The same person can be an excellent office employee, but completely ineffective at remote work. An HR specialist should keep this in mind and not lose sight of simple but important little things. We put them together in the form of a short guide - from the necessary soft skills and their assessment to the geography of search and motivation.
Soft-skills effective remote manager
Unfortunately, not everyone copes with work outside the office - someone does not meet deadlines, someone has difficulty communicating with the rest of the team, and someone just starts to be lazy. Before hiring remote workers, an HR specialist needs to deal with skills and abilities, without which there is simply no way in such a situation.
Of course, no one has canceled professional qualities. But such things should go to the load:
Initiative and a tendency to action: such employees, even if they are not given a specific assignment, will always understand the situation and find for themselves a meaningful task - finally disassemble work mail or write a plan for the next six months of work.
Ability to prioritize: sometimes important tasks may not be completely clear when working remotely, especially if this is just the start of a project. A person who can focus on the right aspects and knows how to ignore the less effective will always succeed.
Clarity of thinking and writing skills: most of the communication in remote teams occurs via e-mail, group chat - Slack, Telegram or other platforms - or in personal correspondence. If the candidate cannot set tasks and report on their implementation, discuss the project and agree in writing, this will introduce confusion and confusion at all stages. Communication tact is also important.
Reliability: you need an employee who you can rely on. If he/she is not, the inability to control and face-to-face meetings will lead the management and colleagues to unpleasant anxiety - what if he/she forgot about the important meeting or did not fulfill the assignment?
Availability of a support system: if the only support system that a candidate has is his work, then the remote format is likely to drive him crazy. The applicant must have people with whom he can regularly interact - family, friends, acquaintances.
Remember this list: combining it with the necessary professional skills, you will get a portrait of your candidate.
Where and how to search
Search sites generally do not differ. It is important to understand the differences between remote employees and freelancers. If the latter perform local tasks for piece-rate pay, the former is part of the company, it is simply more convenient for them to work outside the office.
To search for freelancers, there are several special sites, but the usual channels will help with remote managers: job sites, posts on social networks, networking, posting vacancies on a blog or company website, etc.
So the question is not where to look, but how. In some areas, such as IT, for example, regular ads like: looking for a talented developer just don't work anymore. Therefore, you will have to think about creative search formats and upgrade your copywriting skills. Often, remote employees need even more motivation, because you can't buy them with cookies in the office or with a gym. A stronger reason is needed - a real interest in the project and the company. Here the task of the HR specialist is to best present and sell the work.
A fragment of the job description of a remote developer at IT-Agency - in this agency, all but managers work remotely or in Bangkok office. The project team is passionate about work and, despite the distance format, colleagues remember to get out to live meetings to chat? Write about it. The company has an important mission and strong results - do not forget to mention. Is there a career opportunity? Cool too! It is very important to collect all the best that can be told about the position.
Pay special attention to the geography of the search. Sometimes it doesn't matter at what point in the world an employee is working from. But some positions suggest flies or other face-to-face meetings from time to time.
Even if appointments are not needed, consider time zones. A working time out of sync of more than 4 hours can disrupt the team's overall pace and lead to delays in work. This is decided by the organization of processes and agreements - and if you find the ideal candidate, but he is already very far away, talk with the employer. There are cases how they solved this problem.
- The biggest time gap is +7 from Bangkok. This is not a problem for the meetings in Bangkok 11, and then the cases are decided by agreements. If you need to get an answer right after a minute, then something is wrong with the processes, you need to rebuild them. We have no situations where it is necessary to solve the working moment here and now. If this is force majeure, then he is not tied to time zones in any way, it can still happen in the middle of the night.
How to test skills
You wrote a great text, chose a site and began to receive feedback. People who were interesting to you were selected, and here the question arises: how to check them for compliance with the necessary soft skills?
- On the experience: how long has the applicant been working in this format or is he just switching to a remote site? This is important because in this way you minimize risks. An experienced remote manager will be easier to integrate into the team.
- On the advantages and difficulties of the remote work format: what is easy and what is difficult, how the candidate copes with difficulties.
- About the daily routine and how a person organizes his workspace. Can he work and relax in one place or is it important for him to separate these zones? So you learn a lot about the self-organization of a potential employee. And those who can not make a clear separation between work and leisure, as a rule, burn out faster.
- How does a person evaluate the results of his day: does he have clear KPIs or a short and long-term planning system? A significant point, because for remote employees it does not matter whether they like to sit on social networks and whether they come to the office at 9. The only measure is the work done. And it's good if a person sees a real level of their effectiveness.
Offer a case and request a portfolio
A good solution is to test skills and approaches by analyzing the case: how the candidate will act in a particular situation, establish communication and resolve conflicts, prioritize tasks, etc.
All this will tell about the candidate more than the dry information from the resume. If your employment requires a portfolio, ask for one too. For copywriters, designers, and IT professionals, you can't do without it at all.
Conduct a Skype interview with the candidate and customer
Another idea is to involve other team members to independently evaluate the candidate. For example, you can arrange a collective Skype interview. Be sure to use the camera: this will make the situation more informal, help establish contact and simplify the final choice - everyone will get to know each other for real.
Chat in writing
We wrote above that text skills, especially correspondence, are very important. Set aside part of the communication with the candidate in this format: how quickly a person answers letters, how concise is he, is he polite enough? Most of the remote work takes place in writing, and these aspects are worth paying attention to.
Although it seems that when working remotely, many personal aspects go by the wayside, this is far from the case. Sometimes those minor misunderstandings that would be instantly resolved personally, in correspondence develop into real conflict and hostility. This will happen, nothing can be done. But try to minimize this by choosing friendly and optimistic people.
We hope our tips will help you close applications for a remote team. If you have any questions - write, we will sort it out together!