“The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area.”
Perhaps in the future, we will see less need for office buildings as more companies embrace the remote work options. Companies large and small are trying to understand what their workforce of the future will be. I think many of those people will be working remotely from many different locations. Finding the people that fit your remote team can be challenging.
What criteria are you looking for in your team?
How do you ensure the best candidates get selected?
How many steps do you have in your process?
Great remote teams don’t just happen; they’re built. Building a great remote team begins with strategic, intentional hiring practices. In order to scale your business, this process needs to be thorough, well-documented, and effective at both identifying strong candidates for remote work, and surfacing any potential issues before you make your decision.
In my fifteen years of experience as an App Development and Development Manager, I’ve worked with and managed all types of remote teams. In a series of posts, I’m going to share the important lessons I’ve learned about how to keep remote teams cohesive.
Hire for Alignment
Have you ever been burned when you hired someone? You followed your normal hiring process, found a remote employee with the right experience and skills, and then were shocked when they left your team just a few weeks or months later. What went wrong?
The short answer: Your process. Instead of blaming yourself or your hiring committee, see this as an opportunity to make sure your process helps you meet your hiring goals: Perhaps your process didn’t do enough to ensure that this person had the ability to communicate, collaborate, and contribute without being in the office. Perhaps the role they were hired to do required them to be onsite in order to be effective. Ask yourself: How can we improve our hiring process for remote employees, so that we can ensure better alignment next time?
Slow Down the Process
When an important role is vacant, it’s difficult to take the time to find the right candidate for the job. We feel a sense of urgency because we know how costly the hiring process can be, in terms of both hiring expenses and lost productivity. However, the cost of hiring and training a poor fit for a role is significantly greater.
Hiring a poor fit for a remote position can drastically impact team morale: If we bring the wrong person in, they can be poisonous to the team and cause good people to leave. Also, this kind of turnover can lead to a distrust of management and your organization. People may start to believe that this kind of haphazard hiring is reflective of how your organization treats people.
Finding someone you trust takes time. I learned this lesson the hard way: On a few of my teams, we moved too fast and had no real process. In order to hire the right people for remote roles, you need to recognize that the process will need to be more extensive and thorough than you might be used to.
Know What You’re Looking For
This starts by writing a job description that has clear, objective personality traits as well as a list of desired skills and experiences. It’s hard to hit the target if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Take the time to outline the attributes of an ideal candidate, so you’ll know it when you see it — and so you’ll be able to articulate it effectively when you don’t think someone is a good fit.
Be sure that everyone on the hiring committee is on the same page about what you need in order to commit to a candidate.
The hiring process for a remote employee should be more intensive than for an onsite role. A remote employee needs the skills and experience necessary for the role they’re filling, but they also need to have the ability to maintain healthy working relationships, based on trust and effective communication, with everyone on your team. Working remotely can be challenging for certain people, and for certain roles. Be sure that the role you’re hiring for can be performed remotely, and that the person you hire is ready to take on the challenges of working remotely.