The pandemic created all kinds of changes in how we work. The biggest was the trend that kept people home. By December 2020, more than 40% of the American workforce remained at home. A recent Gartner survey showed 80% of employers say they’re planning on keeping their employees remote after COVID quarantining is over. This creates some challenges for recruiting and hiring teams who now have to screen candidates for their ability to work remotely, many times without ever meeting them in person. What are the best questions to ask to ensure that your remote hire will be successful long after COVID is like a bad dream?

Ask These Questions When Hiring Remote Workers

Before conducting interviews, do a little soul searching; Is your business set up to fully support a remote workforce? This doesn’t mean just finding the right software, such as a smart applicant tracking system like Exelare, but also setting appropriate expectations with your remote teams. 

Remote teams sometimes struggle to set boundaries between work and home, since physically there are no boundaries. You can help by establishing expectations with managers about when the job should end. Is it okay for employees to not respond to Slack after 5 pm? What about the weekends? What metrics matter for remote teams? How will job descriptions change when the worker is off-site?  Asking these questions should be the precursor to hiring strong remote teams. 

Once you’re in the thick of interviewing, ask potential remote candidates these questions to determine their fit for your business:

  1. What characteristics do you feel you have that would translate well to a remote position?
    You’re looking for skills like the ability to work autonomously. The worker should also like working on their own, as well. Look for great organizational skills and initiative. They should be clear communicators who are fairly tech-savvy. Finally, are they good at asking for help? If they’re remote, this is a necessity.
  2. Have you ever worked in a remote position in the past? If so, what were your challenges?
    The truth is that everyone wants to work remotely but it takes a certain set of skills to do it well. If the candidate has worked remotely in the past, that means they probably: a) Like it, and b) Are good at it. The best remote workers function highly without office distractions, including managers hovering over their shoulders, and they don’t have problems meeting goals and maintaining focus.
  3. Give me an example of how you properly managed time when working remotely or with little supervision?
    Time management can be one of the biggest challenges for remote workers. How are they able to get everything done in a home environment? How do they separate life chores from work tasks? Do they use tools to stay organized? What distractions could keep them from accomplishing their goals?
  4. What is your preferred method of communication?
    Look for candidates that indicate they use different forms of communication to solve different types of problems. An emotionally mature candidate should know that a Slack message with bad news or a complicated message may be misconstrued; sometimes a Zoom or phone call is better.

At Exelare, we know that hiring is hard. That’s why we built our great applicant tracking system (ATS) to help you effectively manage your candidate funnel. Talk to us today about how we can help you find the right remote employees to help your business.