3 Tips for Hiring Remote Workers

August 25, 2016

Recruiting remote employees can help widen your talent pool and create new opportunities for your company. Here are three tips for selecting the right candidates.

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As technology makes the world smaller, the number of remote workers within your company will likely rise. Remote employment has advantages for everyone involved. When you’re hiring, it means you’re not constrained by geometry, you’ll have opportunities to hire global perspectives and in some cases you’ll be able to provide your customers round-the-clock service. However, telecommuting can also pose challenges, so here are tips for selecting the right candidates:

1. Seek the right candidates

A candidate might be the perfect fit if he or she plans to work in your office, though someone with a different skill set might be better suited for remote work.

“Considering that working from home is a different experience than working in the office, it makes sense that different personalities fair better than others,” writes Lauren Collinson for Ere Media’s TNLT.

 “Once you’ve identified the traits that coincide with success, you can use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help sort resumes based on how well they correlate with the search.”

As you classify applicants, pay attention to: “commitment, ability to work independently, oral and written communication skills, conflict resolution, motivation, and technology prowess,” writes Sharon Florentine of

2. Get a feel for their work and personality

“Candidates for remote jobs should have a digital history of their work. Review it early in the hiring process,” writes Sara McGuire for Sometimes, you might have to initiate the contact. “Pay attention to who is active in your industry,” writes McGuire. “If someone posts something interesting on social media, or if they write an article that you find valuable, reach out to them.”

And, have a conversation before you commit to an interview. “Regardless of how you find candidates, make sure to schedule some face-time communication before you consider hiring them,” writes McGuire. “It is important that you get a sense of who the person is and whether they would be a good cultural fit, the same as you would with an on-site candidate.”

If you think you’re serious about someone, “give him or her an assignment to see how it goes,” writes Florentine. “Asking them to provide an example or complete an assignment can help gauge not only their communication and collaboration skills, but their problem solving skills and they’re commitment to staying on track,” Don’t forget to pay the candidate as you would any other freelancer or consultant.”

3. Conduct the right interview

You might be conducting a remote interview for a candidate who will work outside your office, but don’t go easy. “Interviewing remote workers is much different than hiring for a traditional, on-site position,” writes Florentine. She recommends scheduling multiple interviews with many stakeholders, especially for any candidate who hasn’t previously worked remotely.

“Involving HR, line-of-business managers, colleagues, and executives makes for much more thorough and comprehensive interview process, as each stakeholder will be on the lookout for different qualities, strengths, and weaknesses,” writes Florentine.

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