Telecommuting situations also benefit your employees because
they’re often able to work a more flexible schedule so they can have a better
Hiring people to work from home might require a slightly
different process than hiring staff members who work in your office. Keep
reading to learn six tips for hiring talented and productive remote workers.
1. Look for qualities that make a successful remote worker
Someone who’s working from home will need to have certain
traits to ensure they’re a productive member of your team:
If someone telecommutes and doesn’t have these
characteristics, they might not be able to collaborate with their coworkers
effectively or get their work done efficiently. If they have these qualities,
however, they’ll be easier for you to manage.
You’ll likely want to post an ad to online job boards specifically geared toward work-from-home opportunities, like FlexJobs. If you choose to advertise the position to generic online job boards, make sure that you’re clearly stating that you’re hiring remote workers. This will help you attract people who want to work from home because, frankly, not everyone is cut out to telecommute.
Communication among you, your remote team, and their
coworkers is crucial for ensuring everyone is working efficiently. To get a
feel for how well potential new employees communicate, consider having multiple
rounds of interviews, each using a different communication method. For example,
your first interview round might be on the phone or through video conference,
but the second round might be entirely text-based. A text-based interview will
help you ensure that the worker has strong written communication skills and can
explain their ideas and problems adequately.
How the person communicates throughout the interview process
will probably be indicative of how they’ll communicate if they work for you. If
they take days to respond to your written interview questions, they probably
won’t respond quickly to work emails. Or if you have to ask the same question
repeatedly to get the information you need, they likely aren’t very detail-oriented.
Look for someone who responds quickly but thoroughly.
4. Ask questions to gauge their work ethic and motivation
Many of the things you ask during the interview process will
help determine if the worker is capable of working independently and how they’ll
react to deadlines. You’ll also be able to assess their real motivation for
wanting to work from home. This will weed out anyone who thinks working
remotely means they can slack off all day.
To help you gauge their worth ethic and motivation, consider
asking the following questions:
What tools and processes do you currently use to
manage projects – both personally and professionally?
How would you prioritize your work if your
manager suddenly wasn’t available for a few days?
What does your work environment look like?
When you do great work, how do you like to have
Why do you want a telecommuting position?
It’s vital to remember that the candidate’s specific answers
aren’t all that important. For example, by sharing their processes, you’ll be able
to glean whether they’ll set up a routine for themselves or if you would need
to hassle them to meet deadlines. When they talk about what their work
environment looks like, you’ll be able to see whether their neighbors, family,
or roommates would know that the person was at work or if they would be
distracted all day.
You’ll likely talk to potential workers’ references for
every job you post, but it’s probably even more important when hiring for a
telecommuting position. If the person has worked from home before, ask about
their communication style, ability to meet deadlines, and general processes. If
this would be their first remote position, ask about how well they work
independently and if the reference thinks the person would be productive
without direct supervision.
6. Give them a trial run
Depending on what you’re hiring for, you might be able to
hire someone as an independent contractor for a short time to see how they do.
You could hire them to do a real project for your company so they get the
chance to work with their potential coworkers and you can get a true sense of
their processes, productivity, and communication.