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Finding the Best Talent When Hiring for Remote Work

Major employers like Google and Apple are demanding workers return to the office following a move to remote work during the pandemic. Employees, however, are looking for more flexibility and a better work-life balance that hybrid or remote work can offer.

Remote or hybrid work can be beneficial to employers, too. Finding top talent is no longer restricted to a relatively small geographical area. This is especially helpful when housing costs and long commute times can limit the field of qualified applicants.

But hiring for remote work is more than finding candidates that know how to use Zoom (or Slack or your preferred technology). The first step is to create clear expectations of the work and how it should be completed. The plan should include:

  • Technology and systems: Will you use Zoom or Teams for virtual meetings? What will you use for project management? How will the team collaborate and communicate with each other – Slack, emails, texts, shared Google docs, Dropbox, or something else? How will you ensure data security?
  • Schedule: Will work be done during set hours or does the employee have flexibility with their schedule? How will time be tracked?
  • Performance expectations: Establish guidelines to track and measure productivity to keep everyone working toward the same goal.

For more information about creating a remote work plan, check out this article from Indeed:

Once you know what your expectations are when hiring for remote work, it is time to find the best candidate. The ideal candidate will be able to communicate effectively, is self-motivated, able to manage their time wisely, work independently, and be comfortable with technology. Look for candidates with experience working remotely or independently and demonstrated technology skills.

Once you have narrowed down the field, the video interview is a great opportunity to get to know the candidates and see how they present on screen. Often, there isn’t time to ease into the conversation as there would be walking from a reception area to a conference room during an in-person interview. Is the candidate able to build up a rapport with the interviewer? Are they professionally attired, confident with a strong voice, and make eye contact? Do they seem at ease with the technology? For example, they logged in on time and without difficulty, are not too close to or too far from the screen, and the background is not distracting. Do they communicate well?

Here are a few questions to ask during the interview:

  • How do you manage your time when working remotely? Do you have established routines to or tools to help keep you on track?
  • Do you prefer to be self-directed or receive regular feedback from your supervisor?
  • When collaborating with others remotely, how do you handle conflicts?
  • How have you built connections with colleagues or clients while working remotely?

Hiring for remote work

Think you have the best person for the job? As with any job, you will want to conduct thorough background checks. Be sure to ask references about the candidate’s experience working remotely, too.

You may even want to consider a trial period when hiring for remote work. This will allow you to gauge whether the candidate is successful at handling the workload and if they are a good fit with company culture.

TriStarr can help

Since 1989, TriStarr has been connecting good people with top employers in southcentral Pennsylvania. We have experience screening candidates to find the best fit whether you are hiring for remote work or in person. Based in Lancaster, PA, TriStarr is a full-service staffing, recruiting, and HR consulting agency. Our services include temp, temp-to-hire, permanent staffing, and supplemental HR services. Contact our team of hiring experts  online or call 717-560-2111 to learn more.

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