It is now easier than ever to get your business operations fully online from a logistics perspective, thanks to the vastness of resources available. Recruiting remote workers, however, can be a daunting task of the virtual office setup. Yet, it is one of the first essential steps of starting an online business management project.
It is important to know what you are looking for and what kind of characteristics the future remote member of your operations team has to possess. However, an often overlooked aspect of remote recruiting is setting clear boundaries as to what we do not want our company or organization challenged with.
The relationship between a remote employer and an employee is a complex concept to consider when planning company operations. Figuring out how to hire a remote employee is very limited by communication options – which some of us figured out the hard way.
Learning from previous missteps, I’m here to share what to look out for while hiring for freelance work or virtual work of any kind.
Red flags during initial recruiting
Many of us wonder how to hire remote employees without taking risks of investing in training programs, which are good for performance and reduce absenteeism. Early on in the recruiting process, there are a few things that a company’s human resources team can do to make sure the future work from home team member will be one to stay.
Also, keep in mind that as an employer, you must also make sure to let your candidates know about your remote work culture and the initiatives you will be undertaking to engage with the team. Although it is important to screen your candidates, it is equally important to have a good company culture to boast about.
The gateway system
The first thing I now make before working on a project that requires a couple of new team members is the gateway system for the candidates. Depending on the project, be it a customer service department for a new online store or the writing team of a resource centre, establishing a strict gateway system makes decision-making in the remote interview setup faster and easier.
Disclaimer: The requirements that you set when hiring remote workers must always be in accordance with the law!
For instance, in the case of building a content writing team for the website, the remote work recruiting step was very novel to everyone involved, leading to quite a few initial mistakes.
Here’s an example of a gateway system for a writer’s position that our company wanted to start a recruiting campaign for. A question on an Urban Dictionary joke, during a game of Trivia on Bored with the website team, sparked the idea of this list. It was a great team-building experience to put together a “new blood disqualifiers list”.
- Serious email address - no suspicious email addresses could get past our filters
- A clear profile photo on at least one social media site online that speaks of availability
- A resume that’s well-written and free of grammatical errors
- The candidate should have their video active for the interview and should test their setup in advance
A red flag for us is if the candidate came off as unprepared or unprofessional during the interview. Even a virtual office has some attire requirements.
Another red flag we looked out for was if they didn’t have questions for us which showcased inadequate research and/or disinterest on their part. If your remote team is looking for an active member who engages and works well in a collaborative environment, you should look for people that are curious.
Brownie points for picking up on the first dial or joining the call on time. Other factors include responding yes to the calendar invite and having good audio quality during the whole shebang.