Remote working and work-from-home got a major push from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The massive requisite of social distancing has given this aspect of working a huge impetus. In fact, it is the need of the hour and all sorts of work can be done just as effectively from a remote office. And, the innovative technologies like Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, authenticator apps, and cloud computing have aided to the convenience needed for full-time productivity of the remote team.
Organizations can make the most from their work-from-home policies while boosting employee productivity. In the event of a pandemic, a natural or manmade disaster, a disseminated workforce is in a better position to keep operations up and running, even if calamity strikes in the area where the workplace is. But, as remote working comes to the forefront, employers need to be cognizant of this strong revolutionizing trend and recognize benefits while ensuring they hire the best and relevant talent who are the right fit for this work environment.
These are some certain traits that organizations should look for when hiring remote employees irrespective of whether they have worked in a remote environment earlier or not.
- Strong self-discipline: Organizations should look for people who know how to build their workflow for extreme productivity regardless of the environment they are in. Hiring managers should make sure that the candidate can get things done on their own and have a tendency to stay organized. Hiring managers should also look into the fact if the concerned candidate has a designated work area and that they take regular breaks between work to make sure they stay focused and productive and are in the right state of mind.
- Great communication skills: Great communication and social skills are paramount. This is an important aspect to keep in mind that the candidate excels in quality communication - both calls and written communication and is socially pleasing. It is imperative that the candidates are clear and concise while being open and honest in their communication and get to the point straight. They must make sure that the remote candidates respond to important calls and emails in a timely manner.
- Strong organization skills: This is a must-have skill along with technical skills and an employee with a planned work environment is always a plus. Hiring managers should understand that it is a good sign that candidates are fully prepared to learn the ways of remote work while they are technically forward, even if they have never done it before.
- Efficient team player: This is one of the most important things when working from home. The right candidate will be the one whose personality matches with existing employees, especially in small teams where everyone works closely together irrespective of their positions. It is crucial that the candidate is able to work well with his/her team and adjust to the culture, communication and values.
- Self-starting and critical thinking skills: Since remote work requires a lot of independence and pretty much eradicates any perpetual hand-holding by anybody, the applicants must be able to think clearly, connect the dots, start processes but still be able to ask for help when they undeniably need it. The major stress is on people who have good critical thinking skills which candidates should be able to exercise this as and when needed. A communicative, collaborative, independent, self-motivated, inquisitive and resourceful candidate is the need of every organization who can take the business to new heights.
- Being tech-savvy: Remote working is here to stay even post the pandemic. This would require the candidate to be comfortable with technology all through the employment lifecycle. Right from the time he/she is being evaluated through video interviewing and assessment platforms to using some of the tools mentioned above for collaboration, project management as well as team management. Technology by nature is ever evolving and the ability to learn, adapt and use the multiple tools in the digital environment is critical for the individual and the business.
Working in a remote team can often be challenging and can often create some tension. Hence, there should be a cordial employer-employee relation and one thing that can enhance it is promoting a successful team culture. If the employer sets high standards for new hires, it means it is bringing the right talent on board. In short, employers should be vigilant enough to hire people who are as passionate about the company's vision and only then the remote culture will flourish. So, it is wise to take time and then hire a person who is actually a great fit in the long run. It means the company will be spending a lot more time in devising strategies of growth and making judicious and calculated decisions with a great team.