Remote employees can be a cost effective way to grow your workforce. But there are some important indicators to keep in mind when screening a potential employee.
Communication is critical for the success of any business. Managers need to be able clearly define projects, associated tasks, goals, and deadlines with their team members. Remote employees need to have the ability to communicate any questions they may have about assignments, difficulties they might be having with accomplishing tasks, and what progress they are making.
If a candidate seems unable to clearly communicate, this is probably the biggest red flag. Poor communication can lead to a misunderstanding of project goals, missed deadlines, and decreased productivity. All of these things have a direct impact on the profitability of your business.
When considering a candidate pay attention to their communication skills. Are they able to write a clear email? Do they appear to be able to follow a chat narrative? Are they able to use your company’s video chat software?
Working remotely requires a higher level of self-motivation than working in an office. Remote workers are not under direct supervision and need to have the ability to stay focused without management in their workspace.
When considering a candidate you should look for signs of their self-motivation. A worker’s history can be a good indicator of their motivation level. Was the candidate promoted at their previous job? Does the candidate tend to stay with a company for a long period of time? Obviously, if a person only seems to hold a job for a few months at a time then they probably have issues with motivation.
Another way of considering a candidate’s level of self-motivation is to look at their hobbies and interests outside of work. By looking at a candidate’s social media accounts, you should be able to get an idea about their hobbies and interests. Does this person seem like a self-starter?
Time management is also related to self-motivation. Remote workers need to be able to manage their time efficiently in order to complete tasks and projects on time. Poor time management can lead to missed deadlines and lower work quality.
You should ask a potential hire about their time management systems. Does it sound like they complete tasks in an efficient manner or do they tend to go down the rabbit hole and lose track of assignments? You can also consider giving the candidate a small task to complete, possibly on a contract basis. If a person can complete the assigned task in an efficient manner then they could be the right person for the job.
If it’s possible to do a video interview with a candidate, this could give you some insight on their home office environment. If their workspace seems cluttered and messy then they might not be organized enough to work from home. If there are a lot of noises in the background then they might end up being too distracted to accomplish tasks.
These things aren’t necessarily a red flag. Some people have no difficulty staying focused and motivated in a cluttered and noisy environment. But for most people these things would present an obstacle for productivity.
The point of offering a worker the ability to work from home is to allow that person to complete tasks when and where they are most productive. But if the times they tend to work don’t mesh well with other team members it could be detrimental to productivity. Find out a candidate’s typical schedule if collaboration with other team members is a concern.
If you keep an eye on these red flags you should have no trouble finding a candidate who meets your needs and you can hire an efficient and productive remote worker.
There's no denying the growing trend of remote employment in the United States. So check out our comprehensive overview of everything employers should know about a remote workforce, including upsides, downsides and overall impact to payroll and HR systems.