Remote working is no longer the future of business, it’s already a reality today. Even though the current global crisis has necessitated the shift to remote work, the benefits of adopting this concept have long preceded it. This practice has been known to increase productivity, save on overhead costs if the business operates from a virtual office, and boost employee retention. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the ability to access a wide talent pool of highly skilled workers from across the nation and even across the globe.
However, hiring remote workers also presents some challenges. Just like traditional hiring strategies, there are certain factors to take into consideration in order to successfully hire competent and capable remote employees. Here’s how companies can take advantage of this practice and hire the best remote workers for their needs.
Remember that remote employees are a different breed
Not all employees have the proper work ethic and mindset to be able to thrive under remote working conditions. The best remote employees have a different skillset and personality type compared to traditional employees. They need to be self-reliant, excellent at written communication, able to stand being alone for long stretches of time, and extremely disciplined.
Conduct video interviews
Telephone and written interviews usually aren’t enough to paint a complete picture of prospective candidates. The reason all businesses hold in-person interviews is that these are opportunities for employers to gather visual and nonverbal cues such as posture, body language, and facial expressions. For example, poor posture can indicate arrogance, disinterest, or laziness. These visual signals can make or break the hiring of a candidate who looks good on paper. Video interviews are a decent substitute for traditional physical interviews when hiring remote workers.
Know where to look
Finding the ideal remote workers starts with knowing where to look for them. The usual employment websites like LinkedIn and Indeed are great places to start, but there are also websites and services such as WorkingNomads and WeWorkRemotely that are dedicated solely to sourcing remote workers.
Look into contract hiring
Although remote working isn’t an entirely new concept, it’s still quite unfamiliar territory for employers and employees alike. The best way to ease both the company and prospective applicants into this new process is to start with contract hiring first. Hiring remote workers on a contracted basis makes the work more flexible and appealing to new hires while being a lot cheaper and less complicated for employers. Another option to consider would be to introduce a contract-to-hire scheme.
Design an effective communication plan
The biggest difficulty that most businesses have when working with remote employees is being able to communicate with them. It isn’t as easy as walking into their cubicle to talk to them or asking them to attend a meeting. Thankfully, there are plenty of communication apps available to streamline the process. It’s just a case of knowing how to use them effectively by making a communication plan. For example, employers can ask remote employees to do daily check-ins on a chat messaging tool or send a weekly email update that lists all the progress they made throughout the week just to keep everyone accountable.
Be thorough and clear in the job description
As with any job posting, it’s important to be thorough when it comes to the job summary. Discerning job seekers will not want to waste their time on a listing that’s too vague and confusing. Clearly state the job title, duties and responsibilities, and required qualifications. In this case, it’s also crucial to make it clear in the job description that the job is remote.
Test their skills
It’s easy for candidates to look great on paper, but then completely fail to deliver on even the most basic tasks. This is still possible even if the applicant has an impressive portfolio, passes their interview, and seems to be an appropriate cultural fit. In order to avoid making the mistake of hiring someone who can’t drive results, it’s best to test their competence with a skill assessment, a job trial, or a test project.
Ask a lot of questions
To get a more comprehensive view of the candidate, it’s necessary to ask as many questions as possible. But it also matters what kind of questions are being asked. The right questions should be able to gather information about the employee’s work ethic, their intentions for the job, and their personality type. The answers to these questions will reveal whether the employee is prepared for the challenges of a remote position.
It’s no secret that hiring remote workers is extremely beneficial for businesses, especially given the current circumstances. These tips for hiring remote workers will ensure that you find the most ideal employees for the job.