The Coronavirus pandemic has normalized the work from home culture by significantly increasing remote workers. As Richard Eisenberg notes in an Forbes article about working from home:
“An early-April 2020 MIT survey of 25,000 American workers found that 34% of those who’d been employed four weeks earlier said they’re currently working from home. Combined with the roughly 15% who said they’d been working from home pre-COVID-19, that means nearly half the U.S. workforce might now be remote workers.”
Working remotely eliminates commute time for workers and allows them to work from where they want. For employers, some of the benefits of having remote workers include reducing overhead costs and having a larger pool of candidates to choose from. But since remote workers cannot be monitored as closely as in-person workers, employers need to be careful about finding the right candidates that will be reliable, resourceful, and provide high quality work in a timely manner. Below, we offer some tips for hiring a strong remote workforce.
Be Clear about What You Are Looking For
The first step to finding your ideal candidates is to create a job application process that clearly defines what you are looking for in a candidate and what your expectations are. Here are some of things to consider when creating your process:
● The skills, experience, and education needed for the job.
● When and how many hours the candidate would need to work.
● Whether the candidate has previous remote work experience, work samples, and references.
● The candidate’s location and time zone.
● How much training is included for the job.
● Any equipment, software, or tools needed for the job.
Setting the right expectations from the start helps to ensure that you attract the right candidates and don’t spend a lot of time on ones that would not be a good match.
Test their Abilities
If a candidate has previous experience with working remotely this can be an advantage since they are already accustomed to the remote work lifestyle. They may be able to give you samples or references from previous remote work projects or jobs that they held. But regardless, it is best practice to test all candidates that you are considering hiring. Of course, testing is related to the potential employee’s position. If you have a customer service agent, you may want to test their written communication and typing speed. If it’s a position that’s a bit more specialized, you may give the candidates a small paid project that includes a deadline and is similar to the type of work that they would be doing for you if they were hired. This will help you to assess them in areas such as problem solving, communication, turnaround time, and creativity.
Create an Effective Interview Process
Video conferencing tools such as Zoom make it easy to conduct interviews that are similar to in-person meetings. They allow you to see a candidate’s personality, evaluate how well they communicate, and whether they would be a good fit for your company culture. Ask the candidate questions regarding:
● Work from home experience.
● Online tools they are familiar with.
● How they keep organized and manage time.
● What their goals are.
● How well they work independently and with teams.
● How much supervision they require.
● Why they are seeking a remote position.
● How well they handle deadlines.
● What questions they have for you.
Interviews are not just for determining if a candidate is qualified for the position. They are also excellent tools in determining if a candidate fits your company’s internal culture well. This could be the big differentiator if you find a few candidates who are toe to toe in qualifications.
Implement a Probation Period
Have an effective onboarding system in place for new hires to help ensure their success. Sometimes, even using your best efforts to find the ideal person for a job, once you have hired a candidate, you may find that the person is not the right fit after all. This is why it is good practice to implement a probation period for at least two weeks.
If you are looking for support in scaling your operations to support a growing remote workforce, CH Consulting Group can help. We have worked with several clients recently in adapting to the new workforce culture that COVID-19 has created. Please don’t hesitate to contact us – we would be happy to learn more about your challenges and see how we can best support your growth!
CH Consulting Group provides unparalleled expertise in the Contact Center and Customer Experience (CX) verticals. We have a nationwide team of industry veterans that can assist you to achieve exponential growth, manage change, and generate profit. For a comprehensive CX assessment and strategic plan customized for your unique business needs, connect with us here today.