6 tips for hiring remote workers
This is the third article in this month’s series on improving your recruitment strategy in Q1. More articles will be published throughout the month, and the full series can be found at monarchpersonnel.com.
When you think of remote working do you think of Cabbage Patch Dolls, Fitbits and Harry Potter? No? Just us then! Let us explain. The popularity of these phenomena was/is stratospheric. Remote working is your Cabbage Patch Doll of 2022. It will continue to have a significant impact on the recruitment market; remote working jobs will be flying off the proverbial shelves. ‘Wingardium Leviosa!’
Is hiring remote workers part of your recruitment strategy? On the surface it may seem there is little difference between hiring remote or office-based staff, but the focus does need to shift to hire remote workers successfully.
At Monarch Personnel we advocate hiring on mindset. This is particularly important for recruiting remote workers. What strategies should you put in place for hiring workers based outside of the office?
Define very clear expectations
Candidates for remote working need to be told what is expected of them. This should cover the following areas:
- Communication – communication channels, meeting arrangements, contact availability, emergency contact procedure, sharing of updates and information
- Working hours – when they are expected to work, whether hours are to be logged, break times, colleague cover, time zone challenges
- Standards and outcomes – performance standards, team milestones and deliverables, expected output and results, timescales
- Targets – metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), dates and expectations for appraisals, incentives
Make sure your candidate is tech savvy
Not only does your candidate need to be able to log in, use shared folders, understand remote connectivity and use your company’s software, they also need to have enough tech experience to solve any basic issues without bursting into tears!
When working remotely there is no onsite IT backup to solve technical issues. You need to be confident that the candidate will be able to tackle basic problems and discuss technical matters with a remote IT team if necessary to resolve any issues.
There needs to be a clear communication strategy in place to support remote workers. This includes regular team meetings and one-to-one conversations which can be done in-person or remotely using conferencing software such as MS Teams or Zoom.
More importantly you must be diligent in making sure these meetings take place within specific timescales otherwise your remote worker will not feel supported. Ask them how regularly they would like to have these meetings and begin working on a schedule from there.
To avoid your remote worker feeling isolated, set up group projects that encourage communication and collaboration. This will make them feel part of the team which is hugely important, and also facilitate the opportunity for group innovation and problem solving.
Office-based staff will benefit from this too. It’s much easier to work and communicate with someone whose personality, skills and work style is known to you.
Remote workers should be problem solvers
During the recruitment selection process, find out if your potential remote workers are problem solvers. They need to be! Just as with tech issues, a remote worker will not have a support team on hand to help them with their work. They need to be able to understand challenges and methodically work out how to overcome them on their own.
Unlike the office environment, asking questions out loud when there is no-one else in the room will not help a remote worker – unless they have very intelligent pets who don’t mind having their afternoon nap interrupted!
Look for initiative when recruiting remote workers
Candidates oozing with initiative are ideal remote workers. They need to be able to think outside the box when necessary and have the capacity to come up with improved ways of working that lead to greater efficiencies.
It’s very time-consuming for management to be dealing with questions from a remote worker that they could answer themselves.
Look out for the next article
The fourth article in our February series will be published next Wednesday, February 23rd in which we will share some topics to cover in a training programme.
In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about Monarch Personnel, you can read our latest articles by signing up for our newsletter. You can also follow us on our social media channels: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, or visit our website www.monarchpersonnel.com.