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7 Red Flags to watch when hiring a remote teammate
Are you thinking about hiring a remote teammate for your business? It's a great way to increase flexibility and productivity, but choosing the right person for the job is essential. In this article, we'll go over seven essential qualities to look for in a
In the last issue, I shared my 2023 predictions about remote working. This Saturday, instead, I want to talk about the 7 Red Flags to watch when hiring a remote teammate.
Let's be honest. Not everyone is cut out for this type of work environment. That's why it's essential to choose the right person for a remote role.
Here are 7 Red Flags to watch when hiring a remote teammate:
Look for previous remote work experience.
A candidate with previous remote work experience will likely have developed skills and strategies for communication and organization that will be super helpful in a remote role. Some questions to ask include: "Can you describe your previous experience working remotely? How did you handle tasks such as communication and time management?"
Good answer: "Yeah, I worked remotely as a customer service rep for the past couple of years. I used various tools like email, Skype, Voxloud, and a project management platform to communicate with my team and stay organized. I also met all my performance goals while working remotely."
Bad answer: "Nope, I've never worked remotely before."
Notes: If the candidate doesn't have any previous remote work experience, it's crucial to understand how they envision handling tasks like communication and time management in a remote setting.
Follow-up question: "Can you tell me more about the tools and strategies you used to stay organized and communicate with your team while working remotely?"
Evaluate time management and organization skills.
A clear and organized approach to managing time and tasks is crucial for success in a remote setting. Consider asking questions such as: "How do you stay organized and manage your time effectively when working on multiple tasks or projects?"
Good answer: "I use a combo of tools like a to-do list app and a calendar to keep track of my tasks and deadlines. I also make a daily schedule to help me prioritize my workload and stay on track. If I have a big or complex project, I break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks and track my progress using a project management tool."
Bad answer: "I usually just wing it and try to finish everything in time."
Follow-up question: "Can you give me an example of a time when you had to juggle multiple tasks or projects? How did you handle the workload and meet your deadlines?"
Assess communication skills.
Regular and effective communication is vital in a remote setting, and a candidate with experience using various communication tools will be better equipped to succeed in a remote role. Possible questions to ask include: "How do you handle communication with team members and supervisors when working remotely? Can you provide an example of when you had to communicate with a team member or supervisor remotely?"
Good answer: "I've found that regular communication is essential when working remotely. In the past, I've used tools like video conferencing and messaging apps to stay in touch with my team and discuss project updates. I also try to be responsive and follow through on requests or instructions."
Bad answer: "I usually just send an email and hope for the best."
Follow-up question: "Can you describe your approach to communicating with team members and supervisors? How do you ensure that your communication is clear and effective?"
Check problem-solving skills.
A candidate who can identify and troubleshoot problems independently and find creative solutions will likely be more effective in a remote setting. They may not have as much in-person support. Questions to consider include: "Can you provide an example of a time when you had to troubleshoot an issue or solve a problem in your work? How did you approach the situation, and what steps did you take to find a solution?"
Good answer: "I had a situation where I was working on a marketing campaign and noticed that one email we sent wasn't formatting correctly on certain devices. I started by researching the issue online and checking with my team to see if anyone had encountered a similar problem. I then worked with our developer to identify the root cause of the issue and implement a fix. We resolved the problem and successfully delivered the campaign on time."
Bad answer: "I usually just ask someone else to fix the problem."
Follow-up question: "Can you tell me more about your approach to problem-solving? How do you decide which steps to take and when to seek help from others?"
Assess motivation and focus.
A candidate with strategies for staying motivated and focused when working remotely is likely more successful in a remote role. Ask questions such as: "How do you stay motivated and focused when working remotely?"
Good answer: "I find that setting clear goals and breaks for myself helps me stay motivated and focused when working remotely. I also make an effort to create a comfortable and distraction-free workspace. In the past, I have used tools such as music or white noise apps to help me focus and block out distractions."
Bad answer: "It's hard to stay motivated when you're not in an office with other people."
Follow-up question: "Can you give me an example of a time when you struggled to stay motivated or focused while working remotely? How did you overcome the challenge?"
Consider the remote work setup.
A dedicated and comfortable workspace with reliable internet connectivity is essential for a productive and successful remote work experience. Some questions to ask a candidate to assess their remote work setup might include: "Can you describe your setup for remote work? Do you have a dedicated workspace with a reliable internet connection?"
Good answer: "Yeah, I have a dedicated home office with a desk, comfortable chair, and good lighting. I also have a reliable high-speed internet connection and a laptop with the necessary software and hardware for my work. I try to keep my workspace clean and organized to help me stay focused and productive."
Bad answer: "I usually just work from my couch and use my phone's hotspot for the internet."
Follow-up question: "Can you show me a photo of your workspace or describe it in more detail? Do you have any tools or resources that you find particularly helpful for staying organized and focused when working remotely?"
It's important to consider whether a candidate will fit in with the company culture and values, even when working remotely. Some questions to ask might include: "How do you envision yourself contributing to the company culture as a remote team member? Can you give me an example of when you effectively worked with a team, either in person or remotely?"
Good answer: "I believe that cultural fit is important for the success of any team, and I am comfortable working with a diverse group of people. In my previous role, I worked with a virtual team across several time zones. I could effectively collaborate and communicate with my team members using tools such as video conferencing and messaging apps. I also tried to get to know my team members personally and create a positive work environment."
Bad answer: "I don't think cultural fit matters as long as you can do the job."
Follow-up question: "Can you describe the company culture and values most important to you? How do you envision aligning with our company culture and values as a remote team member?"
Keep checking the 7 Red Flags to watch when hiring a remote teammate
You'll be able to find the perfect remote teammate to join your team and help your business succeed.