How to Hire Remote Employees for Your Virtual Team – Complete Guide

What to Look for in Remote Employees

Looking for the right candidate for a remote work position or job opening can be tricky and challenging. Due to current events particularly the pandemic that is brought about by COVID-19, more and more traditional office-based roles are transitioning to remote or home-based. This sudden shift has sent businesses, big and small to adapt to the new normal.

Hire Remote Employees for Virtual Team

The State of Remote Work

Even before COVID-19 took the world by storm the concept of remote work was already steadily being adopted by small and medium businesses, especially in the tech sector. A report published by Gallup in 2015 stated that telecommuting or remote work has already climbed at least 37 percent in the last decade and has already increased 4 times since 1995. 

The recent advances in technology like easier access to personal computers, faster internet connectivity, and widespread adoption of cloud-based applications have made it possible for remote work to become a viable choice even to roles that are traditionally office-based.

Now, at least 66 percent of U.S. employees have started working remotely at least once a week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With a fully remote environment, it’s more important than ever to understand that companies need to be building cultures and teams when they are hiring rather than just filling jobs. A bad hire in a remote environment can easily become a babysitting job. Don’t listen to a candidate’s answers in their interviews, listen to their passion and confidence, because that’s who they are when you are not looking.” Chase Klein, Principal Recruiter at Hirefuel.com

What to Look for in Remote Employees

Things to Consider When Opening a Position for Remote Work

When considering opening a new or current position for permanent or temporary remote work there are several things to consider. There are also several challenges and hurdles to think about before considering opening up a position for remote work and finding the right remote employee.

All businesses have unique problems and challenges but here are some common things to consider.

1. Security

One of the biggest challenges faced by remote work is how to handle security especially for company sensitive information and intellectual property. A business should be ready or already have the necessary technology in place to provide a secure connection between the remote workers and the company’s data servers.

2. Communication Issues

The surge of traditional roles transitioning to remote work has caused bandwidth issues in terms of internet connectivity and coverage, especially for remote roles outside the United States. It is expected that from time to time, employees can be abruptly disconnected in important client meetings or video conferences due to internet connectivity issues. 

3. Technology Issues

Roles that are not used to handling the nuances of the technology they are using can find it challenging to fix and troubleshoot problems that may arise due to software or hardware issues in the equipment that they use remotely. Businesses must be ready to teach employees how to handle basic problems with the technology that they are using for remote work. 

4. Collaboration Issues

Not all roles are suited for remote-work in the long term this is especially true for roles that require collaboration between other teams, departments, or other parts of the organization. Businesses must be ready to provide the right collaboration tools and platforms to help lessen the impact of remote work.

5. Monitoring Output

It can be hard to measure the output of remote workers and this problem is amplified especially to businesses who are new to remote work-based roles. Businesses must set-up a process to measure productivity and output without over-taxing their employees or drowning them in daily reports and status updates.

What to Look for in Remote Employees

How to Look for Remote Work Employees

Finding the right candidate can be tricky because remote work requires an additional commitment to the job, discipline, and focus compared to the traditional office-based roles. Here are the characteristics you need to find on your candidate for remote work.

1. Self-Discipline

Working from home or working remotely offers a different set of challenges and distractions to the employee. Being away from the all-seeing gaze of a supervisor or manager it can be tempting to procrastinate and slack-off and only work until the last minute. Having a candidate with a strong sense of self-discipline will ensure that your managers will no longer need to continuously blast emails to follow-up on requests or output.

2. Great Communication Skills

When it comes to remote work communication skills become an important factor when deciding on a candidate. Candidates must be proficient in both written and verbal forms of communication like emails, video conferences, and reporting. Candidates must be able to confidently and concisely express their thoughts and ideas to their teammates and the rest of the organization.

3. Time Management

Time management is also another important skill for remote work candidates. Remote work employees must be able to efficiently manage their time without constantly being monitored or coached. 

4. Team Work and Collaboration

Teamwork and collaboration are a bit more challenging in a remote-role compared to office-based roles. The challenge is amplified when the rest of the team is also remote. The candidate must be adept in teamwork and collaboration to ensure that no work gets lost in the process.

5. Reporting and Data Visualization

Another important skill to look for when hiring for remote roles especially for roles that handle large amounts of data and business information is the skill of reporting and data visualization. Reporting and data visualization skills help stakeholders quickly interpret data and make business decisions. 

What to Look for in Remote Employees

Recruiting and Hiring for Remote Work Positions

Recruiting and hiring for remote work positions is different compared to traditional office-based roles thanks to the unique challenges thanks to working out of the office. One of the best ways to find the perfect candidate for a remote work position is to determine if they have a grasp of the necessary skills needed to overcome the challenges of remote work.

1. Evaluate and align your Hiring Process for Remote Positions

Realign your hiring process to accommodate remote work positions like using cloud-based tools that will streamline the hiring process.

2. Highlight Remote-Work in the Job Opening

Post your job opening with the accompanying job description and be clear and succinct of the job opening is a remote-work position and highlight the skills and experience needed for the position.

3. Highlight the Advantages of Remote Work

One of the best ways to attract candidates for your remote work position is to highlight the advantages and added perks of working remotely compared to working in the office.

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