Remote work isn’t a fit for everyone. One of the biggest keys to a successful remote team is accurately identifying talent who will excel in a remote environment.” – Kate Harvey, content and search marketing manager at Chargify.

Flexible Working is one of the biggest trends in today’s workplace and continues to gain traction. Employees are no longer defined by the cubicle or office space but by their output. Innovative businesses have adapted to this new working standard and have successfully changed their organisational structure to support a flexible and mobile workforce.

One of the key elements to establishing a remote team is hiring the right people.

While there are no surefire methods for hiring top talent, companies can implement certain practices that will assist. An essential element of the planning process is identifying the skills and attributes needed in a remote position. Armed with a clear picture of exactly what you need, you craft an interview to help you assess as well as possible how the candidate would fare on the job—down to replicating the remote communication that team members employ every day.

An excellent remote worker knows the challenges of working from home and can easily overcome them. This person should be familiar with time management and organisational skills and be willing to learn new programmes and technology. Outstanding communications skills are also essential, along with a high-speed internet connection. When hiring remote workers, companies should seek out those who will thrive in their home workspace and remain committed to the job.

Check out our tips below on how to hire top remote talent!

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Tips for interviewing for remote positions

  • INTERVIEW WITH DIFFERENT MEDIUMS. This includes email, video, Slack or any of the apps that you use to communicate within your company. You want to know how well a candidate can communicate on different platforms.
  • ASK FOR A RECORDING. If a candidate looks good enough to interview, consider asking them to make a short (2-5 minute) recording of themselves answering a couple of questions. This recording can give you valuable insight into how they work and how savvy they are with working remotely. It also has the benefit of saving you the time of scheduling a longer interview.
  • SCHEDULE A VIDEO INTERVIEW. Most companies hiring a remote candidate will do a video interview.
  • ADD A WRITTEN COMPONENT. It can be insightful to ask a candidate to answer a few written questions or do some sort of written exercise to test their competency in this area. How big this exercise is and whether it is paid or not is up to individual companies.
  • TALK ON THE PHONE. It might seem old fashioned, but having a simple phone call can be helpful in getting to know someone’s communication style.
  • TALK ASYNCHRONOUSLY. Chat back and forth via instant messaging to get a sense for how someone communicates asynchronously.
  • ASK YOUR TEAM FOR QUESTIONS. For questions to ask the interviewee, enlist the help of your team to come up with questions specific to your company and culture. But here are some examples:
    • What are your favourite tools?
    • What are your favourite and least favourite things about working remotely?
    • What do you do to address loneliness?
    • What annoys you most about working with other people?
    • What annoys other people most about working with you?
  • MORE RESOURCES: Read Karim’s wonderful virtual interview guide.

Podcast production by Podcast Monster

Graphic design by Alfred Boland


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More resources

What to Look For When Interviewing a Remote Worker

61 – Hire The Best For Your Remote Team

207 – Are You Ready To Go Remote?

114 – How To Find A Remote Job

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