Telecommuting is an increasingly common phenomenon which offers a range of benefits for both employers and employees. It’s easy to see why so many businesses are adding more remote workers to their staff, and even allowing on-site employees more opportunities to work from home as well.
Managing employees remotely, on the other hand, involves a number of unique challenges compared to conventional office environments. Since they won’t be working in the office, you’ll have to rely on performance management software to ensure they’re collaborating and staying engaged. It’s important for managers to ensure their telecommuting employees are still experiencing the benefits of and adding to the company culture.
Working in an office and working from home require two different skill sets, so don’t expect someone to be a great telecommuter just because they have great qualifications. These are some of the most effective ways to find employees who will be just as productive (if not more) when working remotely.
Ask Targeted Questions
In addition to the normal set of questions you ask during interviews, you should include more specific questions tailored to the roles and responsibilities that come with working remotely. This will help you learn more about their approach to telecommuting.
The most obvious question for a potential remote worker is simply whether they have experience telecommuting. You can also ask about the tools they use for remote projects, including scheduling practices and their work habits.
Start with a Trial Project
The best way to get a feel for how a remote employee will be to work with is to give them a test project and see how well they perform within a given time frame. You’ll be able to see how they approach communication and whether their performance is up to your standards.
If you still don’t feel comfortable offering a person the position, consider starting with a longer trial period (typically between a few weeks to a few months). At the end of that time, you’ll have all the information you need to make the right decision for your business.
Offer Detailed Information
Remote work arrangements can vary widely depending on the respective needs of the employee and business, so it’s best to have everyone on the same page in advance. While working with on-site employees can be more hands on, remote employees must learn to manage up and learn as they go. Be transparent in your job descriptions so there is alignment from the very beginning.
Many businesses post remote jobs and traditional work in the same locations, but there are also remote work boards which are dedicated to jobs for telecommuters. These will help you target people with remote work experience and avoid receiving materials from unqualified applicants.
Different hiring assessment tools offer different features to aid you in the recruiting process, and implementing these can save valuable time during hiring. Many also include functionalities for other areas of your business such as HR, interview scheduling, and AI evaluation of hiring decisions.
Recruiting new employees is always a difficult process, and looking for telecommuters can complicate things even further, but that can also offer a much larger talent pool than you’d ever find locally. In order to find the best talent for your company, use these tips to attract and retain top remote employees throughout your organization.