5 Key Questions to Ask When Hiring Remote Workers

July 26, 201611:08 am1062 views

Recently, companies are more open to remote working culture, as this is more economical to deal with space constraints and office expenses, while maintain consistent levels of productivity as well.

According to Ipsos poll for Reuters, one in five workers across the globe telecommute and work from the comfort of their homes.

A recent study from Tinypulse showcased significant benefits of working via telecommute. Based on a 1 to 10 scale, remote workers ranked their happiness at 8.1 on an average, while office workers only show 7.42 score.

This number gap is even bigger in terms of feeling valued at work, as remote staffers show 7.75 score, while office workers only have 6.69 score. The higher level of happiness and feeling valued at work is frequently followed by higher productivity and this will benefit the industry as well.

See also: 4 Personality Traits to Beware of When You’re Hiring

Working from home is, indeed, providing much benefits but unfortunately, it also allows room for indiscipline attitudes and inefficient performance to creep in. HR managers and employers have to thoroughly select the proper candidates before trusting them with responsibilities to handle certain job positions. Here are questions to ask when hiring remote workers:

“What’s your remote work experience?”

This initial question will help the hiring team to understand the candidate and accordingly tailor questions for the rest of the interview. When the candidates do not have any experience in remote working, employers need to describe first ‘what is required of them in the job role and ‘how’ telecommuting works. On the other hand, if they have already experienced remote working, then the hiring team can directly skip to focus on other areas of the interview.

Previous remote working experience is a plus, since it provides adequate information on if a candidate feels comfortable and suitable working from the confines of home office. Else, it could perhaps be that the candidate has higher suitability and readiness toward the job role, than the experienced professionals who have been into telecommuting assignments.

“What tools do you use to manage and complete work remotely?”

Technology requirements are crucial to pursue a remote working option such as stable internet connection, knowledge of softwares and web applications etc. As an interviewer, knowing how a candidate can operate the chat softwares, video calls, teleconference procedures and access shared documents are as important as recognizing the skill sets and technical proficiencies.

If the company cannot provide sound technology infrastructure to help the candidate get started to work telecommuting, make sure that the candidate has good private access to a high speed Wi-Fi connection, a Smartphone, Laptop with upgraded softwares and antivirus protection before commencing work.

“What’s your home office like?”

When the talent works from home, they still need specific spaces to work professionally. Even if it is just a table in the living room’s corner or small areas inside the bedroom, remote workers must have space without any disruptions or disturbances to focus better on work. A well-designed space, no matter the size increases the levels of commitment and dedication towards working.

“How do you manage conflicts and issues when working remotely?”

This question can reveal some aspects about the candidate’s personality, their communication skills and the problem-solving ability at once. Working remotely doesn’t always allow for the face-to-face interaction with colleagues and supervisors.

Therefore, maintaining a good communication and collaboration at work is an absolute necessity to be able to execute projects remotely, while being optimally productive at work. Conflicts amongst coworkers, colleagues and managers is common on the work fronts and it is imperative for employers to know how to tackle these issues effectively without  hampering work schedules.

“Tell me how you manage a tight deadline?”

No matter where you work, either at office or at home, working hours and deadlines are things to be managed carefully. More flexibility leads to no excuse for unmet deadlines and neglected tasks.

So, the hiring team must discover how the candidate works towards managing a tight deadline and if they can work without much supervision from senior managers.

Remote working can be quite challenging, especially if the company is unable to find the best talents to fill in the position, undisciplined attitude towards work and thus less productivity is the outcome.

Hiring team and employers must tread cautious approach to hiring to know, if the candidate fits the company culture and job role requirements. Well-detailed interview questions with some amount of probing for details about experiences, will help the employer understand better if the candidate selected is a best fit for the job role or not.

Next read: 4 Types of Performance Appraisal Methods a Company can Adopt

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