Ultimate Guide to Hiring Quality Remote Workers

By
Leela Hopkins
VPM Staff
Updated
June 20, 2020

Hiring remotely has some amazing advantages along with its own unique set of challenges. You can hire from a much wider pool of talent, which means you have access to some of the best candidates in the world. On the other hand, many candidates will not be suitable. We’re sharing the following tips for successful remote hiring.

Personality Traits to Consider with Remote Workers

Not everyone flourishes in a remote working environment so you need to carefully think about the skills required and there are certain traits which are more suited to remote work.

Self-Motivation

Remote workers must be self-motivated and self-disciplined, because there is no physical presence for supervision. They must have excellent time management and productivity skills, so they will adhere to the required working hours.

Communicative

A remote worker must be a strong communicator. Most of the communication will be via email, Slack, or other digital platforms, which requires excellent written communication skills. The remote work environment tends to have a higher chance of miscommunication, so using virtual meeting tools is recommended to discuss complicated topics or projects. It's also important that remote workers communicate regarding their work, problems encountered, or anything else they are experiencing on a daily or weekly basis.

Organizational Skills

Remote workers are responsible for managing their own schedules and resources and those who succeed tend to have great organizational skills. These may include managing projects, documenting work, planning, and goal setting, all of which helps to achieve their work goals and deadlines.

Reliability

Reliability is a crucial characteristic for remote workers. They must be working at the appointed time, and complete work to the required deadlines. So when evaluating candidates, look for one who is loyal, responsible, and hard-working.

Reliable employees are more likely to stay, thus, reducing your turnover, which ensures an ongoing pipeline of high-quality work, and great skills remaining in your organization.

Trustworthy

Trustworthiness means your employee can be trusted to work alone. Imagine if you hired someone you always felt you needed to watch over because you didn’t trust them. No one wants that! If there is a lack of trust, it will be much worse in a remote working environment, so hiring a trustworthy person will give you peace of mind for your company.

Collaborative

Even in a remote workplace, employees need to function as a part of your team. They need to make efforts to collaborate and help others in the team. Picture someone who helps the team when they are done with their own tasks to get other team member’s projects going or that “go-to” person you know you can always ask a question to.

Tech-savvy

To employ remote workers requires the digital tools needed to set up a team and of course, the employees have to be tech-savvy to use them. They will be doing the vast majority of their work online so it’s important they have the necessary tech skills to complete and submit the work and communicate with the employer. If you need assistance you can view our 35 remote tools.

Tips to Write a Powerful Job Posting and Description

First off, is a job posting the same as a job description? A job posting is not the same thing as a job description. Job descriptions communicate the responsibilities and expectations of the internal role within a company, whereas job postings sell the position, your company, team, remote-ness, and why you’re awesome. These are posted on job boards and it’s important to write your job description before the job posting.

Describe the Remote Job

Performance-based job descriptions can be a good way to accurately describe the role, as they focus on the required candidate abilities. This should be prioritized over education, traits, and experiences. Be specific rather than generic to ensure your candidates can match their skill set to your job description.

Write a Strong Job Posting

Be transparent with your remote expectations. Ensure that the candidates know, for example, whether you hold mandatory meetings on Monday or if you require team members to cover their own work equipment.

Make sure you provide explicit details on how your employees communicate with you and/or each other.

Incorporate relevant keywords in your job posting. Here are a few examples:

  • Remote job
  • Work remotely
  • Telecommute
  • Virtual job
  • Home-based
  • Work from home

If you include these remote-related details the large field of candidates can ascertain whether your company is the right fit for them and you simultaneously filter out the unsuitable applicants.

Use Searchable Job Titles

Using ‘innovative’ titles like ‘Design Ninja’ might be amusing, however, candidates searching for positions are unlikely to enter this term in their search engine, so your role will be seen by fewer people. You could miss out on some excellent applicants.

Use more common search titles like “Graphic Designer”, “Creative Designer”, or “Web Designer”.

Tell Your Company Story

It’s vital that you explain why a candidate would want to work remotely for your company. Entice them by adding up to 5 exciting details about your company, for example, what is the environment like or why should they want to work for you?

Use just one paragraph to describe your company; explaining what your company does, how long you’ve been around, the culture, and your values. This will be important for a person to discern whether they would be a good fit.

Clearly Outline Responsibilities of the Role

Outline the responsibilities of the role so that applicants will understand your expectations. This should include key performance indicators (KPIs), and what success in the role would require. It should also define the characteristics a person would need to thrive in this job.

Provide a list of requirements that are critical to the job. What will this role look like day-to-day? Who will they work with and report to? What is expected out of them in 3 months with this role?

If it's a new position for your business, ensure that you fully understand what the position will entail otherwise writing an effective job description is impossible.

List Requirements of Your Ideal Candidate

This is a list of what you require in your candidate including qualities such as problem-solving, energetic, attentive to detail, or friendly.

Include Company Benefits

It’s important to remember that you are competing against many more companies when you hire remotely. This means your compensation should be competitive. If you can’t offer more money for the role, you should consider adding other benefits, which could include:

  • Dental
  • Discounts
  • Vision
  • Health Benefits
  • Extra vacation time
  • 401K

If you are a start-up or small company, you may not be able to offer many benefits, so be creative and think of other enticing benefits. You could offer "Paid Mental Health Days" or "Paid Volunteer Days", which should be viewed positively by the applicants.

Create A Unique Application Process

Instead of simply asking for a candidate to submit a resume, you can make it more interesting. Ask the candidates to do something that shows they read the application process. Try using:

  • Writing samples
  • Cover letters
  • Tests
  • Portfolio samples
  • Questions

People who really want to work for you won’t mind completing these tasks. You want to hire someone who is passionate about the job, so the first step is the applicants making an effort. People who don’t read the application process are likely to be less interested in the job, making the elimination process easier.

Ask For Candidate References

Take some of the guesswork away from hiring remote employees by contacting their references. These should be people they have worked within the past 3-5 years and therefore can give you an indication of what the person is like to work with. This will be crucial to your decision-making process.

Ask for three or four work references. If they don’t submit references or hesitate at this request, this could be a red flag.

Where to Find Remote Workers

There are numerous job posting platforms to choose between. Here are some useful ones:

WeWorkRemotely

WeWorkRemotely is a massive community of both remote employers and workers, featuring thousands of quality listings each day across many categories. These include marketing, sales, design, and more.

Remote.co

Remote.co is a resource for companies that see remote work as an opportunity. They focus on providing expert insight, best practices, and valuable support for organizations exploring or already embracing a remote team. Therefore, you are getting businesses and individuals dedicated to embracing a remote culture.

FlexJobs

FlexJobs is a free site where you can post jobs to find remote candidates. It attracts people who are looking for flexible working arrangements, including flexible schedules, part-time, telecommuting, or freelancing.

There are many advanced search features and more than 50 available fields of work. Jobs are uniquely all hand-screened for legitimacy. By paying a flat rate, you will be able to post multiple jobs and access the resume database which enables you to search for your dream candidate.

Indeed

Indeed is a job seeker’s platform where an employer can post remote jobs for free. It has about 200 million visitors each month.

Ziprecruiter

The interface of ZipRecruiter lets members share jobs across more than 100 social networks and job boards, so your advertisement will be seen on many platforms. They offer a free trial where you can post your remote job across all these boards or make use of their resume database.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has recently improved its technology to aid employers in finding remote staff. Candidates can now search worldwide, so they don’t need to limit location. You can add keywords to your post, like ‘remote’, to ensure you get seen by those looking for these roles.

Ask Your Network

Previous colleagues could be your ideal remote worker. You already know what they are like to work with so if they are available, this is an ideal solution. You can also ask your family, friends, and mentors for recommendations. Trust is very important with a remote worker, so it is very reassuring to hire someone who has been recommended.

Ask Employees for Referrals

Finding excellent candidates for your remote team may prove more challenging than you expected. Global networks can be difficult to create which makes it difficult for people in other countries or regions to hear about your brand or positions.

So you can ask your current employees for referrals. If there is anyone they would recommend make sure that you describe the ideal candidate description, requirements, and details about the role. In fact, pass on your job posting and job description for them to share it.

Tools You Can Use to Find Great Remote Workers

Many new recruiting tools are now available for hiring purposes, which can enable you to interview many candidates quickly. These tools can help make your hiring process more efficient so you can focus more on the final outcome.

Google Forms

It may be useful in automation, as it provides a way for candidates to fill out a preset application form and questionnaire. This can help you differentiate between candidates, and eliminate those who are unsuitable.

Spark Hire

Is a tool to help managers make hiring decisions effectively. It enables you to see recorded interviews, which is useful for comparing candidates’ answers to key questions.

Jobma

Offers you a way to screen candidates swiftly. Write the interview questions and then candidates can answer them at a time that suits with recorded videos.

HireVue

Allows candidates to schedule their own interviews, which can be especially useful across time zones. Simply let candidates know when you’re available and they can book a time that suits them.

Asana

A project management platform that can make it possible to keep track of your recruitment process, by sharing notes, feedback, and follow-up actions with team members and other managers.

The Interview

The interview process for remote workers will likely require a follow-up to be over video chat. If you have given the applicant a task, for example asking them to write a cover letter, you should cover this further in your interview process. Many companies hold at least three interviews.

Create a virtual meeting with Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom. While interviewing, you should be looking for a few crucial aspects.

The first is excellent communication, which is vital in remote work. In the first interview, the focus should be to reveal the strength of their communication skills. It’s important to note that everything counts in communication, including email responses to interview invitations, their resume, and all other responses. Consider their grammar, clarity, and responsiveness.

They need to provide good responses of how they act in a work environment. If their answers to interview questions are repetitive or lack detail, this indicates a problem with clarity. For example, if you are hiring someone in customer support, offer them a real-life scenario and ask them how they would respond to it. Then pay attention to their responses surrounding how they problem solve and their actions to get to an outcome.

Personality is also very important. They must align with the values and current culture of the company. Hiring just for talent is not always the best idea. Sometimes you can get someone who is extremely talented but not suited to the team, which can cause clashes and eventually higher turnover. Find out what is important to them by asking about their interests and career goals, which you can then determine if it aligns with the role, team, and your company.

The On-boarding Process

You’ve finally got your new remote worker, but the work isn’t done. Once the interview and selection process is complete it is important to have a trial period of 60-90 days to ensure you have chosen correctly for your work environment.

Communication is particularly important in this time period. The new remote employee needs to be candid about how they spend their workdays. You can use this time to become familiar with their strengths and weaknesses.

The transition to any new work role can be difficult. Give them the first 2 or 3 months to become accustomed to it. Giving them a project to demonstrate their strengths will reveal the quality of their work and how quickly they accomplish tasks.

Without a physical office and supervisory presence, it can be hard for a new person to understand how the company works. In the first few weeks video-call them more often than usual in case they have any questions.

Ensure that you provide internal tools, resources, training, and access to all the candidate needs. This will improve communication and quickly solve any problems that may arise.

Do You Need A Business Address to Help You Go Remote?

VirtualPostMail provides you with a street address to receive postal mail. The unopened envelopes are scanned so you can view your mail online at your convenience. Then, you decide whether to have the mail opened and scanned, mail forwarded, or destroyed. Managing your postal mail online is so easy; you’ll never want to handle mail the traditional way again.