The Ideal Remote Worker
Remote work has become our new reality. Here at wearebridge.io, we are leaning forward into this new trend in the recruitment industry and providing insight how to optimise and adapt to this new way of working. From productivity techniques to hiring a virtual workforce to debunking home office myths, we aim to shed light on how to turn remote work into a positive force for your career development.
Research tells us remote working increases worker productivity, reduces employee turnover (employees who are given the option to telecommute are reportedly much happier (73%) with their employers than traditional office workers (64%)), boosts employee morale and is cost-effective (it’s estimated that for each employee who telecommutes, a company saves about $11,000 annually).
In this post, we’ll be looking closer at the ideal profile for a remote worker when hiring for your team. With remote work platforms on the rise, this profile will become increasingly important for effective hires.
When you work remotely, most of your conversations and communication that you would typically do in the office will be via email, text and private message. Particularly when it comes to passing micro-interactions, these can easily be lost without proper communication. Therefore, if a candidate finds it hard to express themselves using the written word, it's pretty safe to say that they’re not going to be able to thrive remotely. Note: this doesn’t mean they need to have perfect English, but rather they are a reliable communicator.
Interview Tip: Take note of how well the candidate communicates through the interview scheduling process
Structured Self Starter
Remote working means you often don’t have your manager or colleague there to constantly ask questions or even to give structure to your work. This could make it easy for potential team members to become lazy or unmotivated.
This may sound like a very difficult skill-set to pinpoint during the hiring process but it is possible. In fact, according to Forbes, although determining motivation in a candidate can be extremely difficult, it is nonetheless possible to do so successfully with a combination of interview questions and further sleuthing.
This sleuthing could begin even with understanding their daily routine. Does this person structure their day to achieve their goals?
Next you could look into work history, outside interests, conception of failure and a whole lot more. These questions help to delve into the motivations of the candidate and their threshold for working hard towards a goal that sometimes may seem unclear.
Interview Tip: Find out what the candidate does to get motivated and how they prioritize their work responsibilities.
Ability to prioritise
Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same thing. Someone who works hard and is well organised but spends all their time on unimportant tasks may be efficient but not effective. To be effective, you need to decide what tasks are urgent and important and to focus on these.
A successful remote worker needs to have a good knowledge of how to structure their day with the right productivity methods or tools to be effective. It might even be worth asking directly during the hiring process what time of day the candidate does their best work and if they can be available at the times required by the company.
Interview Tip: Onboarding and training are especially important for remote employees. Devote at least a few days to teaching the new hire the correct way to go about their job.
Remote employees don’t have access to all the luxuries and amenities of an office. Your potential team members need to figure out how to effectively do their jobs in their own environment while solving any problems they encounter on their own.
Whether it’s connecting with the right person on the team online, tapping into the company’s knowledge base to solve a problem or even just dealing with home office issues, can this new hire take the initiative? It’s not that other team members wouldn’t help but rather than you would rather have someone who can think on their own first before draining the time of others.
Interview Tip: Give the candidate a hypothetical problem to solve related to the job and see how they think through it to arrive at a solution.
You want people who can dedicate themselves to your vision! Many candidates apply for a remote job just because they like the idea of working from home and the perks that come with it. You’ll regret hiring those people sooner or later.
Strive to find someone who is excited about what you’re trying to achieve and wants to help make it come to fruition. They will work beyond 9 to 5, they’ll be reliable and they’ll take an interest in steering the company into the future.
Interview Tip: Get a sense for why the candidate applied for the job in the first place and what interests them about the opportunity