Use these tips if you're hiring a remote employee.

Change Your Interviewing Approach When Hiring For Remote Jobs

Posted February 3, 2017 by Adrienne Smith in Hiring and Onboarding
Managing remote employees has never been more essential in today’s workplace. Find and interview the right candidates for your company — from afar.

The presence of telecommuters is growing in the workforce and companies are placing greater importance on distributing their teams. It’s become essential to understand recruitment, hiring, and effective management of workers outside your office.

But don't approach recruiting and hiring remote candidates the same you do every hire. Your interview approach should be tweaked slightly; we'll show you how.

Learn how to hire and manage remote employees effectively with our free guide.

The Modern Workplace

While the reasons may vary, telecommuting is a fact of life, business, and especially the world of startups. In 2015, a Gallup study found that 37% of workers have worked remotely at some point in their career. 

Workers list a wide range of reasons for working remotely. Some cite safety concerns or the additional time and resources required for daily commuting. More cite the surging real estate prices in the metro areas with the best potential for employment.

Discussing the modern workplace in a rare 2013 interview, Miami Real Estate billionaire Wilbur Ross stated that “the internet has changed the meaning of location.” And just last year, Forbes declared: “Telecommuting is the future of work.”

Why You Need To Change Your Interview Approach

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A candidate’s talents, competency, and approach to working with others are all important things to observe while interviewing for remote jobs, as well as how they will interact with co-workers from afar.

We caught up with our very own Justworks CEO and founder, Isaac Oates, on the topic.

“In addition to gauging job-related competencies and cultural fit, it’s also critical to dig into communications style,” said Isaac. “How do they use email? How are they on the phone? Or on Skype? Or Slack?”

He added that hiring a remote worker doesn’t always have to mean a remote interview. In fact, it makes the face-to-face meeting an essential part of the hiring process.

“Meeting a candidate in person prior to offering them a job is still very important,” Oates added. “Even if you are hiring them for a remote position, it is hard to compare a remote interview to an in-person meeting, where you can easily read body language, tone-of-voice, and things you wouldn’t see otherwise.”

How To Ask The Right Interview Questions

Interviewing is the final stage of the screening process before this person goes from job candidate to your coworker. Be sure to ask the right questions.

1. Discuss Your Previous Remote Working Experiences

Get a feel for how well they know the remote world of work, of if they just have experience with e-mail and telecommuting.

2. Determine the Pros and Cons of Remote Work

A smart worker will be able to identify, acknowledge, and discuss both the perks and challenging aspects of a remote workplace.

3. Identify How the Candidate Would Stay Involved

Likewise, a good remote worker will know the natural barriers that come with telecommuting. What is their plan to stay involved?

Once you've made the hire, congratulations! Some extra resources:

Learn how to hire and manage employees in a new state.

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.