Hiring remote workers is rife with a number of unique challenges. From trying to weed out the unqualified candidates, to wanting to make sure they mesh well with your company’s culture, there’s only so much you can determine about them during your face-to-face interview. However, with more and more people working from home these days — and with telecommuting becoming not only more commonplace, but also the new norm — securing the right remote candidate is a specific challenge.
The fact is, there’s only so much you can do to protect yourself when hiring a remote worker. While you can certainly arrange an interview with your candidate through a video streaming platform, there are still other issues you must contend with. For instance, how can you really be confident that the person is who they say they are? Do they carry any baggage (whether personal or criminal) that might make them a liability to your company? Ultimately, hiring a new employee is a two-way street; not only do you want to make sure they’re a good fit for your company, but you also need to know if they’re simply going to walk out on you not long after you hire them.
Fortunately, doing your due diligence when hiring remote workers does not need to be some impossible task. With the advantage of technology on your side, and through some careful pruning out of unqualified candidates, you too can be confident that you have found the best remote employee for your job vacancy. By being extremely fastidious throughout the hiring process, and by following these four essential steps, you can be secure in the knowledge that you covered all of your bases before sending an employment contract over to your new remote worker.
Know Exactly Who You Want to Hire for Remote Work
When looking for and hiring a new remote worker, there are a few qualifications that you might be on the lookout for during the pre-screening phase. For instance, you want to make sure your potential candidate is a team player. They need to have the right skills and qualifications to do the job correctly. You certainly do not want to inadvertently hire anyone who may be a liability to your organization, either. However, when looking to hire a remote employee, there are a few other things you need to be mindful of before you offer them the job.
There are a few questions you should ask yourself (and possibly your candidate) before moving forward with an offer. For instance:
- Are they able to work independently?
- Do they seem motivated to stick around?
- How much training will they require?
- Are they a team player, and can they follow instructions?
- Does their requested compensation match their training?
- Does their personality mesh with yours?
While some of these questions may seem wholly redundant and even possibly unnecessary, they’ll still play a pivotal role in your hiring decision. Yes, an employee’s personality may seem less relevant if you’re not working side-by-side with them in the same building, but the last thing you want is a hostile or passive-aggressive email from them when they do not see eye-to-eye with you.
Check, and Double Check, Remote Workers’ References
These days, many people are choosing to eschew references from their resumes, and having good word-of-mouth seems to carry less weight in getting your foot in the door. In the past, it seemed more likely that getting hired was more about who you knew rather than what you knew. While this is a fairly antiquated concept, as hiring managers are now actively scouting out more diverse workforces and employees, there is still quite a bit of merit to not only requesting — but also following up on — employee references.
Checking a candidate’s references is more than just getting a strong recommendation from their previous employer or mentor. It’s also a way to verify that they didn’t misrepresent their qualifications. Yes, perhaps they did work with that Fortune 500 CEO back during their college internship, but was their internship also a positive experience for the CEO? Simply saying they worked with someone isn’t exactly a resounding endorsement, and by checking these references, you can eliminate potentially risky candidates.
Perform a Thorough Background Check
The value of a comprehensive background check cannot be overstated, especially when hiring remote workers. It is arguably one of the best ways you can help screen a candidate. Additionally, it’s also one of the best ways to verify that they are the ideal person for your position. Initiating a comprehensive background check reveals details that you might not have otherwise picked up on during an interview. You may not have picked up these details by following up with their references either. Overall, it can also give you more thorough information about the character of your candidate, too.
In the past, getting a background check on a candidate could be a laborious and time-intensive task. Aside from those things, it could also take weeks to complete. When hiring remote workers these days, securing a quick background check is quite simple and straightforward, and you can have the results you require in as little as just a few hours. A more advanced background check can yield the best results. However, even a basic background check can expose any possible mistruths in your candidate’s reported qualifications. It can also help to make sure they don’t have any unsavory secrets in their past. These could be things like a history of violent crimes or even charges of fraud. No doubt, it’s one of the most important steps you can take before hiring someone.
Watch for Glaring Red Flags (And Trust Your Gut Instinct!)
Finally, when hiring a potential remote worker, do not underestimate the power of your own instincts. Many of us can tell when something seems “off” about a person, whether they come across as too polished or slick during their interview, or something doesn’t seem quite right about their alleged work history. The candidate may even give off red flags (such as a history of job-hopping, or a tendency to blame others for their workplace failures), and it can be tempting to ignore them if everything else seems otherwise favorable.
It’s no secret that finding and hiring remote workers isn’t always going to be easy. In fact, it rarely will be a simple task. It is hard work to ensure that you have hired the best candidate for the position. But, it will be worth it in the end. To hire and train new employees may be expensive, but it would cost more to hire a bad fit. Carefully perform your due diligence and follow these four recommendations. Most importantly, do so before pulling the trigger on a remote candidate. You can help save yourself from the stress, anxiety, and even financial risks of hiring the wrong one.