Remote workers are the future of the modern workforce. Today’s employees demand the flexibility and convenience of working from home. At the same time, employers are struggling to recruit and retain top talent. Some of that difficulty lies in established hiring practices that don’t consider remote-first factors. If you are planning to bring remote workers into your talent pool, brush off your best Microsoft Teams backgrounds and check out these tips to find the most compatible candidates.
1. Create an Accurate Job Description
This is a relatively universal hiring practice, but it is one that often gets overlooked. If your job description is a carryover from an in-office role or you simply haven’t looked it over in a while, now is a good time to give it a refresh. At the very least, be sure it includes the following:
- Expected core duties
- Possible ancillary tasks
- Required competencies
- Expected behavior
- Required schedule
- Technology requirements
2. Practice Interviewing Effectively
The hard truth here is that you may never meet remote employees in person. That means you don’t get the chance for personal interaction that can help you get a feel for how well someone will fit with your company. However, you can learn to maximize the effectiveness of virtual interviews to compensate for the distance.
Start by creating a professional environment, just as if you were meeting a candidate in your office. This is especially important if you are conducting the interview from your home office (or another remote location). Teams customized backgrounds can help create a professional appearance and remove any background noise that might distract a potential employee. Then, try to bridge the gap created by virtual work arrangements by asking questions that gauge a candidate’s compatibility with company culture and ability to work as part of a remote team.
3. Check References & Referrals
Professional references and referrals are critical when considering remote candidates. You must rely on their past experiences and behavior to determine if they will perform as expected without direct supervision. Critical thinking, decision-making, and ethical judgment are all crucial qualities of remote employees. Look for these in letters of recommendation and be willing to ask references for specific details if needed.
4. Check Skills Specific to Remote Workers
Remote workers require a specific skill set, including the ability to meet deadlines, follow directions, and stay focused and motivated without a supervisor looking over their shoulder. Workers with past remote or supervisory experience are often well-equipped with these qualities, but that isn’t guaranteed.
Make a list of the skills and qualities you require and ask interview questions to reveal each candidate’s aptitude. For example, if someone cannot install a custom Zoom background without assistance, he may struggle with the technology necessary for remote work.
More companies are realizing the value of remote workers. However, learning the ins and outs of hiring the best candidates can take time. Creating an accurate job description, practicing interviewing skills, and checking references can help you find employees who fit your company’s needs and culture.