8 Defining Traits to Look for When Hiring a Remote Employee

8 Defining Traits to Look for When Hiring a Remote Employee

In late 2020, Reuters quoted the results of a survey carried out by Enterprise Technology Research, saying the number of remote workers would double in 2021. While this prediction did not come to fruition, the world did see twos in remote job posts on the world wide web.

Indeed, remote jobs doubled in 2021 as compared to early 2020, when we were still new to the outbreak and finding our sea legs in the then unfamiliar waters. While some employers have long since found their footing, others may still be struggling to recruit and retain the right remote workers for the job.

As RemoteGurus, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to list down the identifying traits of a work-from-home employee. Let’s take a look, shall we?

1. Sharp as a Knife

Virtual work is digital work, meaning your remote employees need to be on time at all times. They have to attend meetings, reach deadlines, and be available at all times because they now have a digital clock micromanaging their progress.

While working in an office setting has its downsides (click, clack, clickety-clack, all day long), working from home isn’t a walk in the park either. If your employee shares their place with someone else, their attention may be divided between you and their housemate/s. If they live alone, they might get distracted because of the lack of a proper workstation.

However, if they’re extremely punctual about their work and meetings and keep you in the loop about their progress despite all the distractions, they’re worth every penny.

2. Not Their First Rodeo

It’s hard to find someone with prior remote work experience and positive referrals to show for it. If you do encounter a candidate who’s well-versed in the technical art of remote work, you may want to have them on board.

You see, a candidate who’s previously braved a remote work environment brings more to the table than a traditional worker. They might

  • Show initiative
  • Know their way around virtual communication.
  • Display leadership skills.
  • Ask questions about how they can be better at their work.

3. Not Going by the Book

There are two types of employees in every office and remote work environment. The first kind would follow your instructions to a T but show little initiative in getting creative when they hit a roadblock—the result: seeking your approval for the smallest tasks for fear they might get something wrong.

Before starting something, the second kind would know that they would have to make some educated guesses and do their own research to turn in the work, well within office hours. They would see their supervisors as mentors, not trainers, and understand the importance of learning through trial and error.

4. Masters at Written Discourse

Typed discourse is more time-efficient than video conferences, voice messages, and live calls. Therefore, most communication between a remote employee and supervisor takes place through emails and texts.

It can’t hurt to have an employee who can communicate with clarity. You may very well end up saving time on firing off a response requesting clarification on an incoherent text or email and waiting for them to get back to you.

Luckily, you can tell a candidate’s writing skills from the emails you exchange during the recruitment process. Be sure to notice their punctuation, grammar, and style, and filter out anyone who fails the coherency test more than once.

5. Responsible for their Actions

Remote team managers have to run a tight ship. To do so, they need to hire problem-solvers who’re not only punctual and creative but also possess a semblance of personal accountability.

When interviewing candidates, you should make it a point to ask every single contender about the time they took responsibility for their actions, but don’t do it overtly.

Instead of cutting right to the chase, ask the candidates about times when they bungled a job and how they dealt with the fallout. The right person would never try to wiggle their way out of the mess, nor would they make excuses for their mistakes.

6. Those Who Persevere

Perseverance is a trait all employers should look for in an employee, remote or otherwise. Thus, don’t just look at privileged candidates who’ve never seen hardships because they’ll probably be the first ones to break under a stressful situation.

Consider individuals who’re coasting through life despite all that’s life’s thrown their way because they’ll always face work-related issues head-on.

Look for candidates who’ve:

  • Beat the odds to score a full ride to college.
  • Deferred or dropped out but returned to finish their education.
  • Lost parents and loved ones along the way.
  • Never had parental support.
  • The first one in their family to receive a college education.

7. Flexible and Reliable

You should rely on a remote worker to pick up the slack for the entire team despite the geographical barriers between them and other team members. They should be rule-followers and show a willingness to bend these rules for the good of their company.

If a colleague can’t finish their work on time or urgent job crops up, they should be willing to volunteer their services for extra pay.

The ideal remote employee must also be relied upon to stay in contact. They should:

  • Contact their supervisors at least once a day, and that too during office hours.
  • Keep them apprised of work progress.
  • Keep them in the loop about delays.
  • Share health issues that may affect their work performance.
  • Notify them before turning in their leave application.

8. Tailor made for Individual and Teamwork

A remote employee has it harder than any other type of employee. They have to work from home on their own, make and maintain contact with colleagues on collaborative projects, and ensure the quality of their work isn’t affected in any of the two scenarios. Finding such an employee means adding another round to your screening process.

An easy way of doing this is teaming up employees who’ve passed their screening tests for a virtual group presentation. By testing their remote collaboration skills, you can have a fair idea of the sort of players you want on your remote team.

Expand Your Candidate Pool: Find Remote Workers Online

Find work from home employees to hire on RemoteGurus: a platform wholly dedicated to helping workers find remote jobs online and streamlining online remote workers recruitment for employers from the US, Canada, England, and beyond.

Sign up to post remote work from home jobs on our search site to give candidates from every part of the world a chance to apply for remote jobs online in a country of their choice.

Post remote jobs on our portal today, and see what the international remote working community has to offer in terms of quality work performance.