How to Recruit and Hire a Remote Based Team

how to hire a remote based teamThere are many advantages to hiring remote employees – lower overhead costs and higher quality employees are just a few. As more and more companies are choosing to hire remote workers, many people are searching for information on how to recruit remotely and hire remote employees.

It may seem like a complicated process, and there are certainly many mistakes you could make along the way, but if you follow this advice you’ll have your own remote team in no time.

How to Prepare to Hire and Attract Remote-Based Employees

  1. Define your company culture and values.
    What values are important to you? Define what matters to your company, and then use this information in your job postings and interview questions. If you value lifelong learning, ask applicants what they have learned in the last year, to determine if they will fit your company culture well.
  2. Create an in-depth job posting.
    Give specifics of what you are expecting candidates to be able to do and what qualities or traits they should have. Including these things in your job description will encourage people who match the full description to apply, while other candidates who don’t measure up are less likely to apply.
  3. Vary your sources for finding applicants.
    Instead of posting on the regular job sites, look for sites that specialize in remote work. Sites like own Remoters job board,, Remotive, and will allow you to post a job advert targeting to an audience looking to work remotely.

Best Practices and Criteria to Use When Hiring Remote-Based Employees

Have a standard interview for all employees to determine culture and values, and separate questions for each position

Create a standardized interview that is given to every applicant, regardless of the position they’ve applied for. Ask all of the same questions, and have a list of what you are looking for in the responses. Use this as an initial interview to determine whether the candidate is a good fit for your company culture and values. Then, ask additional questions specific to the open position to gauge knowledge and experience.

Check references and ask about previous remote experience

Always check the references you are given by applicants. Ask about their organization skills, communication skills, and work schedule. Do they maintain a good work-life balance? Are they comfortable with time-tracking software? What is their home office like? All of this information will give you an idea of how the candidate will be able to manage remote work. Not only do you need applicants who are capable of handling the position, you also need them to be organized, dedicated workers who can communicate with the rest of the team and will not become isolated or depressed from working at home.

Give a test project or on-the-job assignment

To see whether applicants can manage the job duties, give them a test run. Allow them to work on a typical project remotely and see how they handle it. Are they able to meet the deadline? Do they communicate well during the project? Don’t simply hire based on what they say they can do. See them complete an assignment.

Allow for a trial period

Use a trial or probationary period to see how the employee adjusts to remote work and give them the chance to learn on the job. If at the end of the trial period the employee still hasn’t gotten the hang of working remotely with your team, you will likely need to keep looking for a different candidate.

Common Mistakes When Hiring Remotely and How to Avoid Them

Paying too little

It is much more affordable to outsource remote work to countries with low wages, so you can save on your bottom line. This has the potential to negatively impact your efficiency and the experience of your customers if there is a language barrier or if clients think you are too cheap to hire a quality employee in your own country. Offering a decent salary increases your chances of attracting a high quality candidate.

Being too flexible

Remember to hold all of your employees accountable to the number of hours worked or their output on specific projects. If a candidate doesn’t want to track their hours, consider why that might be. They may have other distractions or even other work that will keep them from being productive on your projects. Flexibility is important for remote work, but you need to be sure that work is being done.

Hiring someone who is not well-suited to remote work

Not everyone has the self-discipline to work remotely. When hiring, keep in mind that you need to also look for someone who will be able to handle the minimal supervision or interaction involved in remote work. Look for people who will be able to achieve a balance between being motivated enough to work as well as making time to get out and socialize.

Use video interviews to interact with candidates and get a better impression of their character than you would be able to get from emails or phone calls. Ask behavioral questions rather than overused interview questions, and seek genuine answers rather than canned responses.

Hiring the first candidate

Avoid rushing things when hiring remotely. If you only hire the candidate who seems the best out of all your initial applicants, rather than continuing to look for one who meets all of your requirements, you will likely need to rehire for the position in the near future.

It can be tempting to hire the first person you come across who seems decent, but you want to hold out for the candidate who suits all of your needs. Consider administering skills testing or even hiring multiple applicants on a trial basis to find out who is the best option.

It’s time to hire remotely and refine your process!

Although there are many mistakes you can make when recruiting and hiring, if you take your time you can avoid the most common errors and refine your hiring process from any that you can end up doing at the start.

Create a detailed job posting on sites that specifically target remote workers, go through an in-depth interview and hiring process with a sample assignment, and don’t be afraid to wait for someone who is the perfect fit. Now that you know how to hire remotely, get started on building your own remote team.

If you’re looking to hire remotely right now, take a look at our remote jobs board where you can publish your job ad for free! 

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