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For many innovative businesses, the key to success lies in hiring remote employees. By hiring virtual employees, companies enjoy increased productivity, expanded talent pools, more loyal employees, and reduced overhead costs.
But even if you’re convinced of the benefits of remote work, finding the right superstars to join your team can be challenging. When hiring remote employees, you’ll probably need to make some changes to your hiring process.
How to hire the best remote employees
Whenever you hire someone to join your team, you need to ensure they have the skills, experiences, and mindset to succeed. But if you’re hiring remote employees, it can be tough to gauge whether a candidate is the right fit without meeting face to face. Here are six tips for hiring virtual employees who will help your company achieve its mission.
1. Start with a descriptive job posting
To attract the right candidates, you need to start with a thoughtful job posting. Even if you’ve already written job descriptions for in-house employees, it’s important to customize them for remote employees.
To some extent, you’re looking for different skills in a remote employee. They must, for instance, be skilled when it comes to self-discipline, communication, independence, and resourcefulness.
Think about what qualities a remote employee will need to be successful in their role and emphasize these in your job posting. Also include any time or equipment requirements. You might require high-speed internet or virus protection for compliance issues, for example. Or you might mandate that a virtual worker needs to be available from 9am-5pm ET every day.
Think about what criteria are unique to this remote role and describe them fully in the job description. That way, you can set expectations right from the outset.
2. Host a video interview
Since they’ll be working remotely, you don’t need to actually see the candidate, right? Wrong! In fact, getting a feel for the candidate’s personality is more important than ever.
Use Skype, Zoom, Google Video, or another tool to set up a video candidate with the interview. By meeting over video, you’ll get a sense of how the candidate communicates and whether they’d make a good cultural fit with the team.
Plus, your hiring process will feel more legitimate in the eyes of the job seeker. If you hire someone based off solely an email exchange, that person might be wary your job offer is actually a scam.
3. Ask the right questions
If you’ve hired in-house candidates before, you probably have a ready list of job interview questions about their strengths, weaknesses, and past behaviors. But when it comes to hiring remote employees, make sure to tweak the questions to reflect this work arrangement.
Here are some sample interview questions that could be useful:
- How do you schedule your day?
- How do you switch off from work?
- What are your favorite time management tools?
- How do you stay motivated during the day?
- What would you do if you have an urgent question but the team is offline?
- Have you worked remotely previously? If so, what were your biggest challenges? How did you overcome them?
Carefully select your interview questions to ensure the candidate understands the benefits and challenges of a remote role.
4. Dig into the candidate’s intentions
Don’t forget to ask one of the most important questions: “Why do you want to work remotely?” The candidate’s answer will give you direct insight into what motivates them.
There are a number of reasons someone might want to work from home. A common quality among successful remote workers is the desire for better work-life balance.
But if the candidate indicates they won’t take the job as seriously because it’s remote, you’ll know to steer clear. As long as they have a strong intention for working remotely, they’ll be more likely to commit to the job and succeed.
5. Give a skills assessment
A major characteristic of successful remote teams includes resourceful team members who can think on their feet. Before hiring a new team member, consider offering a small assignment or project to test their skills.
You might ask an engineering candidate to complete a short coding project, for instance, or a social media manager to outline a content calendar for the upcoming week. Make sure the candidate knows you won’t use their work if they don’t get hired, and consider compensating them for their time.
You’ll get insight into their skills, and the candidate will get a trial run of what it’s like to work for your company.
6. Use remote job boards to your advantage
If you want to find the very best remote talent, then you need to post your job in the right places. Common job board sites like Indeed and Monster are geared primarily toward in-house roles, and they won’t necessarily bring you candidates who have experience working remotely.
You’ll be better off focusing on sites where the candidate pool is filled with talent looking exclusively for remote work. Remote Bliss makes it easy to post your remote jobs by connecting you with thousands of motivated job seekers. With our robust platform, you can easily share your jobs, track applications, and customize your profile and brand to attract the very best talent.
By targeting a remote-first community, you can streamline and optimize your hiring process.
Be intentional when hiring remote employees
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to determine what success looks like in a remote worker for your company. Take the time to clearly lay out your job description, and come up with interview questions and skills assessments that will help you identify the right candidates.
By getting clear about what you’re looking for in a superstar remote employee, you’ll set up your hiring process for success.