a location other than a companys central office. Some employers offer their employees options for remote work as a way of promoting flexibility, helping employees with their work-life balance and to reduce the costs of maintaining a physical office space. While some employees exclusively work from a remote location, others may divide their time between working remotely and working in the office. Depending on the structure of the business, you may need to hire employees who only work remotely, or you may hire employees who work remotely under certain circumstances.

8 Tips for hiring remote employees

Here are some tips to consider when recruiting and hiring remote employees:

1. Consider specific skills for remote workers

Employees who telecommute may need a different set of skills from traditional in-house associates. Since remote employees often work independently with minimal supervision, having skills like good time management, problem solving and accountability helps them complete their work and achieve a high standard of quality. Additionally, remote employees may rely more on their written communication skills than in-person employees because they regularly use email and instant messaging to contact other members of their work team. Remote workers may also need more technological proficiency. Since they likely complete most of their work on the computer, technology skills are important.

2. Identify the qualities of your ideal candidate

Defining the ideal candidate for the remote position can help you plan your recruitment strategy and assess your candidates applications. Compile a list of skills and traits that you expect the ideal candidate to have. This list can include hard and soft skills, specific technical proficiencies and personality characteristics that would make a candidate perfect for your team. You can also consider ranking the listed qualities by priority. Identifying the characteristics that you value the most in a candidate can help you identify them in candidates and focus on finding those that have the most important qualities for your team.

3. Choose to recruit through the right sources

Candidates looking for remote work may conduct their job searches through different channels than those looking for in-person positions. Knowing what sources are most popular with job seekers looking to telecommute may increase the number of qualified candidates applying to your listing. For example, some online job boards specifically target those looking for remote positions. By posting your opening to one of these boards, you may be more likely to find a candidate who fits the job profile.

4. Write a realistic job description

Writing a job description that specifies your expectations can help you attract the candidates that best meet your teams needs. Being clear in the job listing about the positions telecommuting requirements can ensure that only qualified candidates apply. Being specific in your description gives job seekers the opportunity to reflect on their skills, qualifications and experiences so they can determine whether theyre a good fit for your team. Candidates who dont meet your requirements may choose not to apply, which can narrow down the number of applications you receive to only those that fit your job description.

5. Consider how well candidates fit your company culture

One aspect of hiring remote candidates that may differ from in-person candidates is your ability to assess how well they fit your workplace culture. Since you might conduct all aspects of the hiring process virtually, you may need to be more intentional about how you assess each candidates cultural fit. Before evaluating a candidates cultural fit, its first important to define your teams values. These can help you know what qualities to look for in a new hire. After identifying these values, develop specific questions to ask during the interview to evaluate whether the candidates values align with your business.

6. Conduct interviews with remote candidates

Since you may not meet remote job seekers in person, you might conduct more interviews with remote candidates than in-person candidates. Performing multiple interviews gives you more opportunities to get to know the candidates over a longer period of time. You may gain new insights into their personalities, work habits and qualifications that you may not have gotten from a single interview. Additionally, these meetings are good opportunities to start developing work relationships with candidates. Taking this extra time with remote candidates may improve your ability to choose the right person for your team.

7. Offer a remote trial period

Before extending a job offer to your top candidates, consider allowing them a trial period so you can assess how well they adapt to the role. Create a contract expressing the terms of the trial period so its clear to the candidate that youre offering a training opportunity rather than a full-time position. During this period, you can evaluate the candidates ability to perform the work, learn the skills needed to work as part of your team and determine how well they fit into your teams culture. This allows you to assess the candidate while they learn about the position.

8. Emphasize relationship-building

Finally, consider using your hiring process as an opportunity to develop a relationship with potential new hires. Employees who telecommute may have fewer chances to get to know you and the other members of your team, so emphasizing the relationship aspect of the workplace culture in your hiring process is a great way to help candidates feel connected. When candidates feel like a remote role wants to engage them as active members of a team, they may feel motivated to integrate themselves into your workplace.

FAQ

How do I hire remote employees?

Where to find remote workers
  1. Contact the remote worker via their website or blog. …
  2. Hire through your network. …
  3. Social media. …
  4. Job boards. …
  5. Use a platform like Upwork. …
  6. Create a job description. …
  7. Review resumes and select the best. …
  8. Schedule a video call interview.

Should I hire a remote employee?

What skills should you look for in remote candidates?
  • Communication and collaborative skills. …
  • Prioritizing results over activity. …
  • Ability to plan and execute. …
  • Ability to work independently. …
  • Positive attitude and easy to work with. …
  • Strong sense of accountability. …
  • Motivated in the right ways. …
  • Responsive.

Can you hire someone from another country to work remotely?

Employers should take advantage of this growing number of employees who may be happier working remotely than in an office environment. A study by Stanford University stated some of the benefits of remote work include an increased sense of Autonomy, higher productivity, and increased job satisfaction.

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