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What You Should Look for in a Remote Employee

The workforce of the future is largely digital. Even as COVID-19 restrictions ease and offices return to onsite work, remote workers will remain an essential part of your workforce as remote work continues to be a preferred arrangement for many employees.

While remote arrangements offer your organization plenty of savings and your employees more flexibility, they also come with particular challenges. The most obvious one has to be this: how can an organization hire the right people when they do not meet them in person?

As always, innovations in technology provide plenty of answers to helping you find the right candidates for your vacant positions. But first, you must know what character traits and skills to look for in potential hires.

The Top Traits for Remote Employees

Of course, there are many good traits to look for in potential new hires for your organization. These are three of the most important qualities your remote employees should have once you hire them.

  1. They are independent workers

The ability to do work without needing to have a manager watching what you are doing is a necessity for remote workers. A work-from-home setup means that the urgency to accomplish deliverables is not as apparent, so they need to find the motivation in themselves to wake up, report to work, and finish their daily tasks.

Self-starters do not need constant reminders of what you need them to do and are more likely to be on top of administrative responsibilities outside their immediate deliverables. These include protecting the work data they access from home, filing their taxes, and looking for tax relief services on their own.

When you hire independent workers, you are assured of their ability to manage responsibilities with little supervision.

  1. They are punctual for meetings and deadlines

Related to being self-starters, you want employees who are punctual in every sense. A remote setup means you have to often rely on updates provided by employees on the status of an ongoing project. Unresponsive employees can stall the progress of your campaigns, forcing you to push back deadlines and delaying your projects.

The ideal remote employee shows up to meetings on time and is prepared with updates about their work. They are also the ones to volunteer updates even when you have not yet asked and respect the deadlines you have set for deliverables. Punctual employees are clear about their progress, which helps the rest of their teammates adjust or plan accordingly.

  1. They have a strong desire to grow

Hiring remote employees with an already impressive skill set is preferable, but do not immediately turn away young professionals with little experience. Why? Because it is possible to hire someone with outstanding credentials but poor teamwork abilities.

There are plenty of inexperienced professionals who are determined to hone their skills and learn new ones. These are the employees who may stumble a little at the start but quickly find their footing thanks to their determination to grow.

Remember that the mindset of your remote employees matters just as much as the skills they bring to the table, if not more.

Two Ways to Assess Remote Candidates


Aside from a series of interviews and reading their resume or CV, there are other ways to assess the competencies of your potential hires remotely.

  1. Have them send their portfolio

One way to assess the skills of candidates, usually those involved in visual arts or writing, is to have them send their portfolios. A portfolio allows you to gauge the level of expertise of an applicant. It also acts as evidence of the accomplishments that they have detailed in their resumes and CVs.

Remote employees do not get an opportunity to showcase their abilities on site. Hence, a portfolio with relevant samples lets you make a more informed decision about hiring them or not.

  1. Make them take a test

In addition to looking through their portfolio, you gain a better grasp of what it is like to work with a candidate when you give them a test relevant to the role they are applying for. Pay attention not just to their answers on the test but also to what kind of questions they ask, how timely their submission is, and how well they followed instructions.

Technology has made it easier for organizations to screen applicants and gain a fuller picture of their work styles and capabilities even before you hire them. Take advantage of the tools available to you and know what to look for so that you can build a remote team that works.

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