If you’re looking to hire during COVID-19, you may be considering hiring remote employees. The best way to hire a remote team member is to be flexible: While much of the hiring process stays the same, there are things to think about when it comes to fitting someone new into a remote team.

These tips break down what to do when you hire a remote employee. By focusing on the research process, the interview process, and the trial run, you can guarantee the best remote work experience possible for your whole team. Just because the world’s on hold doesn’t mean you have to halt your company’s growth!

Let’s explore the best ways to hire a remote employee.

Set your expectations before scheduling interviews.

Before you start looking for the right candidate, make sure you’ve nailed down the specifics of the remote position you’ve created. Besides the obvious details like pay rates and schedules, hone in on the specific tasks you’re looking for out of this position.

Do you have the proper training in place for new team members? In an office, it’s easy to have a new recruit “shadow” another team member, but you’ll have to update your training procedures to go fully remote.

Good skills to look for in remote candidates might include:

  • Stellar written and verbal communication skills (lots of emails, phone calls, and virtual meetings!)
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Time management
  • Self-discipline and accountability
  • Experience with remote collaboration tools (like Office 365 and Microsoft Teams)

Get to know your potential new team member during the interview.

Use the interview to get to know your potential employee. Look for signs that they’d flourish in a remote environment: How quickly do they respond to your emails? How professional are they on the phone? Do they have good attention to detail, or did they misspell your name in their last follow-up (even though it’s RIGHT THERE in your email signature)?

Unlike in-person interviews, interviews for remote roles should take a deeper dive into questions about the job responsibilities and expectations. Give your candidate plenty of time to ask questions, but make sure to present all the necessary information up front.

It’s also a good idea to ask questions about the candidate’s previous remote work experience. Ask about their familiarity with collaboration tools, remote meetings, and online project management software. And just to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes—make sure they have consistent access to high-speed Internet!

Before formalizing a job offer, consider a paid trial period.

It’s harder to get an idea of a company’s culture from a video interview than it is from walking through the office. For remote roles, consider a paid trial period to help both you and your new employee guarantee this is a good fit. This might include a trial project for a low lump sum, or two weeks of working evenings and weekends to determine how well your candidate fits in with your current workflow.

If you do go with a trial, make sure it’s a paid one—You want to show your new employee you value their time and efforts. Starting off in a “are we, aren’t we” period of limbo is not a great way to start a working relationship. Instead, set clear expectations from the start, schedule frequent meetings to check in on progress, and plan for a formal performance review at the end of the trial.

If you’re having doubts, or your candidate just doesn’t seem to be fitting in, you can part ways with no hurt feelings and a good idea of how to update your hiring process in the future. And if your candidate sparkled and shined, dust off that offer letter and get ready for a great match! Just make sure to lock down your new employee’s security and access to collaboration tools before their first day.

You’ve made your offer, finished the background check, and you’re off to the races! Now what? Give us a call at (904) 606-6011 and we’ll guarantee your new employee has everything they need to get started on their first day of work. For more information about support for remote teams, email info@helpgts.com.

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