Dec 8, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies across industries to "go remote" almost overnight. It was a challenging transition for many. But now, most of these businesses have adjusted to the shift to remote or hybrid work. They’re also seeing clear benefits from these arrangements, from increased worker productivity to reduced capital expenditures.
Many employers have been hiring workers remotely during the crisis, as well.
If your business is new to hiring off-site talent, how should you approach the process? First, where do you find these professionals? What types of skills should you look for in these workers? Also, when conducting interviews remotely, what types of questions should you ask candidates to assess whether they will thrive in a remote work situation?
Here’s some information on how to hire remote workers that can help you answer those questions:
Job search websites are one of the go-to places for employers to post open positions and attract new employees. But a downside of this approach — in any economy — is the risk of being inundated with applications from job seekers who lack the skills you are seeking.
Three ideas you can try when looking for talent are:
Not everyone is cut out to work from home. You want to hire people for remote jobs who won’t need a lot of handholding or direct supervision. So, when considering how to hire remote workers for your business, be sure to think about the skills and attributes essential to success for those working virtually.
For example, look for candidates with initiative. You want self-starters who can see a need and then take the appropriate actions without having to be told what to do.
Related to that is a knack for problem solving. Your business should provide the appropriate resources to off-site workers to help them be successful, of course. But these employees should also be inclined to troubleshoot issues on their own.
Communication and collaboration are musts for managing a remote team. Your employees will need to use a range of tools to interact with their colleagues, including video, email, phone and instant messaging. So, look for candidates who can speak clearly, write unambiguously and listen attentively. And they must be able to work effectively with colleagues, no matter where they’re located, to deliver high-quality projects on time.
It almost goes without saying that your process for how to hire remote workers includes identifying professionals who are technically savvy. They should be very comfortable with using common cloud-based software and collaboration tools and audio and video conferencing platforms. They should also understand the importance of using virtual private networks (VPNs), two-step/multifactor authentication, and other best practices to help protect data and systems.
After reviewing resumes and narrowing your list of candidates, your next step is to set up video interviews. Meeting candidates by video will allow you to see how they present themselves. You can also gauge whether they are set up with the basic equipment and connectivity to work from home seamlessly.
As for interview questions, consider asking potential remote hires some or all of the following:
The process for how to hire remote workers is likely different from what you may have done in the past to hire on-site team members. You will need to adjust your onboarding process, too. But overall, your hiring goals are the same. You want to recruit talented workers with the skills, attributes, experience and positive attitude to do their job well and add value to your organization. You also want to make sure they are set up for success.