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Great company culture starts with people. That’s why it’s paramount to hire people who embody the right qualities for the roles you need to fill.
You’re likely already looking for responsible, empathetic employees with growth mindsets who communicate well. Yet, the question remains: Are these the same qualities you should look for when hiring for remote positions? And how do you source remote-friendly employees?
Two-and-a-half years ago, the pandemic forced employees out of the office until a safe workplace environment could be created and maintained. As the pandemic transitions to an endemic, many employees are returning to the office, but some are still opting to remain at home. As such, remote work has become acceptable, creating a larger pool of candidates.
Hiring remote employees doesn’t require a drastic shift in mindset, but it necessitates some work upfront to ensure you’re positioning new hires for success. Laying this foundation will help avoid possible pitfalls along the employment journey.
Will your team be completely remote or hybrid? Will they work from various offices or have a flexible work-from-home schedule? You will have to set policies in place for both remote and hybrid.
Next, you will have to determine if having previous remote work experience is necessary. For example, if you are building a new team, it may be a good idea to hire people who have remote working experience.
When building a remote team (especially if you are starting from scratch), it’s imperative to hire people who can manage their own time and make independent decisions with little direction. It could mean hiring senior people rather than entry-level employees who require more coaching, face time and structure. People who have previously worked as consultants or freelancers understand how to work remotely. So, once you have built a solid remote company culture with your initial hiring and processes, you can expand your team with junior-level employees.
Look for people with strong collaboration skills; it won’t hurt if they have experience with frameworks like Agile. In addition, adaptability, open-mindedness, accountability, and good project management skills will help new team members flourish in a remote environment.
With teammates working out of different locations, excellent communication is essential. Whether status updates, clarifying questions, action items, or other things, remote workers must always think about how to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
When hiring, look for those with strong writing skills or even backgrounds in blogging; those capable of articulating their ideas well. Good listening skills are also key.
Self-motivation is critical when working remotely. From taking the initiative to being self-disciplined and organized, remote employees must achieve all their tasks without someone looking over their shoulder. So, if they see a process that needs to be improved, they should be able to tackle it themselves!
Teams collaborate, so it is essential to consider the difference in time zones when putting a remote team together. For example, if you hire a cluster of employees in a particular time zone, it’s easier for them to hop on a spontaneous video call or give real-time feedback on a project.
To ensure your team is productive no matter the locations they are working from, make sure you select a “tech stack” application that will make their jobs easier. You should consider several different categories of tools such as video conferencing, chat, project management, file management, an online whiteboard, and more.
Checking whether your remote employees have enough bandwidth to handle video calls is crucial. Not having enough capacity can be a barrier and cause communication issues.
There are more barriers to successful communication than time zones and bandwidth. Hiring people from different backgrounds and countries means understanding their communication styles, approaches to work, and collaboration. Doing this may take extra resources and time.
It may sound like a challenge, but in the end, there is a significant advantage in hiring people with diverse backgrounds. It is believed that diverse teams are more likely to develop more creative solutions.
If a candidate is the right person for a remote job, lack of remote experience shouldn’t be a deal breaker. On the contrary, experience is more of a bonus than a requirement. However, looking for people with specific remote background means narrowing your pool of candidates and finding the right recruit will be more challenging.
It is helpful to consider the competencies a potential candidate has that will lead to success and evaluate how the applicant will succeed in an actual situation.
Look for someone adept at building rapport in virtual relationships, is disciplined in documenting processes and decisions, and is comfortable asking for help or providing coaching when communicating online.