A Complete Guide to Hiring Remote Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the stability of businesses from across the globe. Due to the risks the virus poses, companies were either forced to close down to keep their employees safe or find a way to do remote work. Some were lucky enough to resume operations by turning their whole process digital, especially those offering essential and necessary products and services.

Now that working from home has become the norm, the perception towards telecommuting has changed significantly. More employers are starting to see its benefits, particularly in the face of a crisis. But, even though it has its fair share of the positives, there’s no denying that remote work and management also come with challenges, mainly for those who are doing it for the very first time.

In the case of hiring managers, one of the biggest challenges is the process of filling in the company’s vacancies and staff management. Your recruitment strategy needs to be re-angled in such a way that it works with the current situation. Follow the guide below to hire the best remote employees from the talent pool.

A Complete Guide to Hiring Remote Employees

There’s no denying that working from home will become the new normal. With more employers adopting a remote work policy and more job hunters seeking out this benefit, your company should consider a flexible work arrangement. In case your organization is planning to adopt a work-from-home setup soon, you should be prepared to face certain challenges along the way. 

After making the switch to remote management, your next goal is to hire employees. Since your interaction with candidates is limited, you may have a hard time figuring out if the prospects you’re screening are suitable for your company or not. To solve this dilemma, the guide below will discuss everything you need to know about hiring remote employees.

4 Essential Skills to Look For in a Remote Worker

1. Eagerness and self-motivation

A strong sense of eagerness is a must for remote working employees. Even though working from home comes with a lot of comfort and convenience, it can be counterproductive without the right approach. To put things simply, staying at home comes with a ton of distractions. With enough eagerness, self-motivation, and management, remote work can be successful. In a study by CoSo Cloud,  77% of remote employees report that they’re more productive when working from home.

Even if a single employee is easily distracted, you’ll eventually encounter inconsistencies when it comes to your team’s productivity. As you shortlist your candidates, focusing on the ability to stay motivated will ensure that your new hire is maximizing the time allotted during work hours and getting the job done.

2. Great communicator

Now that face-to-face interactions are limited, your team’s ability to communicate will be vital to your success. One of the biggest things you should seek out in a candidate is their ability as a communicator. 

A prospect who knows how to communicate proactively will have an easier time adjusting to your team’s dynamics and collaborate seamlessly with your senior employees. Once you’ve hired new employees, you should plan a team engagement session to let your newcomers feel welcomed. 

Since there will be adjustments and a lot of introductions during your new hire’s first few days, having a virtual coffee session, lunch, or even a fun activity such as game night will allow them to bond with your senior members.

3. Equipped and well-versed with the remote tools

Working remotely requires a certain degree of proficiency with work from home tools. A team that knows how to make the most out of communication platforms, productivity apps, and other task management software is undoubtedly more efficient than those that do not. With this in mind, you should ask your candidates if they’re familiar with the tools you’re using.

A candidate who’s well-versed with the necessary tools will be able to handle tasks seamlessly. Even though they may not be as good as your senior members when it comes to operating programs, being knowledgeable about the basics and showing enthusiasm to learn the tools already make a huge difference.

4. Organized and can work well with minimal supervision

When managing a remote team, another big challenge you’ll face is supervising your staff. Since you won’t be able to watch over your team directly, disorganized and forgetful employees may miss out on deadlines and fail to meet expectations. 

In this case, absorbing a prospect who can perform with little to no supervision can be very valuable for your team. This way, you won’t have to worry about sending constant reminders and ask for progress reports constantly.

Best Practices to Hire Remote Employees

1. Ask a relevant set of interview questions

The first step to a fruitful interview is to prepare relevant and situational questions. Encouraging your candidates to share their experiences about their previous jobs will give you a glimpse of what they’re capable of, and taking note of their work style will let you know if they will work well with your other team members. 

Asking them to describe specific behaviors in certain situations will also help you determine how they will perform once you’ve hired them.

2. Provide a test project

In certain jobs, gauging the skill of a candidate shouldn’t be determined by an interview alone. For instance, if your line of work is creative or technical, requiring them to answer a test or submit a project will give you a better idea of their competency.

For example, if you are looking for someone to join your graphic design team, asking your candidates to submit material will give you an idea of their style. In the case of writers, asking them to submit an article about a particular topic will let you know how well-versed they are.  

3. Assess culture and company fit through a video interview

As you take note of their hard skills, it’s important also to observe how well they’ll fit in your company’s culture. Other than discussing the perks and expectations of your company through a video interview, you also need to emphasize your organization’s core values and way of doing things.

4. Check work references

Once you’ve collected a good number of credible candidates, what you should do next is to check their references. Since you are hiring remotely, paying extra attention to a candidate’s character references will give a more holistic picture of their work ethics.

As an employer, know that your candidates will always put their best foot forward. Even though it may be done with good intentions, they may also not be disclosing important information. 

To ensure that the information your candidates have provided is legitimate and that legal issues are kept at bay, you’ll need to ask their previous employers directly. Aside from gaining an idea of an employee’s integrity, a thorough background check will prevent bad hires.

Win Big in the Remote Recruitment Race

Global office culture will continue to evolve. With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s expected that more companies will start to adjust to a work-from-home setup. As a recruitment manager, tweaking your strategy according to the trends will allow you to hire the market’s top-performing talent.

Is your company facing specific issues in your recruitment process? As a top recruitment agency in the Philippines, we’ll be glad to help your company absorb the best candidates available. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions!

Arvin Ramos