There are a lot of benefits inherent in employing remote workers. First, there are the obvious cost savings gained from requiring less office space. Depending on your corporate culture, you can also save money on items such as health insurance, paid time off, and tech, thanks to bring your own device (BYOD). A flexible and scalable solution, you can add remote workers as needed by hiring them on a contract, per project, or permanent basis. Then, there’s the ability to enlarge your talent pool beyond local boundaries and hire the absolute best candidates in the world. And as if all these benefits weren’t enough, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), reports that remote workers are “more productive and more engaged, take fewer sick days, and have lower rates of attrition.” It’s a win times ten scenario, but as with all things, there is a catch: before you realize all these benefits, you have to find the right people. The good news is we’ve assembled a handy little checklist of steps you can take to find and hire the right remote workers for your organization.
#1: Short-List Qualifications
While everyone may fantasize about working from home, not everyone is suited for remote work. Before you begin your search process, make a list of the specific talents and skills that are needed to successfully complete your project, or excel in the position you have open. Once you have compiled your list, add the four qualifications below because they are essential for ALL remote employees.
- Communication Skills – From participating in weekly video stand-up meetings and sending messages via project management programs, to responding to emails, texts, and more; being offsite requires remote employees to be excellent communicators. If they aren’t capable of consistently keeping managers and coworkers informed through all the aforementioned mediums, keep looking.
- Self-Motivated – The best remote workers are those who are comfortable working independently with little to no supervision. People who enjoy taking initiative, and who have the discipline required to get things done are ideal.
- Cooperative – Remote hires should be as comfortable working in teams as they are alone. More importantly, their team members should be able to rely on them to complete their portions of a project on-time and on-budget.
- Experience – As we said before, remote work is not for everyone, so seek out people who have a demonstrated history of successfully working outside the office.
#2 Go Where Remote Workers Are
Just as there are job sites for specific industries, there are job sites for people who specialize in working remotely. One of the main benefits of beginning your search via a remote jobs site is that they allow you to quickly and easily screen applicants based on their experience. You can also post jobs and projects directly to your target audience. A few of the job search sites for remote work that we recommend are:
#3: Get It on Video
Just because someone is working offsite, it doesn’t mean you should skip meeting with them face-to-face, so start by scheduling a video interview. After all, most communication is nonverbal, so it’s important to get a good look at potential candidates and assess through their body language and interactions whether or not they are a good communicator who will fit in your company’s culture.
Sample Video Interview Questions for Remote Workers
A few questions that are always helpful when conducting a video interview for a potential remote worker are:
- Tell us how you stay organized when working remotely.
- What are your preferred means of communication, and how often do you use them?
- What motivates you?
- How do you solve problems with fellow team members?
- Describe a typical remote workday for you.
Once you hire a candidate, schedule ongoing face-to-face communication with them via regular video meetings, such as weekly stand-ups, brainstorms, etc. Engaging in dynamic video interactions with remote team members enables them and their fellow teammates to get to know one another, and develop the comfort level and trust needed to work well together.
#4: Give ‘em a Trial Run
Most HR managers recommend hiring new employees on a 90-day trial period. Of course, when it comes to remote workers, you likely only need a couple of weeks to assess whether or not things are going to work out. The quickest and easiest way to do conduct a remote working trial is to break a potential project into several components and ask the remote worker to complete a couple of tasks. Make sure you are explicit in your expectations of them, including dates and times you need them to submit work, people they need to communicate with, and formats and software versions that the work needs to adhere to. By employing a trial approach with potential remote workers you are able to better evaluate their quality of work, turn-around speed, and communication and presentation styles before committing to work with them throughout the duration of a project.
Bonus Step: Employ Highfive
Seizing the competitive advantages that a remote workforce offers is easy to do with Highfive’s all-in-one video conferencing devices. Featuring HD video and audio, as well as Dolby Voice technology, Highfive makes connecting face-to-face to communicate, collaborate, share slides, and more, a fun and engaging process. Priced at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems, Highfive allows anyone using any device to work remotely. To give your new remote hires a home-field advantage, give them a Highfive.