As more and more businesses recognise the potential of remote working, an increasing amount of individuals are beginning to embrace its advantages with regard to efficiency, costs and the environment. This shift in attitude has certainly been to our benefit here at our remote recruitment service, as we have seen a surge in customers looking to expand their technical teams with remote workers. Despite some reluctance to accept this new way of working, it is clear that the advantages are becoming ever more apparent.
The increasing demand for remote workers has resulted in a vast array of advice being offered on how to identify and appoint the most suitable people for the job. Here at Works, we have been engaging in this practice for an extended period of time and, as such, we thought it would be a good idea to provide an update on whether our advice is still a reliable source.
Compatibility with the LocaleIt is essential that you have faith that the remote workers you employ share your company’s values. By accessing the best remote talent from every corner of the globe, you can cultivate a more diverse workforce. To ensure your remote team functions successfully, it is important that everyone is driven and passionate about the ethos your company stands for. This is a key factor often overlooked when setting up a remote team, but its importance should not be understated.
Focus on Outcomes, Not StepsWhilst this advice is not ideal, it is not what we would advise for remote employees. We consider it essential for them to be process-driven, but with their own process rather than the company’s. Nevertheless, managers of remote teams should concentrate on the end goal. They should trust their staff members to complete their tasks by the specified time frame, and not feel the need to control every step of the process. The exact methods used by your remote developer are secondary to the end product.
A Battery of Technical EvaluationsIt is our recommendation that you discontinue the practice of using a whiteboard test as part of your recruitment process for developers. In order to find the best candidate for your team, it is better to be looking for someone who can demonstrate their ability to contribute and collaborate with others, rather than someone who has merely memorised the job details. If you consult with any experienced programmer, they will confirm that it is entirely acceptable and indeed beneficial to look up solutions to problems online, as it can help to ensure high standards of quality.
It is essential to ascertain that the person in question possesses the necessary technical capabilities. To this end, it is prudent to conduct reference checks with their former colleagues in order to garner confirmation of this. Should it be necessary to undertake a technical evaluation, it is advisable to task one of your developers with creating a concise, stand-alone project to assess the individual’s competency.
Self-Reliant IndividualsWorking from home can be a challenge for those of us accustomed to the traditional office environment, as it requires a greater degree of self-discipline and motivation. The daily routine of preparing for work, commuting and arriving at the office, and then making a cup of coffee (not forgetting to make sure that Dave from testing hasn’t taken yours again!) can all be part of the ritual which helps to get us into the right frame of mind to be productive.
It is essential for employees who work remotely to develop their own morning routine that helps them to focus on their tasks for the day. This can be made easier by having a dedicated workspace at home, but it is still important that employers ask potential employees about the methods they use to transition into ‘work mode’ when working from home. It is essential that people set up clear boundaries between their personal and professional lives to prevent issues arising in the future.
Always on TimeIt is possible that this could be of relevance to you, depending on the nature of the tasks you are responsible for. If you are offering a satisfactory working experience to your remote employees, it may not be necessary to impose a set of office hours. If they are achieving the goals they have been set, they may work the hours they feel best suited them. However, if you have decided that there should be specific office hours, you need to make sure that everyone in the team is available at the same time each day. For most jobs that can be done from home, punctuality is not of the utmost importance, unless there is an online meeting, for example.
Effective SpeakersRemote employees have an absolute necessity to possess outstanding communication skills. They should be adept at expressing themselves accurately in both virtual and face-to-face meetings, as well as in written form through emails, instant messaging, and help desk enquiries.
Maintaining open lines of communication is essential for successful remote teams. Not only is it important to ensure that communication is of high quality, but that it is also maintained in sufficient quantities. During interviews with potential candidates, it is important to assess their experience of building strong relationships and resolving conflicts, particularly in light of geographical and interpersonal divides. This will ensure that the team is able to maintain personal as well as professional connections.
Problem-TakersAs a remote developer, you must have the capacity to naturally discover solutions to problems. To excel in this role, you should have an affinity for methodically resolving issues. You must be resourceful and imaginative to succeed in this role, particularly if you are in a different time zone to your team members. It is essential that you are able to think independently and provide guidance when needed, so that your colleagues do not have to spend their entire shift trying to decipher how to do something that they should already know how to do.
Enquiring of a prospective employee what strategies they might use should they encounter an obstacle in the workplace is a more effective method of assessing their capacity for problem-solving than requesting them to explain how they would tackle an imaginary problem.
Astoundingly Remote-ReadyDespite the fact that more than 80% of working-age Americans would like the option to work remotely, at least occasionally, this is not the right choice for everyone. Those who are extroverts, who usually thrive in sociable settings, may find it difficult to adjust to a solitary way of life. Nevertheless, this issue can be addressed through the use of coworking spaces. However, the issue of being alone is not the only factor. Not everyone has the necessary skills for remote work. Therefore, hiring someone who has prior experience in this area is a great way to guarantee that they will be productive, even though they are not physically present in the office.
Having Faith in One AnotherIt is certainly an interesting concept that when hiring remote workers, complete faith must be placed in them to carry out the necessary tasks. This dilemma should be weighed carefully when considering remote hiring as, without physical supervision, it can be difficult to ensure that instructions are being followed. Instead, it is essential to focus on the results of the work, rather than attempting to maintain control of the entire process. Ultimately, it matters little where a remote developer is located or what they are doing, as long as they are able to solve the problem and provide the required deliverables.
A Social LifeIt is all too easy for remote employees to become overwhelmed by their workload. When there are no clear boundaries between work and personal time, it is easy to slip into a habit of working excessively early in the morning, late into the evening, and even on weekends. This can be avoided by having a variety of activities beyond work that require leaving the home – this way, the risk of becoming overloaded with work-related tasks and burning out can be greatly reduced. Furthermore, if you are considering hiring a worker who currently operates within an office and wishes to switch to a remote role, it is advisable to consider the kind of entertainment they will have access to in their spare time. If their primary interests revolve around their work, it may be wise to raise a red flag and investigate further.
Worked Well with OthersIt may seem counterintuitive to describe a remote worker as being team-oriented, yet it is essential for them to feel as if they are part of something bigger than themselves. Establishing a unified identity among your distributed workforce is paramount to keep the team cohesive and connected. Having remote workers who are enthusiastic and capable of engaging with the rest of the team is an invaluable asset, as we have previously noted.
Is it a lot to you?
Indeed, we understand that those who have not previously hired remotely may be apprehensive about their ability to assess a candidate without an in-person meeting. Fortunately, we are here to help. We are confident that we can source candidates who meet your technical and cultural requirements and are comfortable with remote working in a matter of two weeks. Would this be acceptable to you? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.