How Can You Tell If A Candidate Is Remote Ready

how to tell candidate ready remote work position employee working remotely

The benefits of remote working are well established now. You no longer have to hope that you’re lucky enough to have the perfect candidate living right on your doorstep. We know that remote teams are more productive, happier and healthier, and that the increased diversity of remote teams is a huge bonus for any business. 

It’s also true that most employees want the opportunity to work from home, even if it’s only part time. However, working remotely isn’t for everyone. There are certain personality types who thrive when working as part of a distributed team, while others find it more of a struggle. 

The best way to ensure you’re hiring someone who is remote ready is to pick someone who has a proven track record of delivery working for a virtual company. Failing that, here are some of qualities to look for in a remote candidate. 

Personality / Cultural Fit 

The idea of company culture has really taken off in recent years, and employers come to understand the advantages of having ‘buy-in’ from their staff to an overall vision. While you might think that culture is less important for staff who don’t share an office, you’d be wrong. Having a sense of belonging is fundamental to human beings, and it helps bring your remote team together. 

Processes 

There are several approaches to running a remote team; you can ask staff to keep the same working hours as head office, or to allow them to work whenever suits them best. For some remote workers, this is one of the benefits of flexible working; they can work until 2 AM, if that’s when they’re at their most productive. It’s important that you understand how your remote worker will be approaching things, and that you are both happy with that arrangement. 

You can talk to your applicant about how their work day generally looks. This will give you an idea of not only the hours they keep, but of how well organised they are generally. How do they schedule their workday, decide what their next task is, and know when something is finished? 

Communication Skills 

Good communication is vital for remote teams. That doesn’t just mean verbal, that’s also their ability to write clearly, to understand which channels should be used for which messages, and to be able to take a breath before they respond to anything that upsets them. You can ask applicants if they’ve heard of Hanlon’s razor - it’s a bit like Occam’s Razor and encourages people to assume someone is uninformed rather than out to get them. 

If your candidate has worked remotely before, ask them how they’ve established relationships with their remote team members. If they haven’t, ask them how they think they’ll go about doing that - there are plenty of ways to bring a remote team together no matter the geographical distance. Excellent communication is important for staff to establish in a remote workspace, since being apart may make communication harder for people who aren't used to it.

Isolation 

While for some people the isolation that can come with remote working is desirable, for others it can be positively painful. It’s important that any virtual employee has a social network around them that meets that need. That could be family, friends, participation in a sports team, or anything else that will off-set the hours spent working solo. 

There’s also the option of co-working spaces, allowing you to hire the best of the best from around the world, but having that person continue to work in an office and enjoy the perks of human interaction. This is definitely the best option when you’re hiring extroverts! 

Trust Your Gut 

Perhaps the best advice for hiring a remote worker is, as with any other worker, to trust your gut. If you’re not convinced by the answers you’re getting from a candidate then move on and find another. When you hire remote, the world is literally your oyster, so go out and find a pearl!

Sharon Koifman believes every company, from the biggest enterprise to the newly-launched garage startup, should have access to the world's top talent. That’s why he used over 15 years of experience in the tech industry recruitment & HR to create DistantJob, tech recruitment agency. His unique recruitment model allows DistantJob's client to get exceptional better fitting talents at an incredible value.

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