Utilizing remote workers can reduce operating costs, broaden talent pools, and increase productivity and employee satisfaction rates among other benefits. Touting all these outcomes is fine, but it isn’t very helpful to just tell someone how great something is without also describing how to begin. So, let’s go over how to find and evaluate good remote workers. If you need help hiring the awesome remote workers, using our free online recruitment systems can really help. Start your free trial of Recruiteze today.
Identifying a Good Remote Worker
Some of the qualities that make a good remote worker are the same as any in office worker, while some are unique. A business owner shouldn’t just slap the word remote on a job advertisement and expect the process to sort itself out. One needs to market to, source, and interview remote workers strategically.
Like all workers, remote workers will need to have a good work ethic, possess the job-based skills you need, be trustworthy, and fit the company culture. Unlike in office workers, it is also crucial for remote workers to be self-starters, have great organizational skills, communicate well in writing, be easily accessible, and work well when evaluated by performance and tasks rather than hours worked.
It is essential for remote workers to motivate themselves and structure their time. They’ll be working at home or in a public space where there is no manager representing the company, no time clock, and no other workers physically present to demand anything or see anything. The remote worker must get on their device and engage in the work in a timely manner all in their own planning. Not everyone can do that.
Typical remote working jobs require most, if not the entirety, of communications to be done in writing, if not the work itself. If the worker doesn’t communicate well via the written word, teamwork will be weak, directions and feedback will be difficult and slow, and the end result will probably suffer.
On a similar track, teamwork and project completion go best when all parties involved can be reached and respond quickly. When one party is waiting for someone else to be able to complete their task, the productivity of the whole company starts to slow.
It’s arguably not a good idea to keep judging in office workers’ performance by hourly work rather than goals reached, problems solved, and/or tasks completed, and that idea definitely needs to go when using remote workers. With remote work, results based standards make for a much easier and more rewarding experience for all. Remote workers can enjoy more of the good of being out of the office, because they are paid by work completed rather than time spent, and owners get a better sense of the value of their investment in their employees. The owner can’t see what the person’s doing, and they don’t need to. The person can work anywhere and any hours, if the work gets done. The owner usually gets more much productivity out of the worker because each task, each effort carries more value than just filling a minute in an hour. This means that the best remote workers are used to and/or will enjoy working in this format. Be sure to track your remote employee talent by using our free online recruitment systems. Keep reading to learn more about Recruiteze.
Marketing to Remote Workers
After deciding what type of candidate to look for, it’s necessary to attract that type of candidate. Owners looking for remote workers should use online, countrywide, and global avenues to put their brand in the sight of potential worthy candidates.
Put ads on a job board that targets remote workers, not just general job boards. Here is an article that has a list of the top job boards to hire remote workers.
It’s also a good idea to have a presence on websites and in communities where desired candidates are likely to already be on a regular basis, using certain forums, following certain social media accounts, talking about an issue in the industry, etc.
Look for communities where potential candidates gather to talk about their love of the industry or their problems with the status quo. Either method helps a company find and connect with candidates with passion.
Software developer Jeff Atwood described this well,
“If your startup is so small or pre-product market fit, you still have options. There are most certainly other communities out there that resemble what you hope to build, in terms of the type of people and how they communicate. Go after them. Make a compelling argument for how you’re working on something that will speak to them and how they have an opportunity to help you shape it. Somewhat counterintuitively, also try looking at communities that are passionately dissatisfied with the status quo in your field or industry. It might be harder to state your case, but if you reach out to the right people, you can explain that your product is the one they have been waiting for in the market. They will be immediately and urgently moved to help you make that product the best it can be.”
Blogging helps quality candidates find a company in searches, run into them while researching industry-related topics, and gives them valuable information about the company’s brand.
Josh Pigford shared,
“We write a ton on our blog. A lot of people know Baremetrics through the blog. That is a source of people knowing about Baremetrics and knowing about our job openings. So, it’s not like we’re a company that nobody knows about. When we try to find people to work for us, there are people who know about us. It’s a lot easier to find people that way.”
Sourcing Remote Workers
Source remote workers anywhere, all over the world, through online job boards, on social media, and in global communities. Use creative sourcing tips to locate candidates by keywords and images. Look for people in technical communities and discussions about remote work. Seek out parents. Many remote workers choose this type of work because of their families.
Revisit past employees. If an excellent employee struggled to maintain their in office schedule, preferred flexibility in their work environment, and/or was technologically savvy, they could quite likely be doing remote work now. Reach out to them.
A company should look at their current network, business partners, customers, and the like. There are probably quite a few people who are passionate about the company’s mission and have the ability to benefit the company who just need someone to reach out to them. It doesn’t always occur to someone that the maker of their favorite software might be hiring someone like them, just like it doesn’t occur to every company owner to look at their customers, but when those light bulbs do come on, great things happen. If you’re using online recruitment systems, keep track of your talent pool will be a lot easier.
Jeff Atwood said:
“Did a few of your users build an amazing mod for your game? Are there power users on your forum answering other people’s questions every day? Did an engineer find an obscure security vulnerability and warn you about it? These are the people you should be going out of your way to hire. To increase your chances, start grooming the emerging stars early with increased correspondence, special offers, and notoriety among their peers.”
Interviewing Remote Workers
Each communication is of vital importance. With in office workers, there is a great divide between the interview and work, with the information before the hire just giving the manager clues about the candidate. Well, with remote work, all those written, and phone conversations are just like the ones that will be had day in and day out and represent the documents, transactions, and possibly the work itself of the candidate after the hire. In fact, since the person should be particularly on their toes because they’re trying to make a good impression, these communications are probably better than their average.
Consider each application, email, chat, and call carefully. Are they mindful of spelling and grammatical errors? Is their speech clear and easily understood? Do they communicate in the language proficiency and style you need? How quickly do they respond? Their social media accounts also provide a glimpse of what the candidate is like when they aren’t applying for a job.
Video calls are quite popular ways to interview remote workers. Most remote workers would have the ability to do a video call, and their ability to do so may be critical to the work some companies ask of them. In the latter case, doing a video interview is an excellent way to prove the candidate has the means and communicates well in videos. Most importantly, video calls give both the candidate and the hirer the opportunity to better comprehend who they’re dealing with and determine if a long-term fit seems feasible. Company owners can really make the most of video calls by introducing candidates to other people they’ll be dealing with on a regular basis and acquainting them with the company culture.
Some companies schedule face-to-face meetings even for remote workers. They believe there is no real substitute for interacting on this level with potential employees, but this is not a common practice and may be impossible for some companies and their candidates.
Other companies focus less on interviewing at all and engage in trials. The most common method is to give candidates a single task from the company’s actual workload to perform before hiring. This might be a blog post, a customer complaint, a technical problem that needs solving, etc.
Jeff Atwood gave his recommendation for the practice,
“To date, I have never seen a candidate who passes the audition project fail to work out. I weigh performance on the audition project heavily; it’s as close as you can get to working the job without being hired. And if the audition project doesn’t work out, well, consider the cost of this little consulting gig a cheap exit fee compared to an extensive interview process with four or five other people at your company. “
Automattic tries promising candidates out as part of the team for “several weeks”.
“With an applicant-screening process that gives candidates genuine job responsibilities and relationships, we can hire smarter, retain strong employees longer, and reduce terminations and turnover. The key? Tryouts.
At Automattic we focus on what you create, not whether you live up to some ideal of the ‘good employee.’ We measure work according to outputs. I don’t care what hours you work. I don’t care if you sleep late or if you pick up a child at school in the afternoon. I don’t care if you spend the afternoon on the golf course and then work from 2 to 5 AM. What do you actually produce?
Candidates do real tasks alongside the people they would actually be working with if they had the job. They can work at night or on weekends, so they don’t have to leave their current jobs; most spend 10 to 20 hours a week working with Automattic, although that’s flexible. (Some people take a week’s vacation to focus on the tryout, which is another viable option.) The goal is not to have them finish a product or do a set amount of work; it’s to allow us to quickly and efficiently assess whether this would be a mutually beneficial relationship. They can size up Automattic while we evaluate them.
Originally, we tried to set hourly pay rates based on what they might earn if they were hired, but that became too complicated. We were almost negotiating what we would pay someone who hadn’t yet received an offer, which didn’t make any sense. To keep it simple, we decided to pay a standard $25 an hour, whether the candidate was hoping to be an engineer or the chief financial officer.
Tryouts aren’t like a bake-off; if we audition 10 people and they’re all strong, we may hire all of them. Applicants are competing against our standards of quality, not against one another.
During a tryout, we try to provide a lot of feedback. If we conclude that an applicant isn’t going to succeed, we call an end to the process as quickly as possible, out of respect for everyone’s time. Sometimes a candidate decides to end the trial. Even when we don’t ultimately offer someone a position, he has obtained valuable information about what we viewed as his strengths and weaknesses. If we see potential, we’ll encourage him to continue developing his skills and reapply. Repeat applicants tend to be strong, because they’ve taken the feedback to heart and worked to improve; we’ve hired many of them. ”