A Guide to Hiring the Best Remote Workers
Remote work existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic certainly made remote work more commonplace and widespread across industries of many sorts. Even with offices reopening, many companies are maintaining remote or hybrid work environments – and more employees want to work remotely than ever before.
Wherever your company falls on the remote work spectrum – some are permanently, fully remote, while others are still deciding when and how to bring workers back on-site – one thing is for sure: Remote work isn’t going away any time soon. And that means when it comes to hiring, your company can benefit from focusing on bringing on remote workers. But doing so is a different animal than hiring on-site employees from your local area.
What are the benefits of hiring remote workers? How can companies go about hiring remote employees effectively? And what should hiring managers be looking for in candidates in order to source and hire top remote employees? Read on to learn more about how your company can hire top workers in the new age of remote employment.
What are the Benefits of Hiring Remote Workers?
There is a multitude of benefits to hiring remote workers. And employers are in a unique position to take advantage of these benefits, especially since remote work is here to stay.
Some of the great benefits of hiring remote workers include:
Expanding Candidate Pool
Hiring only from a set physical region limits your candidate pool to people who are in that region, or are able to travel there. But when you hire remote, you’re opening yourself up to a wide talent pool – a global one, in some cases. You can hire someone from anywhere in the world as long as they have the necessary skills and technology. Plus, more and more employees desire remote work, so you’re making yourself competitive in today’s new normal.
Remote Workers are More Productive
When remote work was first becoming popular (and again when the pandemic thrust it into the spotlight) many employers worried about remote workers not pulling their weight. Those fears turned out to be unfounded. The truth is that remote workers are usually more productive than their on-site counterparts. Studies from Global Workplace Analytics and TINYpulse (just to name a few) confirm this.
Why is it that remote employees are more productive? For one, they’re less distracted. At home, employees can focus on work without the distractions of office communications or colleagues dropping by the desk. Plus, remote work allows employees to take control of their own schedule and work when they’re best. Morning people can get work done in the morning, for example, while night owls can stay up later to do their best work.
Research from Global Workplace Analytics shows us that 95% of companies report that remote work has had a positive effect on employee retention. And there’s no wonder why: Employees want flexibility and autonomy. When your company offers remote work as a consistent option, it doesn’t just attract the best employees out there. It helps keep them around.
Another reason that remote work options increase retention is that remote work can offer a better work-life balance for employees. This is especially true for employees with young children who need childcare, or any employee with additional obligations outside of work. The ability to work remotely gives these individuals the chance to take care of their obligations without sacrificing the quality of work, ultimately making your company a desirable place to work for their lifestyle.
Eliminating Commuting Expenses for Employees
No one wants a long commute to a stuffy office. Employees want a minimal or non-existent commute if they can help it, and remote work provides that. Employees are able to save significantly on expenses like gas and food when they don’t have to commute every day. And it’s better for the environment. Research shows that if employees with jobs able to be performed remotely worked remotely even half the time, it would save 199 billion miles of highway driving and about $20 million in gas.
How to Hire Top Remote Employees
Clearly, hiring remote employees has many benefits for the employer. So, how do you go about doing it? Hiring for remote positions is quite different than the traditional method of finding a candidate, bringing them in for multiple rounds of interviews, and deciding whether to hire them.
Here are three best-practice recommendations for hiring the best remote employees:
Advertise Jobs on Remote Focused Job Boards
What job boards are you using to promote your open roles? The major job boards like Indeed and Monster are fine, but they’re not necessarily remote-focused. Sites like FlexJobs are made specifically for employees interested in finding remote work, and for employers looking for remote employees. If you’re not already, you might want to consider posting your job openings on remote-focused boards. Not only will you expand your candidate reach even further, you’ll be specifically targeting candidates who want remote work and are experienced working remotely.
One thing that hasn’t changed from the days of hiring for traditional on-site roles is the need for checking references. Employers should still check references whenever they’re provided, and it’s even more crucial when hiring remote employees. Since you won’t likely meet the remote employee face-to-face during the interview process, all you have to go on is video calls and what’s on paper. Checking with references to learn more about the employee’s background, work ethic, and ability to work as a team player.
Partner with a Remote-Friendly Recruiter
When you partner with a specialized remote staffing agency, you’re setting yourself up for success. Recruiters know what remote workers are looking for out of their employers, and they work closely with your company to learn what your needs are. That lets them match the right employees with the employers who need them – it’s that simple.
What Traits Do You Look For When Hiring Remote Workers
When you’re screening candidates for remote jobs, there are certain traits you ought to look for. After all, working remotely is rather different than working under close supervision on-site, so you want to make sure you’re making the right hire choice.
Ability to Work Independently
It stands to reason that an employee who will be working remotely needs to have the ability to think independently and without constant supervision. In your interviews, ask about an employee’s previous remote experience or if they’ve worked on projects that required strong self-management skills. Their answers will tell you a lot about how they’ll handle working independently, whether they’ve had remote positions before or not.
Remote workers need to be fairly tech-savvy – in a way, they are their own IT departments and troubleshooters. Be sure your remote candidates are comfortable with a variety of digital workflow platforms, online communication tools, and any proprietary tech tools that your company uses. The learning curve can sometimes take a little longer in a remote setting while remote employees are getting up to speed on the tech, so having a leg up initially is a great idea.
You want any candidate you hire to be well-organized and detail-oriented. But it’s especially important when you’re hiring remote employees. While the right technology, apps, and frequent communication can do their part to keep employees organized while remote, it’s ultimately up to them. Make sure to ask your remote hires about their time management skills and what kind of organizational tools they use to keep themselves on track.
Find Your Remote Staffing Solutions With Workway Today
Is your organization looking for remote talent solutions? A remote staffing agency can help. Workway specializes in title, escrow, mortgage, and foreclosure, and we can help your company find the remote employees it’s searching for. With offices from coast to coast, from California to Florida, we source the candidates you need regardless of location.
Contact a remote job recruiter on the Workway team today to learn more about what we can offer your company. We look forward to helping you find the staffing solutions you need.