The workplace has experienced several changes over the last couple of months. One of the most significant being the nationwide transition to remote work practically overnight because of the pandemic. While remote work was a transition few companies would have voluntarily chosen, overwhelmingly it has been successful. In an extremely stressful time, workers as a whole have maintained reasonably high levels of productivity.
During this time, company owners have also had the opportunity to reconsider the value of remote work and the differences between workers who thrive on short-term remote assignments versus full-time employees who work well remotely. With more companies choosing to continue work-from-home initiatives, companies are becoming more open to the idea of hiring remote employees to accommodate need.
For companies who have maintained a strict policy against remote work, the hiring of remote workers can at times feel like uncharted waters. If you’re a company that doesn’t have a history of hiring employees to work remotely, it can be beneficial to work with a staffing recruiter to field the large number of applications you could potentially receive for a such a position.
Evaluating Remote Employees
- Look for someone with previous remote experience. There is a growing field of remote employees in several industries who prefer to share their skill sets over short-term contracts. This could include an individual with experience in multiple industries who specializes in particular skills. For instance, content creation, website development or payroll accounting. Seek out these workers when you do not currently have the skill set in-house and do not have time to train someone in a new skill.
- Make sure that the staffing agency or in-house recruiter is prepared to hire using remote tools. This is an opportunity to see how the candidate handles remote communication technology, including the growing range of virtual meeting software such as Microsoft Teams, WebEx or Zoom. While the candidate may not have experience with a particular tool, having familiarity with similar tools can make it easier for them to pick up on the new software.
- Consider limiting the talent pool. Remote work could potentially draw candidates from anywhere in the nation, creating a mass of applications to sift through. Setting location parameters can help and can also decrease potential problems of working across time zones. That said, do not exclude great candidates just because they are outside your locale.
- Do not forget to check references. This could be an intensive process if you are working with candidates that contract with multiple companies. Contacting some of, or all of these prior employers can be a great way to learn more about the candidate and the skills they bring to the table.