Offering remote work options used to be a great way to provide employees with flexibility and help them achieve better work-life balance, as well as allow companies to gain access to global talent.
While this still holds true, remote working has gone from being an option to becoming a necessity. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way everyone works, and it seems that a lot of these changes are going to be permanent.
This makes it crucial that you learn how to hire remote workers effectively and ensure that your new hires are the right fit for your company.
In this post, we’re going to go over the four things you need to keep in mind when hiring remote employees.
What you need to know about hiring your first remote employees
Hiring employees remotely differs greatly from the traditional hiring process. That’s why you need to approach remote hiring in a different way and keep these four things in mind:
1) High-performing remote workers share a specific set of skills
Most high-performing remote workers share a specific set of skills. These skills allow them to be effective at completing tasks and help them stay productive while working away from the office.
So, what do high-performing remote workers have in common?
Firstly, they’re very organized and good at managing their time. They know how to prioritize tasks and focus on those that require their immediate attention.
This allows them to stay on top of their work and meet deadlines consistently.
These individuals are also able to work independently, and they don’t need a lot of oversight.
High-performing remote workers are usually tech-savvy and capable of handling most tech-related issues on their own without having to rely on IT support.
They also have excellent written and verbal communication skills. You never have to wait too long to get a reply from them because they answer emails, phone calls, and chat messages promptly.
Regardless of the position you’re hiring for, you’ll want to look for people who display these skills because these individuals have the greatest chance of becoming high-performing members of your team.
2) A video interview is your best opportunity for learning more about candidates
You most likely won’t get the opportunity to meet candidates in person when hiring remotely. However, you still need to have some sort of interaction with them to learn more about their skills and try to gauge if they’re the right fit for your company.
Scheduling a video interview with each candidate is the best way to learn more about them.
Apart from asking job-specific questions, you’ll also want to learn about candidates’ remote working experience.
Try asking them about the challenges they’ve encountered while working remotely and how they’ve dealt with them. You’ll also want to learn how they plan on staying focused and dealing with any potential distractions.
Additionally, you might want to inquire about how their home office looks – people who have adjusted to remote work usually have an intricate home office setup that supports their flexible working needs.
If they’ve only worked in an office environment before, they’ll need to go through a period of adjustment to learn how to stay productive and work effectively off-site.
In any case, you’ll want to make sure that your new hire understands all the challenges that come with working remotely, as well as knows how to deal with them.
3) Trial projects can help you assess applicants’ skills
You’ll also want to test candidates that pass the interview stage with a trial project.
A trial project is a quick and low-risk way to assess candidates’ abilities, learn how they communicate, and find out how they deal with deadlines.
This project should test their skills on one or more tasks they’ll be performing regularly when working at your company. By having candidates complete a trial project, you’ll be able to assess their skills and get a good idea of how they’re going to perform on the job.
Keep in mind that some of your candidates might already have jobs. This means that you’ll want to design a trial project that doesn’t take too much time to complete, but that can still help you assess applicants’ skills.
4) An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be of great help when hiring remotely
Job postings for remote positions attract a lot of more applicants compared to those for in-office roles.
It’s easy to understand why – anyone can apply to a remote job posting regardless of their location. Remote jobs are also a lot more popular due to the flexibility they offer.
With remote job postings attracting so much attention, it becomes hard to review all the applications and give every candidate the attention they deserve.
This is where an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can help. An ATS allows you to organize and search through applications, as well as contact candidates with ease.
Some ATS solutions can also rank applicants based on how well their resumes match with the job requirements. This relieves you of having to review every single application and allows you to focus on only the top applicants.
By helping you narrow down the applicant pool, an ATS significantly simplifies the hiring process and allows you to have an easier time finding the right person for the job.
Hire your first remote employees
While remote hiring differs from the traditional hiring process, it can still be done effectively if you keep these four things in mind:
- Focus on candidates that display good time management and communication skills.
- Use video interviews to learn more about candidates and their remote working experience.
- Take advantage of trial projects to assess candidates’ skills.
- Use an Applicant Tracking System to simplify your remote hiring process.
If you take advantage of these four tips, you’ll have no problems hiring great remote employees.
Article by Dave Nevogt.
Dave is the CEO and co-founder of Hubstaff.
He leads a 100% remote team that builds time tracking and productivity tools, including the Agile project management software, Hubstaff Tasks.