If you’ve ever gone through the process of hiring a new team member, you know it can be one of the hardest things you have to do in business. How do you know if someone is the right person? How can you make sure you have the best remote employees on your team?
While there is no one equation to find the perfect fit for an open position (and one might even argue that there is no such thing as a perfect fit) there are some attributes that make an individual a good fit for a remote position. Here are just some adjectives that describe ideal remote employees.
Traits of the Best Remote Employees
Since remote workers often have to do a lot of digging to get a solid understanding of work structure and expectations, curiosity is a key trait to look for. Does the candidate ask questions? How do they solve problems? Are they invested in their own learning and growth? What are they learning right now, or plan to learn in the near future?
Communication is the number one struggle for many remote organizations: it is a constant struggle to make sure that everyone is on the same page all of the time. For that reason, it’s helpful if each remote team member is extremely communicative. This means they communicate through the proper channels without prompting. Think of the candidates that you’re considering: how have they communicated with your team so far? What is their communication style?
Self-motivated workers are more likely to be successful in remote teams. This is because they don’t need the formal structure of an office environment or other external motivators to do their work.
A remote employee needs to be able to focus despite many distractions—whether they’re work distractions or personal distractions that come with working from home.
While many remote positions have responsibilities you can perform on your own, the best remote team members are able to collaborate even at a distance. The best remote employees know how to be part of a team and they offer to help before being asked.
Remote employees need to manage their time and resources well. The best remote employees utilize superior organization skills like planning, documenting, goal setting, and managing schedules to stay on top of their work—and help others keep on top of theirs.
The best remote employees are ones that you can trust to follow through. And they don’t just get things done—they get things done on time and without excessive reminders.
Remote employees sometimes have to change course on very short notice. They might have to change where they normally work due to a schedule change, or they may have to adjust their daily tasks to allow for project changes. A remote workday can present any number of challenges, and the best remote employees are able to juggle those obstacles and still do their work.
How Can You Tell?
First, you should narrow down your candidate pool by writing a job description that’s accurate, unique, and will attract the right candidates.
Second, ask the right questions. Interviews are the perfect time to learn more about how a candidate might fit (or not fit) in your organization.
Third, call references. Find out about the candidate’s work ethic, communication style, and general attitude towards their work.