C-suite and leadership teams wake up each morning and conclude each day strategizing and executing upon their unique competitive advantage. And when it comes to offering a remote work culture, organizations are finding that adding this feature to their ‘who we are’ vision statement is serving as an asset to attract candidates and build high-performance teams; especially as hiring high-performance remote employees becomes more prevalent in the workforce.
Remote employees have just as much growth and development potential as on-site employees. Therefore, the recruiting standards and capability expectations of remote employees should be the same as for any on-site team member.
Today, leaders need to be diligent about properly hiring remote team members. When hiring remotely, leadership must ensure that remote candidates are in alignment with the company culture and value system – and uphold the same level of professionalism, productivity, and initiative as their on-site counterparts.
As new technologies develop in the recruiting and human resource sectors, many practices for on-site and remote recruiting overlap in various ways – as they should since your leadership team wants to make sure all members and staff are held to the same standards and expectations.
Therefore, to ensure remote workers are just as much a fit within the organization as their in-office counterparts, Katalyst Group has put together the best practices for hiring remote employees.
1. Ask right away if candidates are comfortable working in a remote setting
As the modern business landscape continues to evolve, the ability to work remotely has become increasingly prevalent and influential in shaping organizational dynamics. In light of this, when engaging with potential candidates for remote roles, it is imperative for leadership teams to address the question of remote work compatibility right from the outset of the hiring process.
By directly inquiring about a candidate’s comfort level and experience with remote work, leaders can effectively gauge candidate adaptability, technological proficiency, and self-discipline, all of which are vital traits in navigating the challenges and opportunities of a remote work environment.
This proactive approach enables companies to identify candidates who can seamlessly integrate into a remote setup, fostering a productive workforce that thrives regardless of physical boundaries.
2. Define the role and responsibilities clearly from the outset
The first step in hiring a high-performance remote employee is to clearly define the role and responsibilities of the position. What skills and experience will the ideal candidate need to possess? What tasks will they be responsible for on a day-to-day basis? Answering these questions upfront will help you weed out candidates who are not a good fit and focus your search on those who have the potential to excel in the role.
Here’s how to define the role and responsibilities:
- Start by creating a job description that outlines the key duties and requirements of the position.
- Include a list of desired skills and experience.
- Be specific about the type of person you are looking for.
- Make sure the job description is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
3. Do not sacrifice quality for proximity when hiring high-performance remote employees
Just because a candidate is located near your office does not mean they are the best person for the job. With the rise of video conferencing and other collaboration tools, it is easier than ever to work with employees who are not in the same physical location. As such, you should not sacrifice quality for proximity when it comes to hiring.
Try these simple tips to find quality candidates no matter where they are located:
- Use job boards and social media to reach a wider pool of candidates.
- Leverage your professional network to identify qualified individuals.
- Utilize video conferencing tools like Skype or GoToMeeting for initial interviews.
4. Take the time to get to know your candidates
During the hiring process, it is important to take the time to get to know your candidates. This will help you determine if they are a good fit for your company and the specific role you are looking to fill.
There are a number of ways to get to know your candidates when hiring for high-performance remote emplyees:
- Conduct an initial phone or video interview. When doing so, pay attention to their communication style and see if it matches your company’s culture. Make sure to ask questions that will give you insights into their work style, motivation, and personality.
- Have the candidate complete a test project. This will give you a chance to see how they work under pressure and what kind of results they are able to produce.
- Check their references. This is an important step in the process, as it will allow you to verify the candidate’s qualifications and get insights from people who have worked with them in the past.
5. Utilize video conferencing in the interview process
Video conferencing is a powerful tool that can be used throughout the hiring process, from initial interviews to final interviews and even onboarding. Utilizing video conferencing will not only save you time and money, but will also allow you to get to know your candidates better.
When using video conferencing for interviews, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure the technology is working properly before the interview begins. In other words, test your equipment and make sure the connection is strong.
- Create a professional setting. This means dressing the part and having a quiet, well-lit space for the interview. Since first impressions are important, you want to make sure your candidates are seeing the best version of you and your company.
- Be aware of body language. Pay attention to both your own body language and the candidate’s. This will give you insights into how well you are connecting with each other.
6. Pay attention to culture fit for high-performance remote employees
When you’re hiring remotely, it’s important to make sure that the candidate is a good fit for your company culture. To get a better sense of whether a remote candidate would be a good culture fit for your company, pay attention to how they interact with you and other team members throughout the interview process.
Do they demonstrate characteristics of someone who would be a good fit for your company’s values and way of doing things? You can also ask them questions about their work style and preferences to get a sense of whether they would be a good fit for your company culture.
Here are some of the things you should pay attention to when assessing a remote candidate’s culture fit:
- How well do they communicate?
- Do they have a positive attitude?
- Are they self-motivated?
- Do they take direction well?
- Do they work well independently?
- How well do they handle stress?
- What are their work habits like?
7. Consider work samples and test projects
When you’re hiring remotely, it’s important to consider work samples and test projects as part of the interview process. This will give you a sense of the candidate’s skills and experience, and how they would perform in the role you’re hiring for.
8. Check references thoroughly
When you’re hiring remotely, it’s important to check references thoroughly. This is especially true if you’re not able to meet the candidate in person.
When you’re checking references, be sure to ask about the candidate’s ability to perform in a remote work environment. Ask about their communication skills, self-motivation, and work habits. These are all important factors to consider when hiring remotely.
9. Make sure the candidate is self-motivated and disciplined
When you’re hiring high-performance remote employees, it’s important to make sure that the candidate is self-motivated and disciplined. This is because they will not have the same level of supervision as they would in a traditional work environment.
To assess a remote candidate’s self-motivation and discipline, pay attention to how they talk about their work. Do they seem like someone who is motivated to do their best work, even when no one is looking? Do they have a good work ethic? Are they able to stick to deadlines? These are all important factors to consider when hiring remotely.
10. Evaluate technical skills and experience
In order to work remotely, your candidates will need to have strong technical skills and experience. Make sure to evaluate their skillset during the interview process. You can do this by asking them questions about their previous work experience and projects they have worked on.
Here’s how to evaluate your candidate’s technical skills:
- Ask them questions about their work experience and projects they have worked on.
- Make sure they are strong in the areas that are important for the role you are hiring for.
- Pay attention to their problem-solving skills.
- Ensure they have a good understanding of the latest technology trends.
You can also consider doing a test project with the candidate to get a better sense of their skills and ability to work remotely.
11. Conduct a trial period when hiring high-performance remote emplyees
If you’re not sure whether a remote candidate would be a good culture fit for your company, consider conducting a trial period to see how they perform in the role. This will give you a better sense of whether they’re a good fit for your company culture and whether they’re able to perform well in a remote work environment.
The trial period should be agreed upon by both parties before it begins. During the trial period, you should provide feedback to the candidate on their performance. At the end of the trial period, you can then decide if you would like to extend an offer.
Hiring high-performance remote employees can be a great way to find high-quality candidates that may not be available locally. Make sure to get to know your candidates, pay attention to culture fit, and evaluate their technical skills and experience.
Additionally, don’t forget to conduct a trial period before making any final decisions. By following these best practices, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect remote employees for your business.