What to Look for When Hiring Remote Employees


In today’s digital world, the 9-to-5 workday is becoming increasingly less common. Instead, companies around the world are beginning to give their team members more freedom, by allowing them to work remotely. Remote workers can complete their day-to-day task from anywhere with an internet connection, whether it’s their home or a local coffee shop.

In the past, companies worried about hiring people who worked away from the office, because they believed that employees needed constant supervision to thrive. However, the truth is that studies have shown that remote workers are actually more productive, and 53% even say they’re more likely to work overtime. If that wasn’t enough, some reports suggest that by allowing your workers to telecommute full-time, you can save a lot of money on real-estate costs for your business. Up to $10,000 per employee, per year.

Combine the cost savings and productivity benefits of remote workers with the fact that 95% of employers say that remote work improves employee retention, and it’s safe to say that it’s time to start searching for your next remote employee. The question is, what should you be looking for?

1. People with Initiative and Motivation

Remote workers need to keep themselves motivated and focused on the task at hand. People in this environment won’t thrive if they need to wait around for their boss to tell them what they need to do each day. Look for people who can look at the goals that they need to accomplish in a week and set up their own schedules based on what they know they can do in a certain time frame.

While you’re searching for people with initiative, keep your eye out for dedication and motivation in your candidates too. The people in your remote team need to be able to wake up on time each morning, remain productive and accomplish their day-to-day tasks without extra prompting.

2. Punctual and Responsive Communicators

Just because your employees won’t be working in your office doesn’t mean that they should be out of sight and out of mind. Working remotely requires your staff members to be extremely punctual when it comes to meetings and deadlines, because of the nature of virtual work. They’ll also need to be available to catch up with you with weekly review emails or catch-up conversations over the phone.

If you have to wait days to get a response from your employee over email, then it will be difficult to keep them involved as an active part of your team. Look for someone who excels at consistent communication.

3. Natural Problem Solvers

Many remote workers find that they’re more efficient and productive when they have the freedom to work from wherever they want. However, there’s always the chance that something can go wrong with a remote worker. Your employee might end up having a power cut in the middle of the day, and they’ll need to deal with this problem by taking their laptop to a nearby internet cafĂ© or investing in a backup power supply.

Look for people who can handle the complexities and unexpected events that might occur during periods of remote work without panicking. If you choose people who are natural problem solvers, then you’ll spend less time putting out fires for your employees.

4. A Focus on Details

Many employers find that people with a detail-oriented character typically perform better in remote positions. Perfectionists are particularly good at working outside of the office because they hold their work to the highest standards, even when they don’t have a manager peering over their shoulder.

Look for people who can focus on maintaining a certain quality of work wherever they are. These people might have a set of clearly-defined KPIs that they use to measure their work output so that they can make sure that they’re always delivering the best results for your business.

5. Experience Working Outside of the Office

Although it’s not always possible to find someone for your team that already has experience as a remote worker, it’s generally a better option than choosing someone who has to learn how to work from home without any prior knowledge. If you can’t find someone with remote working experience, consider looking for an employee that has experience managing their timetable for things like online courses such as dse online training, or other types of home-based education.
People who already understand what they need to do to be successful when they’re not surrounded by a team of co-workers will be able to get into the flow of their new telecommuting job much faster.

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