A Comprehensive Guide to Hiring the Best Remote Workers

by Sandra Jenkins

These days, limiting yourself to just one geographical area is a major disadvantage to a company.

With technology getting better and better as time passes by, our ability to reach out to other people – even from those across the globe – is getting much easier.

As a hiring professional, you should be willing to become flexible and learn how to adjust to today’s changing times.

Not sure how to do this? Today, we’ll present to you a comprehensive guide to hiring the best remote workers.


Comprehensive Guide to Hiring the Best Remote Workers

Why Hire Remote Workers?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, employers have already been seeing the perks of hiring remote workers. In a post-pandemic world, however, the benefits were further highlighted.

There are many benefits that hiring remote workers can offer to your company, and here are just some of them.

1. Reduced Costs

The first biggest benefit of hiring remote workers is that it reduces costs, namely overhead expenses.

For one, having fewer in-person employees means that companies can downsize to a smaller office, which in turn requires a lower rent payment. Everything else follows this principle. 

With a smaller office, bills should also be lower. A smaller space requires less heating, less air conditioning, and fewer lights. With fewer people working in the same space, companies can also get away with choosing a lower internet plan. This is impossible in a bigger office since too many people sharing the same plan can quickly slow down the connection.

In addition to this, fewer in-person employees also mean less furniture and fewer appliances. If you have 50 people working on a computer, you don’t need to purchase 50 computer setups if 15 of your employees are working from home, anyway.

Aside from this, working from home can save remote employees money, too. They get to save time on the commute and getting ready to work, as well as all the costs that come with it. In fact, according to a Glassdoor survey, 30% of employees would rather take the option to work remotely rather than to get a pay raise. Obviously, remote work is a win-win for both the employer and the employee.

2. Unlimited Talent Pool

Insisting on hiring only candidates that are closer to your office geographically limits the pool of talent that you can hire from.

Think about it. If your office is in the United States, not hiring remote workers means that you have to only consider workers from the United States. What about those living in Europe or Asia who can do the exact same job with the exact same quality – or even better?

Hiring only in-person employees would make you miss out on these talented individuals, which is a big loss for your company.

Additionally, if your company isn’t located in a big city like Manhattan or Los Angeles, the pool of talent that you can pick from is much lower. You’ll certainly have a hard time finding the best candidates from a smaller pool of people. At worst, you may even have to just settle for who’s there, not for who’s actually great at their job.

3. Increased Productivity

According to CDC, lost productivity and sudden absences cost US employers almost $226 billion per year. This is around $1,685 for every employee annually.

It’s no surprise that employees who are in a non-productive workplace tend to not be productive as well. Therefore, if your workplace isn’t conducive to productive work, it’s going to cause a lot of negative effects on your employees’ productivity.

On the other hand, remote workers don’t have this problem, because they can choose their workplace. If their home is conducive to the work they do, then great. If it’s not, they have the option to work anywhere they want. This is not just a perk for your employee, but for your company as well since you can ensure that your employee’s productivity is always high.

In addition to this, being able to work at home actually reduces burnout in your employees because they can take a short break whenever they want without thinking about their manager or supervisor. This, in turn, allows them to be able to do more productive work.

What to Look For in the Best Remote Workers

What to Look For in the Best Remote Workers in 2022

Now that you know some of the benefits of hiring remote workers, it’s time to ask another important question.

How do you know if you’re hiring the best remote workers, anyway?

In this section, we’ll present five of the best qualities you should look for when hiring remote workers for your company.

1. Highly Motivated

The very first trait that you should look for in a remote worker is high motivation.

As remote workers, they don’t have any workmates, supervisors, or managers who will push them to work when they need to work.

An unmotivated individual is bound to slack off and to leave work suddenly. They may just suddenly disappear, leaving the work half-finished anytime they want.

Not only can this be a huge headache, but it can also be costly for the company because you’ll have to hire a new person to pick up where they left off. And since they’re unmotivated, their work could be half-baked and not of good quality either, which means the entire thing will have to be restarted from scratch.

Obviously, it’s best to avoid someone who’s not highly motivated in the first place. To ensure that the person you’re hiring is motivated and driven, ask them about their remote work experience, and how they deal with the challenges of working remotely.

If they’ve already been a remote worker for a long time and preferably have remote work as their main job, it’s a good sign that they’re already used to the life of working remotely. You know that they can handle the job well and can motivate themselves enough to be able to work alone.

2. Understands Proper Work-Life Balance

Being a remote worker doesn’t mean that life should be all about work. Just because they work where they live doesn’t mean that they’re available 24/7, or that they should prioritize work over everything else.

As a hiring professional, you should look out for remote workers who understand proper work-life balance.

Of course, the best candidate is ideally someone who accepts what the job entails. They should be willing to burn the midnight oil every now and then, but it shouldn’t be the norm for them.

This may sound counter-productive, but you don’t want someone who has no hobbies outside of their work. If they’re always stressed from work and they’re spending 12 hours a night just working overtime, it’s a sign that they’re not living a healthy, balanced life.

A person like that will burn out eventually – it’s not a matter of if, but when. And when they do, you better hope that it doesn’t happen in the middle of a very important project. After all, since they’re remote, they can just as easily disappear when you need them the most.

The best thing to do is to simply hire someone who knows how to have a proper work-life balance as a remote worker. Someone who knows not to sacrifice their personal life for their professional life is someone with a good head on their shoulders, and certainly someone that you should consider hiring for a remote position.

3. Independent

Being independent is a crucial requirement for a remote worker.

In a regular workplace, employees typically have a manager, a team leader, or a supervisor who’s there to answer questions, refer them to higher-ups if needed, and even provide solutions to problems that they may be having. These managers are also there to constantly check up on their subordinates and remind them of any deadlines or tasks left undone.

If you think about it, havings managers can be both a pro and a con, because on one hand, you’re being monitored regularly, and on the other hand, you have someone to keep you in check.

Remote workers, however, don’t have this.

As mentioned above, they don’t have managers or supervisors looking over their work here and there. They also don’t have someone who can immediately answer questions and provide solutions to answers. All they have to keep themselves in check is themself. And if they’re not an independent worker, they’re going to have a hard time getting the job done.

To ensure that your potential remote hire is independent enough, ask them during the job interview to make a self-assessment. Aside from asking about their biggest strengths and weaknesses, you should also ask them about their working style. Can they work solo, or do they need a teammate in order to finish tasks? How do they function without a manager or a supervisor? Can they manage multiple tasks at the same time?

Keep in mind, a remote worker has to do more than just show up to work and perform tasks – they have to know how to merge their professional lives and personal lives as well.

Therefore, If your potential remote hire can’t handle tasks without a teammate, can’t work without supervision, and can’t handle prioritize different tasks all at once, they’re probably not cut out for the job.

Hiring Remote Employees

4. Attention to Detail

All employees should have proper attention to detail, but this trait is even more important in remote workers.

After all, sloppy outputs not only delay projects in remote teams but can also cost money due to lost time and additional work from other members.

A good remote worker should be able to make corrections in their own work, before and after submitting their tasks. They should also be able to learn from your comments and improve their work for the future, even without supervision.

Additionally, you should look for a worker who can submit consistent high-quality output. Remember, it doesn’t matter even if your employee can submit the best work ‘sometimes’ – if they only submit high-quality output 30% of the time and submit subpar work 70% of the time, then you’re better off finding someone who can submit something good enough 100% of the time.

5. Manages Time Well

This probably goes without saying, but remote workers must be able to manage their time well.

In a physical office, employees clock in at the start of the day and clock out before they leave. Anything they do within those hours is supposed to be reserved for company work, while anything they do before and after is none of the company’s business. This means that there’s a clear boundary of what they do with their time.

For remote workers, however, they don’t have this boundary. If they want to make a cup of coffee in the afternoon and browse through their social media accounts for 20 minutes, there’s no manager who’s going to stop them from doing so.

But even though they technically have the ability to work on their own time, it’s only natural that there are tasks to be finished and deadlines to be met. If they don’t know how to manage their time well, before they know it, they’ve been on their phone for 5 hours and have done no work. Being lackadaisical about their schedule is only setting themselves up for failure.

To avoid this scenario, find a candidate who knows how to create a schedule that works for them. They don’t have to meet it all the time, but they should know how to make up for it and catch up, just in case.

Hiring the Best Remote Workers in 2022

Hiring remote workers is a relatively new phenomenon in mainstream hiring practices, so it’s only natural if you’re still learning how to traverse these waters well. Once you’ve mastered it, however, you’re basically unlocking a whole new world of potential.

In this article, we provided reasons why hiring remote workers can be beneficial, as well as some traits that you should look out for in a future remote hire.

If you use our tips in your next hiring process, we’re sure you’ll get the best remote workers in no time at all.

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