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A guide to hiring better remote engineers

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A guide to hiring better remote engineers

10 Oct 2020

5 tips on hiring remote staff

Remote working is one of the trends that is shaping the labor landscape. Companies are increasingly adopting a remote approach to their business, letting their employees work from home. Employees, on the other hand, are strategizing ways to work from home, land mobile gigs, and stay focused in the home office.

1. Fine-tune your hiring process

Hiring for a remote team essentially means hiring for a certain set of skills needed to excel at remote working. On paper, your top three job candidates appear impeccable. They have the education, skills, and know-how to do the job. But are they good remote workers? Unless your applicants have telecommuted in the past, those qualifications might not cut it in the remote work world. Instead, look for soft skills (i.e., time management, tech-savvy, and a strong communicator) that are absolutely necessary in order to work remotely. If your candidates don’t have those skills, you might be taking a big chance on hiring them for a remote job.

2. Know where to look.

Because so many candidates are actively looking for remote work opportunities already, they know their “top go-to places”. And these don’t include traditional job boards like LinkedIn.

So, if you post your remote jobs on these, you might miss out on a large group of actively searching candidates who want to work remotely. Instead of posting and promoting your jobs on these channels, try job boards that are popular with remote workers like;

- WeWorkRemotely.com requires a $200 posting fee but features jobs that are 100% remote. Most of the jobs are for programmers, designers, and customer service.

-ProBlogger is for writing positions only. You can find great content writers, blog writers, and other qualified remote applicants to create a copy.

-FlexJobs provides listings for part-time, contract, and freelance work.

-WorkingNomads services remote workers who have capitulated to wanderlust, but still need an income. You’re likely to find highly-qualified workers, even if they are working from a South Pacific beachside cabana.

-SkiptheDrive.com allows you to list a wide variety of jobs in virtually any industry. Everything must be remote.

3. Host a video interview

Since they’ll be working remotely, getting a feel for the candidate’s personality is more important than ever. Use Skype, Zoom, Google Video, or another tool to set up a video candidate with the interview. By meeting over the video, you’ll get a sense of how the candidate communicates and whether they’d make a good cultural fit with the team.

Plus, your hiring process will feel more legitimate in the eyes of the job seeker. If you hire someone based off solely on an email exchange, that person might be wary your job offer is actually a scam.

4. Ask the right questions

If you’ve hired in-house candidates before, you probably have a ready list of job interview questions about their strengths, weaknesses, and past behaviors. But when it comes to hiring remote employees, make sure to tweak the questions to reflect this work arrangement.

Here are some sample interview questions that could be useful:

- How do you schedule your day?

- How do you switch off from work?

- What are your favorite time management tools?

-How do you stay motivated during the day?

- What would you do if you have an urgent question but the team is offline?

- Have you worked remotely previously? If so, what were your biggest challenges? How did you overcome them?

- Carefully select your interview questions to ensure the candidate understands the benefits and challenges of a remote role.

5. Put them on probation.

Ideally, you would want to hire a job candidate and have them start working right away. Sometimes a better option, though, might be to put your new hire on probation for the first couple of weeks, at least. This isn’t meant to make your employee feel bad, but rather to protect both of you from a potentially bad situation down the road. Let’s say that your new hire finds that the job is too challenging for them, or remote work just isn’t working for them. And if your remote team has trouble connecting with them (as a team member and as a person), having a probationary period can be a kinder way to mutually agree that it didn’t work out, and part ways professionally and amicably.

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