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Perfect the Art of Hiring Remote Employees: 5 Traits to Look For

by Danielle Foster

As we enter 2020, the idea of remote flexibility is increasingly popular among candidates and employees. In the modern workforce, many companies are implementing regular remote work policies. A survey by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs found that remote work has grown 91% over the last 10 years.

If you currently allow or are considering allowing remote work in any capacity at your company, it’s time to learn how to screen candidates and look for specific characteristics that indicate their ability to work successfully without in-person supervision. We’ve put together a few key traits to look for when building a remote team.

  1. Communication Skills

Good communication is at the foundation of any successful team. It’s especially critical when part or all of the team is physically remote. You’ll want to hire team members who are not only skilled in communicating but also highly responsive. If there are specific tools you plan on using for communicating such as Slack or Trello, discuss software like this in the initial interview, and in the hiring process make sure that candidates meet communication requirements.

  1. Punctuality and Responsiveness

Due to the start-and-stop nature of remote work, punctuality for meetings and deadlines becomes even more important. The best remote employees over-communicate and are always aware of how their work fits in with other team members’ workflow.

  1. Organization Skills

Remote employees MUST be highly organized. Flexibility is intimately tied to working remotely, and both managers and employees want the flexibility that working off-site offers. However, the only way this works is to require that the remote employee be able to prioritize and manage time to meet deadlines. After all, the last thing a CEO wants is an 11th hour email from someone saying they can’t meet an important deadline.

  1. Technical Skills

Here, we are referring not just to job-specific skills, but also to general tech savviness. The nature of remote work — especially communicating remotely — demands a certain level of familiarity with technology.

  1. Self-Starters

We’ve saved the best for last. This is probably THE most important trait for remote workers because they don’t have a supervisor nearby to make sure they stay on task and remain motivated. Always be on the lookout for candidates who already have remote work experience. These are the people who know what to expect. Plus, they can often provide new ideas and feedback as to how to make remote work more effective, efficient and rewarding for all concerned.

Want to make sure you set up the best telecommuting program for your company and its employees? Check out our article for tips on getting started.