Recruiting Remote Workers Doesn’t Require a Leap of Faith

Michael Gallagher January 3, 2018

Not everyone works well from home – how can you tell who will?

Telecommuting can potentially save your company tens of thousands of dollars each year. It increases productivity, and it even boosts morale. The trick is knowing how to identify what makes a person most likely to thrive without the structure of a communal workspace.

6 traits all remote workers should have

Some of your most talented recruits simply might not work well from home. It’s not even necessarily that they need supervision, or lack responsibility – there’s much more to it than that. So, here’s what to look for when considering hiring remote workers.

1. Self-starters. When assessing a recruit’s work history, check to see if they have experience working remotely, or if they’ve worked independently for clients. Supervisor positions, as well as hobbies or non-work related projects, can also indicate a strong sense of self-motivation. Another element to zero in on is how they respond to failures – those who rebound well from setbacks are less likely to need supervision to stay on course.

2. Excellent communication. The inability to physically access an employee can not only be frustrating, it can destroy productivity. Effective remote workers respond promptly and clearly to emails and phone calls. They also know how to determine which topics merit a call, email, or text message. Of course, this requires a basic level of writing and reading comprehension skill. Cover letters, and emails leading up to an interview, are perfect opportunities to garner a feel for how well a candidate will do working off site.

3. Technical competence. If it weren’t for the Internet and computers, a vast majority of today’s remote positions wouldn’t be possible. From video conferencing, to cloud based offices and file formatting, if a recruit is inexperienced in these areas it can lead to hiccups down the road.

4. Ethics. Has the candidate held positions in the past were they were trusted with finances or equipment? Do they volunteer for charity work? Even if they have, it can still be difficult to determine the trustworthiness of a recruit. Ultimately, whether or not you feel you can trust a candidate is going to be based on your interactions during the hiring process – which isn’t all that different than hiring anyone else!

5. Discipline. Many of the advantages remote workers are keen on can also be distractions. Working from home often means setting their own schedule, allowing for things like grocery shopping during non-peak hours, or juggling other home duties with their workload. It also means those prone to distractions such as social media, television, news sites, etc., don’t have to worry about the boss catching them in the act! If there aren’t clear examples on their resume of where they’ve demonstrated excellent time management, ask them how they are at it. Or, if applicable, request a brief sample project, paying close attention to how long it takes them to complete the task.

6. Personal responsibility. In short, this means not passing the buck on down the line when there’s a problem. The best remote workers do everything in their power not to get stuck. They find ways around obstacles, and do their best to solve problems on their own before bringing it to someone else’s attention. Obviously, there’s a fine line between following rabbit holes and getting help – look for recruits who can demonstrate the ability to efficiently assess when a problem is within their solution range, and when they need assistance.

Recruiters provide excellent insight on a candidate’s work-from-home capability

The fact of the matter is: a lot of people want to work remotely, without having the slightest idea of the skills they need to be effective at it. With that in mind, some recruits desiring a remote position might unwittingly misrepresent themselves, not fully understanding what telecommuting entails. An experienced recruiting partner can help you sift the true remote workers from the wannabes.

At Mankuta | Gallagher, we not only recognize top talent, we understand the traits required to thrive under the growing variety of today’s work environments. If you’re considering recruiting remote workers, we encourage you to connect with one of our experts to help set you on a path to success.

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