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6 Things Companies Are Looking for When Hiring Remote Employees

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Since the pandemic, workers are increasingly insisting on working from home, having had a taste of the experience during lockdowns. In fact, more than 9 out of 10 prefer at least some aspects of remote work moving forward in recent surveys. (Did you miss Bold Business’ survey and analysis on remote work? Check it out here!) Given the challenges many industries face in finding workers today, many companies want to accommodate these preferences. In fact, more than 60 percent of businesses are already hiring remote employees. But doing so blindly can be just as ineffective as lacking an adequate workforce. For this reason, it’s important that companies develop a remote recruiting tip list when it comes to their HR practices.

Naturally, the goal for businesses is to best serve their customers’ needs. In order to accomplish this, an effective workforce is needed along with a healthy workplace culture. Achieving these when many staff members are working from home can be easier said than done. But that doesn’t mean companies can’t thrive in such environments if they embrace effective remote recruiting tips. In fact, they might even find that hiring remote employees leads to greater innovation and creativity. With this in mind, each remote recruiting tip below are ones that businesses should consider in the current employment climate.

“The challenge for HR is to what extent can your employees set their own working patterns, their working hours and their working location. A broader issue is the extent to which you can trust your employees to get the job done versus feeling you have to track your employees to make sure they get their work done.” – Andi Britt, Senior Partner for Talent and Transformation, IBM

  • Remote Recruiting Tip #1 – Practical Issues

When it comes to hiring remote employees, all companies must consider some basic practical issues from the start. For example, many positions are not feasible when it comes to remote work. Job responsibilities that demand in-person services remove some employees from remote work considerations. But other practical issues must also be assessed. Some workers may lack adequate space in their homes to accommodate job tasks and duties. Others may not have broadband Internet or adequate technology to meet their job’s demands. As a starting point, these are some key issues that employers must address up front when hiring remote employees.

  • Remote Recruiting Tip #2 – Communication and Technology Skills

Let’s assume a potential employee has the right job and resources for remote work. Then, the next remote recruiting tip explores their capacity to use their resources effectively. Working from home requires excellent remote communication skills that involve using various digital media. Employees need to be able to express themselves efficiently, effectively and professionally in this regard. This is particularly true in using videoconferencing solutions. (Dive deeper into the subject of videoconferencing innovation in this Bold story.) At the same time, remote work often is accompanied with the occasion technical problem. Workers who can effectively address technical glitches quickly can boost productivity and eliminate the need for costly IT services. These should be some additional areas that businesses assess when hiring remote employees.

  • Remote Recruiting Tip #3 – Self-Discipline and Organization

Naturally, companies will want to seek out employees who have a high level of self-discipline and strong organizational skills. Because they won’t be on-site, management must trust remote employees to be responsible for attending to necessary tasks. Likewise, being well organized increases the level of efficiency, which usually leads to better productivity. Thus, when hiring remote employees, companies should explore attitudes and activities that demonstrate good self-discipline and organization. This is one remote recruiting tip that can save companies many headaches down the road.

  • Remote Recruiting Tip #4 – Self-Motivation and Initiative

The previous considerations when hiring remote employees tend to be characteristics to ensure that basic job responsibilities are well met. However, bold companies will attempt to leverage remote work trends to their advantage even further. For this reason, another remote recruiting tip involves seeking workers with high levels of self-motivation and initiative. These types of workers could thrive in a remote situation, leading to greater innovation and creativity for the business. These employees are also more independent in nature, and they require less oversight by management. All of these are admirable traits that companies should seek out when hiring remote employees.

  • Remote Recruiting Tip #5 – Performance and Productivity

Regarding whether hiring remote employees or on-site ones, performance and productivity remains a top priority. In this regard, businesses will still want to evaluate potential hires in terms of their ability to excel. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics can be used to assess productivity going forward. But at the same time, past performance and productivity metrics may also indicate how productive employees may be when working from home. This remote recruiting tip is not really much different from traditional hiring processes. But it remains a top priority for remote worker assessments regardless.

  • Remote Recruiting Tip #6 – Prior Remote Experience

The final remote recruiting tip is one that might be rather obvious. While not every potential hire may have experience in working from home, those that do offer important opportunities. Examining past work behaviors and performance in remote settings provides a measure of future work productivity. Likewise, information about their motivations and drives for working from home can also be explored in these instances. This doesn’t mean only those with experience in remote work be considered. But when hiring remote employees, this additional information can be quite helpful.

“As employees return to the office, implementing flexibilityand cultivating the trust it requirescan be a catalyst for new ways of working and can redefine how the office can help people thrive. – Gale Moutrey, Global Vice President, Brand Management and Workplace Innovation, Steelcase

Creating Opportunity Out of Necessity

Given the persistence of various strains of COVID-19, remote work remains a necessity in many situations. But even after the pandemic subsides in intensity, working from home will persist. Workers increasingly prefer it, and employers are similarly realizing key advantages from remote working environments. With this in mind, it will be increasingly important that businesses exploit these opportunities to their advantage. One of the ways they can do this is through effective recruiting practices when hiring remote employees. By using the above tips for remote recruiting best practices, realizing these opportunities will increase. And this will place companies in the best position for ongoing success.


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