Great workers don’t necessarily make for great remote workers. Knowing how to manage your time and stay accountable completely independent of an office or manager close-by, are vital skills that employees in an office don’t necessarily have to master.
Before hiring a remote worker who will be operating from a distance, you need to look closely at their communication skills, work ethic, and time management skills. In addition to the skills they need to complete their job, these soft skills will help ensure timely deliverables from a responsive remote worker you don’t feel like you’re always “looking” for.
Here are a few tips on hiring a great remote employee:
Take note of how quickly they respond to your emails, how professional they sound, and how well they communicate during the interview process. This will provide insight into how well they’ll communicate when they work with you.
If they take a few days to respond, chances are they won’t be quick to respond to work-related emails. If you have to follow up more than twice for important information, they may need to work on their attention to detail. Hire someone who responds quickly, and forms their thoughts well on screen.
Your questions should examine their independent working habits, behaviors under a deadline, and dig out their motivations for working remotely. Try these:
What is your remote work experience?
What tools have you used to complete and manager remote projects?
While outcomes are far more important than their specific processes for achieving them, you can learn a great deal by asking how people work. Potential employees who are adverse to structure and schedules may prove unreliable.
It’s incredibly hard to accurately judge what it will be like working with a remote employee until you actually work with them. Ask your candidates to do a paid trial assignment with a firm deadline of a week or less. You’ll be able to see how they work with your current team, how quickly they work, whether they meet deadlines, and whether you like their work or not.
Rachel is a content strategist, SEO writer, and inbound marketer. She loves writing about remote work, productivity, and workplace culture. Rachel works remotely from around Asia, and is continuously learning about content strategy, SEO, and WordPress. Connect with her on Twitter @rgo_go or find her at rachelandreago.wordpress.com.
What are your tips on hiring remote employees? Do you follow any of the suggestions above? Please share in the comments below…