In the past year that the world has adapted to the changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have found their rhythm in working remotely. Some teams have even gone completely remote, discovering that they are capable of accomplishing tasks and collaborating from the safety of their homes.
As more vaccinations occur and new variants of the virus show up, you may have decided to maintain the remote setup of your team rather than returning to the workplace. However, the need to hire new employees will occur. You will need to be equipped to assess candidates remotely.
As you go through the processes involved in building your remote team, there are important soft skills to look for when taking in remote workers. Hiring people with these capabilities will make or break your remote team.
Six Qualities to Look for in Your Remote Employees
Your potential hires should not be chosen solely based on their professional qualifications, although these are also important. Remote employees should possess certain qualities that will make them a valuable addition to your team.
1. Great Sense of Accountability
Firstly you need to ensure that the candidate you are considering is reliable in delivering daily tasks and trustworthy in handling the information they encounter. While examining this may be difficult in the online interview process, there are platforms that allow you to give a candidate an integrity test for employment. Take advantage of these to accurately assess potential hires.
They should also be conscious of how their ability to accomplish their work affects the whole team’s progress. A careless team member costs the team and the company precious time and resources to finish a project. Keep this in mind in your interviews and probation period.
2. Ability to Work Independently
Teamwork is a must for any group of remote workers. In addition to this, however, team members must also be able to accomplish their deliverables with little supervision, especially in a fully remote work environment. Employees who need to be spoon-fed every step of the way only slow everyone down.
Choose candidates who are able to do their own research in doing projects. This is also one of the reasons why it is often good to hire a person who has reasonable experience in the field they are applying for, as they will not be starting from scratch.
3. Good Teamwork and Communication Skills
One setback fully remote teams experience is the lack of personal interactions that help break the ice and foster a sense of community among teammates. It is important, then, that remote hires are capable of collaborating with others, even in an independent setting.
See how candidates respond to questions and inquiries in the recruitment process. Are they polite? Do they communicate their thoughts well? Do they make negative comments about others? These aspects give you a glimpse into how they will interact with other employees should they be hired.
4. Attention to Detail
With no supervisor or boss to pay workers’ cubicles a surprise visit and ask about progress, it is easy to pass half-hearted output while working. You can immediately assess a candidate’s attention to detail from their resumé and their submissions for any tests they are made to take.
Also, it helps to have team members who can make effective suggestions during meetings. These employees are able to carefully listen and observe during a discussion before giving their thoughts. By asking situational questions during your interviews, you are able to understand these abilities (or lack thereof) better in candidates.
5. Well-versed in Digital Tools
Remote teams inevitably have to rely on various technologies to perform their tasks. From video conferencing and live streaming tools to project management software, proficiency in the technology they need in their particular role is necessary to keep in step with the team.
Additionally, the ability to efficiently use technology for work is also a means of keeping confidential information safe. When an employee knows how to navigate digital platforms, they are able to prevent costly mistakes.
6. Sense of Initiative
In relation to being an independent worker is having the sense to accomplish certain tasks without being made to do so. These employees are able to recognize things that need to be fixed or carried out without explicit instructions. Employees like this are an asset as they are active participants that also help the organization evolve as they learn.
Employees with initiative have the proper mindset, and that is the good of the whole team. In searching for suitable remote workers, find ones who have the six given traits, combined with a sincere desire to grow with the team.