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Five Competencies to Look for When Hiring for a Remote Position

By James McGill, Vice President, Customer Success at HireVue

The Covid-19 outbreak caused an unprecedented number of people to work from home and it’s likely that many roles in the near future will be for remote positions. But for businesses looking to hire, how can they identify candidates who will thrive in a remote working environment?

Here are five competencies that every organisation should consider when hiring for a remote position: 

  1. Self-motivation and independent learning. The ability to self-motivate will be crucial for productivity in many roles that were once office based, but are currently undertaken at home. 

  1. Communication. Communication is always an important skill in the workplace and is the foundation of good remote work. 

  1. Conscientiousness. When hiring new remote employees, recruiting teams should look for those able to work in tandem with their teammates via tools like Slack, Zoom or Google Chat, and fulfil their roles as they would have from the office.

  1. Self-management and independence. Businesses looking to hire remote employees should ask candidates about their performance within a “regular” work environment and invite them to offer a self-assessment of their skills and ability to meet the difference presented by remote work.

  1. Adaptability. Employers should aim to identify candidates who have a natural capacity to manage their time effectively and produce a consistent and high-quality standard of work. 

The first thing businesses must consider when hiring remote workers is if the role simply requires working from home temporarily, as a result of Covid-19, or whether this position is likely to require long term remote working. If you think a candidate would be a good fit longer term, but are not convinced of their aptitude at working from home, then companies should look at how they can provide support to the candidate, rather than immediately ruling them out. 

Employers themselves must also adapt to remote work and ensure they are providing support for employees in this new environment. Whether through regular calls or utilising other communications software, companies must equip their workers with the appropriate tools to set them up for success.

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